Lake Erie

Study: Warnings about contaminated fish fall short

Apr 25, 2017

It’s important to know that the food you’re eating  is safe—especially when it comes to fish caught in polluted waters.


Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few.

Now an unlikely industry has joined the search for solutions -- technology is taking on Lake Erie.


On a tiny beach at Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo, N.Y., Nate Drag scans the sand and driftwood. He's part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and he helps organize beach clean ups.
 "The closer you look, you can start seeing the plastic popping out," he says.
 


U.S. and Canadian commissioners representing the Great Lakes met in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday to hear from environmental groups and the public on the region’s progress.

The International Joint Commission's U.S. Chair, Lana Pollack, opened with a message: “What we’re here today to do is to hear from some experts, hear from the public, and thereby advise the governments in both countries as well as local jurisdictions on how lakes can best be protected."

Business sustainability on IJC agenda in Buffalo

Mar 27, 2017

On Tuesday, the International Joint Commission, a group that helps regulate the Great Lakes, is coming to Buffalo to listen to your concerns -- and discuss issues that are important to the Buffalo region.


How warm was winter on the Great Lakes? Plenty warm

Mar 24, 2017

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).

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget is out – and it eliminates the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which finances environmental projects all over the region.

The budget also zeroes out the $250 million allotted to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants, including 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide. Based at universities, Sea Grant programs focus on educating the public, outreach and research. 

Editorials blast Trump's proposed cuts for Great Lakes

Mar 9, 2017

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."

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

An Erie County Legislator and local advocates for Great Lakes cleanup say the Trump Administration's proposed cuts to such efforts would prove harmful not only to the water and wildlife in it but also the local economy.


NYPA

A sure sign that spring is just around the corner can be seen on the waters off of Buffalo. Crews from the New York Power Authority started the process of removing the nearly 1.66 mile long Lake Erie - Niagara River Ice Boom on Monday.

 

When the bars and restaurants in Put-in-Bay close at the end of summer, you might think the entire island shuts down. But a couple hundred hardy year-round islanders in Western Lake Erie stay put.  As winter sets in, eventually even the ferries shut down and the only way on and off is by plane.

NEW YORK POWER AUTHORITY PHOTO /Ice boom installation 2015.

The New York Power Authority is looking to use drones instead of helicopters or boats to inspect the ice boom between Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

Ice-free Great Lakes bringing lake effect snows

Jan 27, 2017

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.

U.S. marine sanctuary planned on Lake Michigan

Jan 6, 2017

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. 

Diver's view of Great Lakes: shipwrecks and evil mussels

Jan 4, 2017

Helen Domske is the senior coastal education specialist for New York Sea Grant and associate director of the University at Buffalo's Great Lakes Program. She's also an avid scuba diver, so we asked her about diving in the Great Lakes.

Wikipedia

The US Coast Guard has announced that it has suspended the search for the plane that disappeared over Lake Erie on Thursday night.

Across the Great Lakes, 2016 brought a lot of conflict, with battles over water diversion, petroleum pipelines and other issues.  


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.


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.  


Congressman worried about Trump appointees

Dec 19, 2016

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."

What's icy, metal and two miles long? A Great Lakes ice boom

Dec 19, 2016

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.

Environmentalists address plastics pollution in Great Lakes

Dec 14, 2016

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


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.

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. 


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.  

What is "lake effect" snow?

Nov 18, 2016

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.

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