It’s harvest time in parts of Michigan, and farmers along Lake Michigan are starting to bring in their asparagus crop. The cherry harvest will follow by early July. Growers are confident this season will be better than 2012, when an early warm-up followed by a quick killing frost destroyed much of the fruit crop. Last year’s scenario also created another problem: many of the migrant laborers who traditionally arrive here for seasonal work did not come to Michigan. Now, though the weather may be better, farmers fear a similar labor shortage could happen again this year.
Over the past 25 years, environmental protection measures have greatly improved the health of the Great Lakes. However, the region’s waterways are facing new issues. According to the International Joint Commission's latest progress report, warmer temperatures are having a dramatic effect on the ecological health of the Great Lakes.
Lana Pollack chairs the commission’s U.S. delegation. She joins us today to discuss the past, present and future of cleaning up the Great Lakes.