Great Lakes Today

Draken Harald Hårfagre

The replica Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre has sailed out of the Great Lakes, wrapping up a contentious visit.

Veronica Volk

Some of the migratory songbirds that pass through the Great Lakes region are already on the move, and volunteers at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory are preparing for them.


Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

Each year, ports on the Great Lakes dredge tons of material to keep shipping lanes open. But disposing of the spoils is a big problem. The Port of Toledo has a creative approach: farming.

The Port of Toledo dredges more sediment than any port on the Great Lakes – up to a million cubic yards every year.  The idea of reusing sediment as soil for agriculture is new for the Great Lakes region and ideal for Lake Erie’s western basin.

Chris Caya WBFO News

A new coalition has been formed to "preserve and protect" Buffalo's waterfront. Nicole Matteson, Executive Director of 21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor says, the goal is to ensure that the land off Furhmann Boulevard stays in the public trust. Matteson says, the best way to protect it for future generations is dedicate it as parkland.

National Park Service

Mayors of 123 American and Canadian cities are challenging a Wisconsin city’s plan to divert water from Lake Michigan. This is in direct opposition to the Great Lakes governors who approved the precedent-setting request in June. 

Ben Thorp

Alpena, Mich. -- The research vessel Storm sits in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary -- in water is so clear you can just make out the bottom. Divers prep their gear on deck and then sink into the waters of Lake Huron.


LBJ visit to Lake Erie led to cleaner waters

Aug 22, 2016
PHOTO: LBJ Presidential Library / PHOTO: LBJ Presidential Library

It’s been decades since Lake Erie was considered dead due to years of industrial pollution. President Lyndon B. Johnson was a powerful force in bringing Lake Erie back to life and changing the fate of the Great Lakes for the better.


Elizabeth Miller

Last part of series

With dangerous currents a fact of life along the Great Lakes, officials are looking for ways to limit the number of drownings. 


Jim Kennard

Rochester-based explorers say they have located the Washington, a sloop that sank more than 200 years ago off the coast of Oswego, N.Y.


Elizabeth Miller

Third part of a series

Dangerous currents and drownings go hand-in hand across the Great Lakes. But many are concentrated in Southwest Michigan’s Berrien Co.


Michigan Sea Grant

Second part of a series

Powerful currents on the Great Lakes have caused more than 150 drownings since 2002, according to researchers. And those currents can appear suddenly, says Mark Breederland, an educator with Michigan Sea Grant.

Elizabeth Miller

First part of a series

In her family’s backyard overlooking Lake Erie, Melissa Zirkle watched as her son Jermaine joined some friends in the water. On that July day in 2013, she was building steps in the backyard.

“I kept looking and checking on him, and he was standing in the water and he was laughing, having fun with the other kids,” Zirkle says, recalling the scene along Ohio's shoreline. “Then about two minutes later, I heard cries for help.”

More marine sanctuaries coming to Great Lakes

Aug 11, 2016

At the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, N.Y., a popular exhibit is Derrick Boat 8, which came to rest at the bottom of Lake Ontario in 1984.


Paul Skawinski, University of Wisconsin

There are lots of invasive species vying for the public’s attention -- especially in the Great Lakes -- so researchers trying to raise awareness about a tiny aquatic animal called the spiny water flea have to get creative.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The lake sturgeon can live over 100 years, weigh over 200 pounds and grow up to eight feet long. But it has had a fragile existence in the Great Lakes region.


NOAA

Wedged between Fletcher Street and the waterfront of Alpena, Mich., is a long row of warehouses. It used to be a paper mill, but these days it's home to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


What's next for oil pipeline under Great Lakes?

Jul 20, 2016

The hot button issue of oil pipelines continues to get a lot of attention. In the Great Lakes there’s a long running battle over a crude and natural gas line that runs through a waterway connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.


Gillibrand proposes invasive species legislation

Jul 18, 2016
U.S. Geological Survey

The issue of invasive species threatening the region’s waterways is getting more attention. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, along with other state and local officials, gathered at Buffalo's Outer Harbor Monday to announce federal legislation aimed at preventing invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

Artist paddles the Erie Canal from Buffalo to NYC

Jul 11, 2016
by ANGELICA A. MORRISON

Marie Lorenz is a well-known nautical artist lead by her sense of adventure. Her newest quest started in Buffalo.

In a rowboat she made herself, she is paddling down the Erie Canal to her home in New York City a trip that's about 500 miles.


Algae Bloom forecast for the Great Lakes

Jul 7, 2016
Submitted Art

There is some good news in store for the Great Lakes. A federal agency said Thursday morning that forecasts show the western side of Lake Erie will experience a less severe algae bloom this year.

Big push for Great Lakes watershed preservation

Jul 5, 2016
by ANGELICA A. MORRISON

On a typical mild weather day it’s not unusual to find nature lovers and a few hikers exploring the trails on the Jackson Falls preserve, located in the western New York town of Aurora.


Darrielle Snipes

When the Republican National Convention opens in Cleveland this month, security measures may cause problems for boaters on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. 

With less than three weeks to go to the convention, the U.S. Coast Guard is setting up special restrictions on some waters – as well as a spot for protesters.

Jim Kennard

A schooner that sank off the shores of New York in Lake Ontario almost a century and a half ago has been discovered.

Underwater explorer Jim Kennard says he and his colleagues Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens were canvassing miles of lake bottom with a remote control video camera when it happened.

"All of a sudden you see something and the adrenaline kicks in."

Local officials concerned about impact of phosphorus from Ohio

Jun 11, 2016

Environmental and state leaders in New York are calling on Ohio to get its phosphorous run-off into Lake Erie under control.

BY ELIZABETH MILLER

Security and rescue operations on Great Lakes waters are changing. The U.S. Coast Guard is planning to temporarily shut down eight Coast Guard stations around the Great Lakes. It’s the beginning of a larger transition aimed at improving the efficiency of stations around the nation. But Ashtabula, Ohio, doesn’t want to see its Coast Guard unit go. 


Invaders of the Great Lakes... Sea Lamprey

Jun 1, 2016
by ANGELICA A. MORRISON

The sharp scent of chemicals bites the air as Jason Krebill wades in a creek and pulls out two slippery, slimy, parasitic creatures.

He was holding dead adult sea lampreys one in each hand. They were about two feet long, with suction-cupped mouths, lined with nearly a dozen rows of sharp teeth.

Great Lakes watershed gets new signs

May 20, 2016

The next time you’re taking a leisurely drive through the region’s Great Lakes watershed, you'll find some new signage displayed along the way.

U.S EPA

This month, the Ohio EPA could place the western Lake Erie basin on its impaired list, a biennial list of waters that do not meet state water quality standards. And with harmful algal blooms posing a threat to drinking and recreational waters every summer, advocates say there’s a clear need to clean up Lake Erie.  But is the impaired designation the solution?


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