Elizabeth Miller

Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls 2016 the warmest year on record around the globe.  The surface temperature of the Great Lakes was also above average -- and that's not good news.


Great Lakes Today reporter Elizabeth Miller appeared on WVIZ/PBS program Ideas to discuss the release of a new study from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

The report details new measures -- including electric barriers, noise and an engineered channel -- to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes. 

In a long-awaited report, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says new measures are needed to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.

The report says the current defense at the Brandon Road lock in Illinois – an underwater electric barrier – should be beefed up. The Army Corps' recommended plan would add water jets and complex noises – like the underwater recordings of a boat motor. 


The first woman to lead the Coast Guard district that covers the Great Lakes is retiring Wednesday. 

In the two years Rear Admiral June Ryan has been Commander of the 9th District, the winters have been mild.  And there hasn’t really been a need for ice-breaking – what she calls the Coast Guard Great Lakes' greatest challenge.


Seventy-five years ago, the SPARS were created to take the job of thousands of Coast Guardsmen who had to leave their posts to fight in World War II. 

Mabel Johnson was one of them – she enlisted in 1943 and was first sent to Cleveland.  The 102-year old returned Thursday for a visit.


There’s more than just fish and sand in the Great Lakes.   According to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Michigan, there are over 6,000 shipwrecks in the lakes – and an estimated 30,000 lives lost.


Take a look beneath the surface of Lake Erie, as divers survey the Admiral, which sank in a storm in 1942. More than 30 men died on the tug and the barge it was hauling.

One of the divers, Marc Duncan, took underwater video during the survey.

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.

Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

Congress has taken its first step to ensure that Great Lakes restoration continues in 2018 – contrary to President Trump's budget plan.

Congress has taken its first step to ensure that Great Lakes restoration continues in 2018 – contrary to President Trump's budget plan.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee released the 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which includes full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

July 19 update: Committee vote is good news for the Great Lakes.

It’s easier to get to Sheila Consaul’s summer home by boat than by foot.  It sits at the edge of an Ohio state park 30 miles east of Cleveland.

“Unless you have a boat, the only way to get here is to park in Mentor Headlands Beach parking lot, walk out through the dunes area to the beach itself, walk along the beach, and then you have to get up on the breakwall,” she says.

  

When you think of a summer home, you probably think of a big house right on the beach, overlooking the ocean. But some people dream of a less conventional place to spend the summer…like a Lake Erie lighthouse.

Here's more about our visit to Sheila Consaul's lighthouse. 

"Anyone there? Please, tell us - we're all tired and we're all hungry. Please come back!"

Fake distress calls like this one placed via marine radio can sound identical to real ones. And the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District, which covers the Great Lakes, takes every call seriously.

But the number of fake calls has skyrocketed this year.


Great Lakes Today reporter Elizabeth Miller appeared on Science Friday to talk about how President Trump's proposed budget might impact the Great Lakes.  

Other guests on the program included Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan, author of the Death and Life of the Great Lakes, Wayne State University professor Donna Kashian, and University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee professor Harvey Bootsma.

Great Lakes Today reporter Elizabeth Miller recently appeared on the WVIZ/PBS program Ideas to to discuss Troubled Waters, a recent series looking at the impact of President Trump's proposed budget cuts on the Great Lakes.

Part 3 in a series about President Trump's budget 

A lot of attention has focused on President Trump's proposal to eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which doles out $300 million a year for various projects. But his "skinny budget" has other cuts -- including the National Sea Grant program -- that would affect the region.


President Trump's 2018 budget eliminates $300 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has funded wetlands restorations, pollution cleanup and much more.  

This interactive graphic shows how major federal agencies such as the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service have spread the money among the eight Great Lakes states.

Imagine one of the Great Lakes on a sunny day – the water is clear and kids are playing in it.  But the day after a big storm, that same lake can reek of raw sewage.

It’s caused by a combined sewer overflow – a common problem in over 700 cities and towns nationwide.   Some cities are finding a solution underground.

June marks the beginning of beach season in the Great Lakes – but it also means more people are at risk of drowning.  What does it mean to see a red flag at the beach?

 

Boating fatalities increased 12 percent from 2015 to 2016, according the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard  released its 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics report this week.  

The more rain we have this spring, the bigger the Lake Erie algae bloom this summer -- and it’s been a wet spring.

Algae blooms in western Lake Erie are primarily due to excess nutrients from fertilizer chemicals running off farm land.  Some blooms can become toxic, shutting down beaches or sickening people and pets.

Rain helps phosphorus travel from farms to the lake through rivers including the Maumee in western Ohio – and tracking from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can predict the size of an algae bloom.

The Trump administration released details of its 2018 budget plan today. As expected, it eliminates a $300 million program to help the Great Lakes. But that isn’t the only environmental program targeted.