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Great Lakes Today was created to highlight issues affecting the lakes. The main partners are WBFO (Buffalo), ideastream (Cleveland) and WXXI (Rochester).Browse more coverage here. Major funding for Great Lakes Today is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People. Additional funding comes from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Invasive Species, Pollution Among Concerns for Great Lakes Residents

When residents were asked to name a threat to the Great Lakes, 26% responded with invasive species. [Flikr/USFWS]

By Angelica Morrison

The International Joint Commission released the results of its second binational  Great Lakes Basin Poll, Tuesday morning.

It was a survey of Great Lakes residents, in both Canada and the US, asking more than 4 thousand people how they feel about the Great Lakes

The poll showed invasive species weighs heavy on the minds of many.

Twenty-six percent of viewed invasive species as one of the major threats to the Great Lakes -- while only 12 percent viewed pollution as a threat. When it comes to garbage waste, 6 percent say it's a major issue. And, 17 percent of those surveyed say they just don't know.

Mark Mattson, is a member of the IJC’s Great Lakes water quality board. He’s also one of the founding members of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. He says, more needs to be done about the lack of knowledge the general public has about threats to the great lakes.

“People seem to care deeply about the great lakes they know," he said. "But generally speaking there’s still a lack of knowledge about what exactly they need to do about it.”

Other questions asked include: How important is it to protect the health of the watershed? And, what role citizens play in protecting the lakes?