Dave Rosenthal

Dave Rosenthal is Managing Editor of Great Lakes Today, a collaboration of public media stations that is led by WBFO, ideastream in Cleveland in 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.

In the after-glow of Monday's eclipse, we can start looking forward to an even more exciting event for the Great Lakes region: the 2024 total solar eclipse.

The Asian carp captured this summer near the southern tip of Lake Michigan -- triggering a big scare -- apparently slipped past electric barriers.


On most summer days, you’ll find Capt. Rod MacDonald in the Maid of the Mist wheelhouse. It’s a few steps up from the top deck and the hundreds of tourists in blue rain slickers.


Will Congress give $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative -- or will President Trump be able to cut the money from the federal budget? How can a polluted river be restored to give an economic boost to cities like Buffalo, N.Y., and Duluth, Minn.? How is climate change affecting the lakes?

A new non-native species has been found in western Lake Erie, the EPA said Monday.

It's named Brachionus leydigii. And it's a type of zooplankton, which means it could be food for lots of fish.

Lake Ontario has dropped a foot since heavy spring rains swelled it to record levels. But it's still much higher than normal -- and that means the pain continues for homeowners and businesses along the shore.

So does the controversy over regulators who manage lake levels.

The EPA has released its annual report highlighting work under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative -- and environmentalists might be surprised by the high praise from Scott Pruitt.

In a statement accompanying the report, Pruitt, who leads the EPA, said the initiative "is protecting public health in the Great Lakes more than any other coordinated interagency effort in U.S. history."

Local officials say human error triggered the smelly black blob that appeared recently near the world-famous Niagara Falls.

In a lengthy statement, the Niagara Falls Water Board says the problem arose as a sedimentation basin was cleaned on July 29. An employee monitoring the operation was called away -- and returned to find that the water being pumped out was discolored.

New York's governor has ordered an investigation into the ugly, smelly black blob that fouled the Niagara River, a short distance from the world-famous falls.

The Niagara Falls, N.Y., water board says the mess -- which extended along the Maid of the Mist tour boat dock -- was created by weekend discharges from the local wastewater treatment plant. And it said those discharges were within limits set by the state.

As scientists watch for the spread of toxic algae blooms in western Lake Erie and other hotspots around the Great Lakes, it's important to remember the dangers for pets.

For months, the Trump on Earth podcast has been analyzing presidential policies such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and slashing support for the EPA. Great Lakes Today joined in for the latest episode, "What's at Stake for the Great Lakes," examining his proposal to eliminate $300 million from a restoration fund.   

On Tuesday, environmental advocates will be watching closely as a Congressional spending committee considers a $300 million restoration program for the Great Lakes.

Update: Committee vote is good news for the Great Lakes.

President Trump's 2018 budget plan eliminated the money, which has gone to a wide range of projects -- from cleaning up pollution to battling the Asian carp. Now, Congress has a chance to restore funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Sam Hendren

​As scientists forecast a significant algae bloom in Lake Erie this summer, environmental groups are calling for tougher government policies to reduce pollution from farms.

​As scientists forecast a significant algae bloom in Lake Erie this summer, environmental groups are calling for tougher government policies to reduce pollution from farms.


There's some good news from Illinois, where an Asian Carp was recently caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan.

In two weeks of intensive, follow-up monitoring, no bighead or silver Asian carp were found, a regional monitoring group says.  

Upset by continued flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shake up the bi-national group that helps to regulate the Great Lakes.

A company hired by the state of Michigan has released a 337-page report on alternatives to Line 5, the controversial petroleum pipeline that runs under the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac.

The report from Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems is not the last word on the pipeline owned by Enbridge, a Canadian company. Michigan is still seeking a separate risk assessment, after firing another contractor  that was supposed to handle that analysis.

New York's legislative session ended Thursday, as lawmakers approved a $55 million aid package for areas hit by continued flooding along Lake Ontario.

The package, hammered out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders, makes state grants available to property owners and businesses, as well as localities. 

New York Congressmen who represent the southern shore of Lake Ontario say a U.S.-Canada regulatory body should pay for damages caused by weeks of flooding.

Rep. Chris Collins said the International Joint Commission's new management plan for the lake is "a disaster." Rep. John Katko said the plan has "wreaked havoc."

Michigan officials have terminated a contract with a firm analyzing a controversial petroleum pipeline that runs through the Great Lakes, due to an employee's alleged conflict of interest.

The war of words between N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the International Joint Commission is continuing,  as residents along Lake Ontario deal with weeks of flooding.

In a letter to Cuomo, the IJC says flooding was triggered by heavy spring rains. And it rejects his suggestion that preventive counter-measures -- like releasing more water through a downstream dam -- should have been made.

Mayors from the Great Lakes region said Thursday that they will continue to fight against climate change -- despite President Trump's withdrawal from an international agreement.

"While the president of the United States has bowed out of the Paris Agreement, we are stepping up as cities to lead the charge against climate change," Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Mayor Paul Dyster said in a statement. He is the new chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

It began as a gimmick: a towering rubber duckie that promised to lure people to waterfront festivals around the world.

The cute, yellow giant has drawn thousands in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan. But now the artist who created that work is taking issue with a newer, larger version. 

Call it Duckie v. Duckie.

The Paris Climate Accord is designed to have a worldwide reach -- all the way to Paris Township, Mich., near the shore of Lake Huron.

And now that President Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement, we offer a summary of some climate-related issues in the Great Lakes region.

Finally, some good news for towns that been flooded for weeks by high waters in Lake Ontario.

The lake-wide average water level has remained at 75.85 m for two days in a row, says the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, which controls a huge dam downstream.