Great Lakes Today

Great Lakes Today, a collaboration of public media stations, was created to highlight issues affecting the lakes. The main partners are WBFO (Buffalo), ideastream (Cleveland) and WXXI (Rochester). Other stations in the region will also contribute reports. Great Lakes Today is funded in part by a grant from The Joy Family Foundation.

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People are catching record-breaking salmon in Lake Ontario this year. A report from the Department of Environmental Conservation says veteran anglers are reporting some of the best fishing in decades.

File Photo / WBFO News

Nine people drowned in the Great Lakes over Labor Day weekend, resulting in the deadliest Labor Day weekend since the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project began tracking drownings in 2010.

WBFO file photo

There may soon be some new faces at the helm of the International Joint Commission, which helps protect and regulate the Great Lakes. The White House has announced the names of the three new commissioners for the IJC.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO News

Researchers have made a startling discovery in Lake Erie -- two species of exotic zooplankton that originally hail from the southern hemisphere.

by ANGELICA A. MORRISON

The Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper announced the completion of the habitat restoration project for the Buffalo River Monday morning.

Fifteen teachers, several from New York State, sailed off Monday morning  on research vessel called The Lake Guardian.


Lindsay France / Cornell University Photography

A group of researchers at Cornell University has developed a new, faster test to determine whether bacteria are present in beach water. The team will be field-testing their system on Lake Erie near Buffalo July 16-18.

Pruitt out as head of EPA

Jul 5, 2018

Scott Pruitt has resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday via Twitter.

Pruitt has been dogged by criticism over his use of EPA staffers and funds. But in the Great Lakes region, moves by Trump and Pruitt to roll back environmental regulations also triggered concern.

Algae bloom taking shape on Lake Erie

Jul 5, 2018
NOAA

Algae blooms have started in western Lake Erie, and researchers say the unusually warm weather may make things worse.


President Trump traveled to Wisconsin today for the ground-breaking of a sprawling high-tech factory where Foxconn will make LCD panels.

Wisconsin used huge incentives to attract the Taiwan company's plant, which is expected to employ some 13,000 workers.  

But the plant also has sparked debate because it will use millions of gallons of water each day from Lake Michigan.

Trump rescinds Obama order on Great Lakes protections

Jun 22, 2018

President Donald Trump has overridden an Obama executive order meant to protect the oceans and Great Lakes. It was written in response to the 2010 BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only is there no mention of the spill in the new policy, but it references the importance of oil drilling as well as commercial fishing, shipping, and other industries.


Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

It looks like Lake Ontario may have already reached its peak high for the season, which is good news for lakefront home owners and business owners.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to soon release its management plans to combat harmful algal blooms in 12 lakes. The Great Lakes Research Consortium is also commissioning five projects to address the outbreaks and other environmental issues.

Canada is moving to legalize recreational use of marijuana, and officials predict that it’s likely to happen by the end of the year. As pot suppliers gear up for the change. one huge greenhouse being built near the U.S. border is raising some concerns.


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Town of Hamburg Police report, despite the efforts of first responders on scene, a man pulled from the waters of Lake Erie Wednesday night has passed away at Mercy Hospital.

Consumer Reports / Black legged tick removal

Environmental experts are debunking old myths when it comes to removing a tick.


Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

A board that helps oversee the level of Lake Ontario says that while water levels across the lake and the St. Lawrence River have begun their typical spring rise, conditions are a lot better than they were a year ago. There were months of very high lake levels and shoreline damage in 2017.

File Photo / Lockport Police

Nearly $3 million in additional relief funding is going to communities in five upstate New York counties along Lake Ontario to help them recover from last year's flooding.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York State lawmakers have included $40 million in this year's budget to help property owners who are still cleaning up from last year's flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Last year, flooding along Lake Ontario caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses. And  in some areas, it drove people from their homes for months.

One neighborhood in Hamlin, N.Y., was hit particularly hard. Now, residents in the community near Rochester say they fear another harsh flood season.


Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking the International Joint Commission to maximize outflows of water from Lake Ontario.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Regulators are pushing a record amount of water out of Lake Ontario to avoid a repeat of last year's flooding.

In northern Michigan, people who live near a landfill have been dealing with contaminated drinking water for decades. A new plan for the landfill makes them even more concerned.

North County Public Radio

Floodgates are being opened at a New York Power Authority dam in Massena to spill excess water from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River.

Wisconsin factory sparks concern for Great Lakes water use

Mar 7, 2018

Foxconn Technology's plans for a Wisconsin factory were announced last summer with great fanfare. President Donald Trump led a White House event highlighting the factory that Foxconn says could eventually employ 13,000 people.


Great Lakes lobbying campaign aims at Congress

Mar 6, 2018

Many advocates for the Great Lakes are in Washington, D.C., this week to push back against President Trump's proposal to slash funding for the region. They want Congress to continue its bipartisan support on issues such as cleaning up pollution and protecting drinking water.

Pollution cleanup progresses along Lake Ontario

Mar 5, 2018

Just off Lake Ontario in Irondequoit Bay, Dave Hulburt is doing some work at the BayCreek Paddling Center.

The shop is closed in winter, but it’s unusually warm and sunny by the water. A few cars drive by, a flock of geese flies overhead, but other than that it’s quiet on the dock.

“As for the water quality right here, our staff swims in the creek every day in the summer time,” he says. “We haven’t grown any extra legs or anything.”

Canada and the province of Ontario recently released their plan to combat toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.  Phosphorus is the primary cause of the blooms that turn parts of the lake green most summers.

The U.S. and Canada hope to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40 percent, from 2008 levels.  It’s all part of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.


In his lab at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, Greg Boyer stands beside his mass spectrometer. This machine is analyzing the chemical makeup of algae samples, specifically, those that produce deadly toxins.


by ANGELICA A. MORRISON

Out on farmland in western New York, near the shore of Lake Erie, is Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing. Here, they make more than just booze. They also raise fish.


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