A new proposal says the problems of the Great Lakes are so severe that it will take a 15 year, 20 billion dollar program to attack them.
Those problems include the proliferation of invasive species ... the deterioration of animal habitats ... pollution ... and tainted wetlands and tributaries.
Eight states and two Canadian provinces border the lakes, which contain 20% of the world's fresh surface water.
The plan was unveiled at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium Monday by a partnership of federal, state and local officials. It's the result of more than a year of work.
Among the plan's recommendations are restoring wetlands and other crucial habitat and upgrading municipal sewers to stop the overflow of raw sewage into the lakes.