TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (CBS) — The United States is combining forces with our neighbors to the north to keep the Great Lakes safe and pure.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Catherine Catalane reports, it is a joint effort and a commitment by the United States and Canada for a newly-revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Both environmental chiefs met in Washington to sign the updated version – Lisa Jackson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Canadian environment minister Peter Kent.

The agreement was first signed 1972. It identifies dozens of highly contaminated areas needing cleanups and calls for reducing toxic pollution and levels of nutrients that cause algae blooms.

The latest version seeks quicker action on water quality threats and includes new sections on invasive species such as Asian carp, restoring native species and habitat, and preparing coastal communities for climate change.

Jackson said protecting the Great Lakes benefits the environment and the health and economies of communities that depend on the freshwater seas.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

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