As the tar sands industry continues to grow, a pressing issue is finding ways to transport the crude oil to midwest refineries. Some are hoping to ship tar sands across the Great Lakes, while others fear another disaster like the Kalamazoo spill.
Recently, the EPA denied Enbridge’s request to extend the deadline for dredging sections of the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is still trying to clean up the remaining tar sands crude oil in the Kalamazoo watershed from the spill three years ago.
We check in monthly 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 petcoke piles and Asian carp.
The sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley claimed the lives of 33 crewmembers on Lake Michigan. The Bradley wreck doesn’t get talked about as much as the Edmund Fitzgerald does, but it is a story worth remembering.
This week we start our segment Great Lakes Month in Review. We'll take time each month to recap environmental news from around the Great Lakes Basin with Chicago-based commentator and journalist Gary Wilson.
One of the topics under discussion at the Great Lakes Conference was that of Waukesha, Wisconsin, a city outside of the Great Lakes basin that says they need water diverted from the lakes because their wells are contaminated by radium.
Organizations from across the Great Lakes region are converging in Milwaukee for Great Lakes Week. Great Lakes journalist and commentator Gary Wilson is at this year’s conference. Wilson says two of the major issues are low lake levels and water divergence.
For the United States, the War of 1812 took a turn for the better on this date 200 years ago. American naval forces defeated the British in The Battle of Lake Erie. The victory secured the lake and ensured that Michigan and Ohio would remain the sovereign territory of the U.S.A.
Texans and Oklahomans don’t just clash over football. They also have a long history of battling over water, with the most recent conflict playing out in the Supreme Court. Justices recently ruled that the Tarrant Regional Water District, located in North Texas, cannot divert water from Oklahoma river basins.
At the Council of Great Lakes Governors 2013 Leadership Summit, Great Lakes Governors, along with environmentalists and Canadian officials, discuss the possibility of separating the Mississippi River basin to stop the threat from Asian Carp.
This weekend Gov. Snyder will welcome Governors from across the Great Lakes region to the 2013 leadership summit on Mackinac Island. Great Lakes journalist and commentator Gary Wilson previews the summit and reflects on the Great Lakes Advisory Board's meeting in Chicago.
Wilson is the former co-editor of the Great Lakes Town Hall. He’s a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and currently writes for Great Lakes Echo.
According to a 2012 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, bacterial levels of Great Lakes’ beaches exceeded public health standards more than beaches in any other region. Contaminated water can cause illness and force beaches to close. Joan Rose is the Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research. She discusses beach health and water systems. She spoke with Current State host Mark Bashore.
A new study released in April finds Asian carp may in fact be reaching the Great Lakes. The Asian carp is an invasive species with an appetite large enough to potentially decimate the food chain ecosystem of the Great Lakes. There have been many efforts to contain the spread of the fish in the Chicago Area Waterway System to connects to Lake Michigan. The study now raises new questions about the effectiveness of that system.
This year record low water levels have spurred the Michigan government to spend over $20 million on dredging. Many hope dredging will enable recreational and commercial boating to continue, preventing revenue loss.
The dependent relationship between energy and water is important, but in a water-rich state like Michigan, it’s easy to overlook. Skip Pruss discusses the water-energy nexus and its potential impact on the future of the Great Lakes. Pruss is a Principal at 5 Lakes Energy and former Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Today on Current State: Curtis Hertel on plans to run for Senate; former congressman advocates for mental health; Lansing City Council president's response to budget proposal; and measuring water quality over the years in the Great Lakes.
It’s been 100 years since the International Joint Commission conducted a Great Lakes-wide bacteriological study. Scientists are now looking to recreate the 1913 research; the 100 years study will assess how water quality in the Basin has changed over time.
Scientists have conducted extensive research on the plastic-filled gyres of the ocean. This past summer, however, researchers decided to look inland for the first time and measure plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Some of the groups' water samples had concentrations of plastic greater than those found anywhere else. The study has resulted in several other projects. Chemistry professor Dr. Sherri Mason discusses the plastic pollution in the basin.
Today on Current State: The iconic SS Badger's future; gender imbalance in medical research; summer road construction East Lansing; the Safe Patient Care Act; and a preview of the Wharton Center's remaining lineup.
The iconic Michigan steamship, the SS Badger, may lose its permit to dump spent coal into Lake Michigan. The Ludington company that owns and operates the Badger, Lake Michigan Carferry, expects to hear soon from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about its request to continue the practice.
The 55th annual Detroit Boat Show runs now through Sunday at Cobo Center. The expo showcases everything from power boats to pontoons, and even a little Great Lakes history. This year is the bicentennial of the epic Battle of Lake Erie, which occurred during the War of 1812.
The Great Lakes’ record-low water levels are rightly receiving all of the attention now, but evidence is growing that Michigan’s fragile groundwater resources are quietly becoming a concern for the future.
Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona and author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to do About It,” knows Michigan well and shares his insights.
Today on Current State: City Pulse's Andy Balaskovitz on the latest Lansing city council squabble, potential sale of city's Board of Water and Light; Neighbors in Action features ePIFanyNOW; solutions to record low water levels in Great Lakes ; an "owl prowl"; and Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Doug Rothwell.
This month Lake Michigan and Lake Huron hit record low water levels. The receding water is causing environmental and economic problems in the Great Lakes Basin.
To offset the water levels, Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a $21 million budget to dredge harbors. Patrick Doran, director of conservation for the Michigan Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Jon Allan, director of the Office of the Great Lakes, discuss dredging and the future of the Great Lakes’ water levels.