Dave Rosenthal

Great Lakes Today Managing Editor

Dave Rosenthal is Managing Editor of Great Lakes Today, a collaboration of public media stations that is led by WBFO, ideastream in Cleveland and WXXI in Rochester, and includes other stations in the region.

Dave comes to Buffalo from Baltimore, where he was the investigations/enterprise editor for The Sun. He led projects that won a number of honors, including the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism's Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award and the Investigative Reporters & Editors’ breaking news award. The newsroom’s work on the death of Freddie Gray was recognized by The American Society of News Editors, the Online News Association and the National Headliners Awards, in addition to being named a finalist for a 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

He began his journalism career as a reporter for the Roanoke Times and World-News, where he covered local government, the Virginia General Assembly and business. In Roanoke and Baltimore, he has reported on a wide range of topics and people, including a zoo architect in Seattle, the recovery of a Civil War ironclad off the Atlantic coast and the emerging market economy in the Soviet Union.

A native of New Britain, Conn., Dave has degrees from Wesleyan University and Boston University School of Law.

In his spare time, he can be found biking the roads and trails around Buffalo – and cheering on various sports teams, including the UConn Huskies.

States surrounding the Great Lakes have a recurring nightmare about proposals to siphon off water for parched areas in U.S. or other countries.

So they might be staggered by suggestions from NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti, who said a water pipeline from the lakes to cities like Phoenix was "part of our future.”  

A new report sums up the crazy winter that brought unusually warm temperatures to the Great Lakes region -- as well as some brutal Lake Effect snowstorms.

Toronto recorded its highest February temperature -- 66 degrees -- on Feb. 23, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. The following day, more records were set in Syracuse (71), Binghamton, N.Y. (70), and Erie, Pa., (77).

A budget proposal to slash federal funds for the Great Lakes cleanup is being skewered in the opinion pages of the region's newspapers.

In Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and other Great Lakes states, editorials have called the draft proposal "foolish," "unacceptable" and a "job-killer."

A new book by Michigan poet Cindy Hunter Morgan breathes life into shipwrecks that dot the floor of the Great Lakes.

"Harborless" is her re-imagining of tragic moments when the Philadelphia, Chicora and other ships were lost. 

President Donald Trump took aim Tuesday at a rule that outlines the reach of the Clean Water Act, saying the rule was a "massive power grab" by federal regulators. But six attorneys general vowed to fight the rollback -- with lawsuits if necessary.

Add this to the unexpected news coming out of the Great Lakes region: a huge fireball tearing across the midwest skies early Monday, headed for Lake Michigan.

Remarkable video from several sources, including a police dashboard camera, shows a blue-green fireball searing the night sky.

Areas along the Great Lakes are bracing for big lake effect snows this weekend -- and there probably will be more this winter.

The reason: Water temperatures on all five lakes are higher than normal, so little ice has formed.

The U.S. government is seeking public comment on plans to protect historic shipwrecks by creating a new national marine sanctuary in Lake Michigan.

On Monday, Jan. 9, NOAA began taking comments on its plan to protect 1,075 square miles of the lake. 

After seeing Donald Trump's appointees for agencies such as the EPA, Rep. Brian Higgins is concerned that the new administration will roll back environmental protections.

The Western New York Democrat is a longtime leader in revitalizing Buffalo's waterfront. In an interview Monday with WBFO, he noted that there have been have been many successes, including the revival of the once-dead Buffalo River.

"People have become complacent. ... " he added. "Now they're going to get blind-sided."

New heat maps from NOAA show the startling change in water temperatures across the Great Lakes this year.

Back in 2014, the heat map shows a bluish scene, illustrating cool temperatures. But this year, the map in late November temps is all yellows and oranges.

The National Weather Service says the season's first lake effect snow is likely this weekend. That could be a harsh beginning to winter.

In the Great Lakes region, the effect kicks in when dry arctic air speeds over large expanses of warm water.

Donald Trump's election victory came with plenty of support from the Great Lakes region -- unofficial returns show him winning five of the eight states.

But in the aftermath of the election, environmental advocates were trying to determine how his presidency will affect the region, especially in light of his pledge to defund the Environmental Protection Agency.

A $500,000 fine in a federal consent decree is the latest environmental penalty for a Pennsylvania coke company based on the Lake Erie shoreline.

And the fine -- which mirrors penalties at a sister plant near Buffalo -- is the latest reminder of the toxic industrial legacy of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes are much warmer than usual, and that will be a factor in limiting ice formation this winter, the National Weather Service says in its "freeze-up outlook."

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the "Black Friday Storm," a swirl of rain, wind and waves that left about 50 people dead on Lake Erie.

Each summer, many beaches along the Great Lakes are shut down because the waters have high bacteria levels.  But figuring out exactly when to close a beach is difficult, and scientists are trying out a new test that could lead to safer swimming.


The U.S. and Canada announced Wednesday that they have finalized a plan for restoring and protecting Lake Superior's water quality.

A 96-page document from the Lake Superior Partnership outlines major threats such as invasive species and climate change. It also lists priorities for preserving the relatively clean waters, including ending the release of nine toxic substances.

Ken Merryman

An eerie video takes you deep into Lake Superior, where a century-old shipwreck lies, with masts and rigging nearly intact. Explorers Ken Merryman, Jerry Eliason and Kraig Smith recently used a remote camera to photograph their find: the 187-foot Antelope. The coal-hauling freighter sank in rough waters in October, 1897.

If you're a Great Lakes geek, you've got to love @twoyellowbuoys on Twitter.  The cheeky account is loaded with data and photos courtesy of a pair of buoys stationed on Lake Michigan by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. We wanted to know more about the buoys -- Michigan City and Wilmette -- so we asked them for an interview. They managed to squeeze it in between taking measurements and enjoying the sunsets.

Angelica Morrison, Great Lakes Today

To mark New York's Invasive Species Awareness Week, we asked Andrea Locke of Buffalo State to answer some questions on the issue. As Coordinator of the Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management office, she has all the answers.

National Park Service

On Tuesday, governors of the eight Great Lakes states approved a precedent-setting request by a Wisconsin city to take water from one of the lakes. The request sparked months of controversy.

National Park Service

This week, a decision is expected in a fight along the Great Lakes. Waukesha, Wisc., wants to draw water from the lakes. No one's ever made a request like that, and some worry that more will follow. Great Lakes Today Managing Editor Dave Rosenthal discusses the issue with Susan Bence of WUWM in Milwaukee.

Photo courtesy of State of NY

New at Canalside: a "Cool Globes" public art exhibition. The 12 sculptures offer messages for people and businesses to take action on climate change.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release announcing the installation, “New York has led the nation on climate change and this project highlights our continued commitment to protecting our planet for future generations."

The globes will be on display until November.

Dave Rosenthal

Here's your chance to watch local officials grapple with water safety, climate change and other big issues. On Thursday and Friday, tune into the Great Lakes Now coverage of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative annual meeting. It's live from Niagara Falls.