Great Lakes Air Deposition Program

The Great Lakes Air Deposition (GLAD) program, which concluded in 2013, was coordinated  by the Great Lakes Commission to address the deposition of toxic pollutants  to the waters of the Great Lakes region and to promote efforts to  reduce such deposition and the resulting adverse impacts on human and wildlife  health. For more than two decades the program supported scientific research,  and engaged scientific leaders throughout the region to better understand the sources of toxic pollutants, their transport in the environment, their deposition to the Great Lakes basin, and the resulting impacts on human health and the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Reducing input of toxic substances to the lakes and the mitigation  of impacts from these substances on human health and wildlife are major priorities for restoration efforts in  the Great Lakes basin. Of   greatest concern are those chemicals that are persistent in the environment,  bioaccumulate as they move up the food chain and are toxic to humans or wildlife (referred to as  persistent bioaccumulative toxics or PBTs). Many such chemicals enter Great Lakes waters in substantial  amounts through deposition from the atmosphere. Despite much progress, further scientific assessment and technological developments are needed to enable effective management of the  problems posed by deposition of toxic substances to the region’s waters. Toward this end,  the GLAD Program supported scientific projects to identify and quantify the sources, environmental transport  processes, deposition   rates, fate and impacts of these chemicals. The program operated with the goal  of assisting the Great  Lakes states and their partners in forming scientifically  sound policies regarding this issue, including regulatory and non-regulatory pollution control and prevention programs.

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