July 19, 2004

Province provides $20K for extra water monitoring at Lake Huron beaches

TORONTO, ONT-The Ontario government is providing $20,000 to the Huron County Health Unit for more frequent monitoring and analysis of water quality along Huron County beaches. "Ontario is committed to cleaning up Lake Huron's beaches," said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "First, we must get to the bottom of the problem. We have partnered with key local and federal partners to ensure we fully understand what is causing the pollution."

The money will allow the health unit to increase the frequency of water sampling this summer and to test samples more quickly at a laboratory in the area. This will provide "a much clearer picture of the extent and movement of pollution along the Lake Huron shoreline," said Carol Mitchell, MPP for Huron-Bruce. The Lake Huron Science Committee, established in February 2004, is examining the causes of elevated levels of E. coli at recreational beaches in and around Huron County. Led by the Ministry of the Environment, the committee includes technical experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Environment Canada, the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and the Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority. An interim report, summarizing the initial findings on the issue and recommending next steps, is expected later this summer.

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