Great Lakes

http://www.vermontlaw.edu/

It might be the “mother of all hiking trails.”  A devotee of the Great Lakes is proposing a nearly 11-thousand mile path that would circumnavigate all five of the lakes.

Flickr - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

The conversation around climate change often focuses on how it will disrupt human life. Scientists warn that food shortages, flooding in coastal cities, and deadly heatwaves are just a few of the potentially devastating consequences of a warming planet. But humans aren’t the only ones at risk. Even small changes in temperature could drastically alter the native habitats of plants and animals across the globe, including here in Michigan.

Flickr - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

The alewife was once the scourge of the Great Lakes. The small, silver herring made its way into the basin through the St. Lawrence River in the late 19th century and proceeded to wreak havoc on the ecosystem. If you were around the region in the 1960s, you might remember the stench of thousands of dead alewives washing up on Great Lakes beaches. Now, scientists are concerned with a decline in the population of this invasive species and how the shrinking numbers of alewives could impact their main predator, the popular Chinook salmon.

Satellite image of Great Lakes
Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, Current State checks in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we look at the latest developments in Flint’s drinking water problems, hear about a conference on toxic algae blooms, and look at what the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case could mean for Michigan’s energy policy.

Courtesy - John Murphy

Most Midwesterners are ready to thaw out after this cold and snowy winter. It's pretty exciting to see above 40 degree temperatures forecasted for next week. But there’s one group of people who aren’t ready to say goodbye to the ice and snow just yet: the North Coast Cycling Association in Bayfield, Wisconsin. They rely on a frozen Lake Superior for their Saturday trips to Madeline Island.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Winter is still holding a firm grasp on Michigan and much of the country. In a state surrounded by fresh water, it’s imperative that the Great Lakes and the rivers which feed them are kept open for commerce. That’s the job of the United States Coast Guard, which operates several icebreaking ships on the lakes.

WKAR File Photo

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.  

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we hear about progress on pet coke in Chicago, what’s next for fracking in Michigan, and how budget cuts could impact the fight against Asian carp in the basin.

Satellite image of Great Lakes
Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we look at how a lawsuit in Iowa could have implications for the Great Lakes, the latest in Flint’s water woes, and the problems that microfibers are causing for Great Lakes fish.

http://home.freshwater.uwm.edu/

Lots of things end up in Great Lakes that shouldn’t be there. Plastic bottles and microbeads, fertilizer runoff from farm fields, and invasive species are only a few. Now, add to that list prescription drugs. Researchers are increasingly worried about how chemicals from prescription medication could be impacting aquatic wildlife.

Satellite image of Great Lakes
Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson. Today, a look back at the biggest environmental stories from around the basin in 2014 for a Great Lakes Year in Review.

Courtesy Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth

The populations of an invasive snail in the Great Lakes may be increasing, according to a new study. Researchers from ten universities including Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University have found “faucet snails” in more areas along the Great Lakes coastline than experts previously thought.

http://www.sandhillcity.com/

When you think about surfing, your imagination probably takes you to places like Hawaii or California. You think palm trees, lots of sunshine, and bright blue water. Lake Michigan in November probably doesn’t cross your mind. But while the rest of us are raking leaves and breaking out our winter coats, Michigan surfers are making their way to the beach.

Flickr - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we talk about a summit on water resources led by the region’s mayors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s update to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Flickr - Brooke Singer

Starting in 2017, the state of Minnesota will ban the use of an antibacterial chemical in consumer products. Triclosan has been found in the waters and fish of the Great Lakes, and a number of health organizations in Canada are urging their government to ban the chemical as well.

Flickr - NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Residents of Toledo and northwest Ohio got the go-ahead to resume drinking city water yesterday. Since Saturday, more than 400,000 residents of the area had been warned not to consume or use the water after health officials determined unsafe levels of microcystin. The potentially deadly bacteria, which was likely created by an algae bloom in Maumee Bay on the west end of Lake Erie, can cause serious liver and nerve damage.

Flickr- Light Brigading

At the end of each month we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. 

Lake Superior Magazine’s September issue will includes its annual Best of the Lake list. The article highlights reader favorites in dozens of categories, from best spectacular views to best boat ride to best fish sandwich.

http://www.lmwt.org

Throughout the Great Lakes region there are many wonderful biking, hiking and kayaking trails. Imagine if all these pathways were connected into a giant international trekking system, a Great Lakes Coastal Trail.

Flickr - Dennis Jarvis

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we focus on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. The group includes 114 mayors of cities throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

Does Michigan have a future in aquaculture?

Jun 10, 2014
Flickr - Bytemarks

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production systems. But in the U.S., aquaculture remains a relatively small industry, used solely to grow aquatic plants or produce fish for stocking.

Flickr - michiganseagrant

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and Chicago-based journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we have more on the efforts to keep Asian carp and Waukesha, Wisconsin out of Lake Michigan.

amazon.com

On November 29, 1966, 28 men lost their lives on Lake Huron when the freighter, the SS Daniel J. Morrell, broke apart in a storm. One man survived, and he joins us on Current State today.

Dennis Hale is in Lansing to talk about his book, “Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor.”

Hale says he never questioned the ship's seaworthiness before what was to be the last voyage of the season that  year. 

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.  

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we’re focusing on the Council of Great Lakes Governors summit, which took place in Chicago this past weekend. Wilson had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Governor Rick Snyder.

Flickr - jpwbee

Ongoing concern over a proposed nuclear waste site very near Lake Huron took a new twist recently. A Canadian government review panel is exploring the viability of a new underground storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario.

Growing up Green

Apr 7, 2014

New documentary explores Great Lakes place-based education | Mon. Apr. 14 - 11:30pm WKAR HD  |

Flickr - BobboSphere

Last week, as much as 1,600 gallons of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, 20 miles from Chicago. After a week-long cleanup, authorities say they have found no further trace of spilled oil in the area. However, the political ramifications of the spill are likely to remain long after this incident. The BP refinery processes oil from tar sands found in Canada. Tar sands contain a thick petroleum that’s gaining popularity as a new energy source. New technology is making it easier to mine tar sands, but some worry that could increase the likelihood of more spills like the one last week.

Flickr - chefranden

At the end of each month on Current State, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

Grass carp, the overlooked Asian carp

Mar 18, 2014
Flickr - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Most people have heard about Asian Carp and the threat they pose to the Great Lakes. However, many don't understand what the label Asian carp means. There are many types of fish that fall under the Asian carp umbrella, each bringing their own unique peril to the Great Lakes basin. One type of Asian carp that is overlooked and underestimated is the grass carp.

Flickr - gbozik photography

With snow piled deep across the Great Lakes region, there are hopes that the upcoming melt will push lake levels higher. It’s a scenario envied by many in the American west, especially in California where residents are being hammered by the severest drought in three decades. 

Flickr - terrydu

Most people who live in the Mitten State have fond memories of time spent at one of the Great Lakes. Those memories are what fuel The Great Lakes Book Project. The book captures over 20 personal stories about life along the shoreline, exploring the powerful bond people across the region and the world have with the Great Lakes. Current State's Emanuele Berry speaks with the books publisher and editor Walter Blake Knoblock.

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