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 through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Ways to Connect

It’s 6 A.M. when trucks and SUVS begin pulling into an empty parking lot in Girard, Pennsylvania, a town outside of Erie with about 3,000 people. The vehicles bear license plates from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware.


A graduate student is catching attention on social media for some spreading some fish-themed holiday cheer.

Katherine O'Reilly recently came up with a way to share her love of marine life -- and puns -- on Twitter by creating the hashtag #25DaysofFishmas.

NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY PHOTO /Ice boom installation 2015.

After several days of tough winter weather, crews finished up the installation of the Lake Erie/Niagara River Ice Boom Thursday.

Climate change is an issue of concern for many around the world. Scientists say the signs are everywhere. Here in the Great Lakes region, the evidence of regional climate change can be seen in every day.


Mark Mattson, the president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Swim Drink Fish Canada, has advice for keeping waters clean and safe.

Tuesday, a coalition of Great Lakes organizations sent a notice of intent to sue the U.S. EPA.  They say the agency isn’t moving fast enough to clean up Lake Erie.

The filing from conservation, environmental, and boating groups is the latest effort to designate western Lake Erie as an “impaired” body of water. 

Cleveland’s own Charles Brush created the world’s first electric wind turbine in the 1800’s. He used it to power his home. And since then, wind turbines have popped up all over the world -- but never in the Great Lakes.

That could change with Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine demonstration to be located eight to 10 miles off Cleveland’s shore.  


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."

The deep freeze has arrived in Great Lakes states and that means one thing: It's time for the Lake Erie/Niagara River Ice Boom.


For most of the year, two ferries serve the village of Put-In-Bay, which sits on an island in Lake Erie. But in winter, ferry service stops and residents face a quieter, more isolated, lifestyle.


The Great Lakes region is getting another maritime-themed school -- this time in Cleveland.

 


The Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School will open in July with 100 to 120 9th graders for the school year, officials announced this week.

Every year, hundreds of volunteers work to clear plastic bags and other garbage from areas along the Great Lakes and its tributaries.


Congress' approval of a spending bill will renew funding for a program that aids Great Lakes waters and surrounding lands.

The political waters remain murky regarding the topic of climate change – after president-elect Donald Trump’s flip-flopping on the issue.


Have you ever wondered where road salt comes from? One source is the Whiskey Island Cargill Salt Mine, which lies far below the floor of Lake Erie.

Officials in the United States and Canada have approved a plan to allow the level of Lake Ontario to fluctuate more -- a change that has been opposed by some residents. 


The big, strong Chinook salmon is a favorite of anglers on the Great Lakes. But New York and Michigan are reducing the number of Chinook they stock in the lakes and some are worried it could hurt the region's sport fishing economy.


The Great Lakes have their own miniature version of tsunamis – more than 100 times per year.  That’s according to new research led by the University of Wisconsin Madison.  The name of these waves – and the danger that comes with them – are relatively unknown to those in the region. 


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.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The 144-year-old shipwreck of a rare sailing vessel that typically wasn't used for long voyages on the Great Lakes has been found in deep water off Lake Ontario's New York shore, according to two underwater explorers.

Western New York-based explorers Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski announced Friday that they identified the wreck as the Black Duck in September, three years after initially coming across it while using side-scan sonar in 350 feet of water off Oswego, New York.

An upcoming conference in Cleveland will tackle marine debris, the pieces of plastic that wash up on the river, ocean, or Great Lake shores.  It's a issue that has affected the health and appearances of beaches around the world.  Marine debris can be anything in the lake that’s not supposed to be there – plastic bottles, grocery bags, or balloons.  It has a deadly effect on wildlife, especially birds.  

Meet the man who turned off the American Falls.

Col. Amos Wright is a retired US Army solider and engineer.  He and his wife Gloria live in Provo, Utah, where he spends time perfecting his golf game.


Michael Keene is author of the book, The Psychic Highway: How the Erie Canal Changed America. He describes how this sprawling transportation system changed the world, not just by transporting goods and people, but also ideas.

Michael Keene is author of the book, The Psychic Highway: How the Erie Canal Changed America. He describes how this sprawling transportation system changed the world, not just by transporting goods and people, but also ideas.

With so much written about the Erie Canal already, what made you decide to write this book?

Parks officials in New York are planning a project of historic significance: temporarily shutting off the American Falls.

That will dramatically alter a natural wonder that attracts millions of tourists from around the world.

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.

At the Maritime Academy of Toledo, students learn basics like math and English. They also take classes on  boatbuilding.

On a fall day in the boat lab, a few students are working on the inside of a small wooden boat. They’re gluing pieces of wood together along the inside of the boat before sanding it down.

What's killing birds on Lake Michigan?

Nov 14, 2016
Sam Corden

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is famous for its natural beauty.

But on this November day, the beach is littered with about two dozen dead birds: scoters, loons, ducks and others.


What's killing birds on Lake Michigan?

Nov 14, 2016

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is famous for its natural beauty.

But on this November day, the beach is littered with about two dozen dead birds: scoters, loons, ducks and others.

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