Environment

Kim Smith-Woodford/Outdoor Afro

The Great Lakes region is home to millions of people of different races and ethnicities. But diverse backgrounds – and issues – aren’t always represented in environmental groups.

There are so many plans and programs in place to clean up the Great Lakes, it’s hard to keep track. In mid-October, environmentalists from across the region will meet to discuss their biggest challenges. 

Restoring wetlands, fish success stories, and the relationship between wildlife and microplastics will all be discussed at the conference hosted by the National Wildlife Federation’s Healing our Waters Coalition. 

Ohio EPA

The Ohio EPA on Wednesday turned over of $2.3 million in civil penalties against the owners of the Rover pipeline enforcement to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Mott Foundation

Historically, the environmental movement hasn’t always been welcoming to people of color – and issues that are important to them. But to change the problem, you first have to recognize it – and for advocacy groups, it took two events in 2014 to make them reconsider their approach.

Lorie Shaull/Flickr

The environmental movement started more than a century ago. Theodore Roosevelt was known as the conservation president, and there’s a famous 1903 photo of him with the Sierra Club’s founder.

Western Lake Erie’s algae bloom is in full swing – and the water is a sickly green.  

At Maumee Bay State Park near Toledo, Ohio, the lake looks like it’s covered in paint. Thick lines of scum swirl around as the sun beats down.

 

Snot otter. Lasagna lizard.

Pick your favorite nickname for the Eastern hellbender salamander.

Pan Demin/Shutterstock

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the NEXUS natural gas pipeline, which would run across parts of Summit and Stark Counties in Ohio.

Lake Erie algea
WKSU

A new report outlines specific risks to Ohio if proposed federal budget cuts to the U.S. EPA become a reality.

The disease mostly affects Red and White Oak trees.
PARVIN / FLICKR

Akron officials are warning residents to look out for a fungal disease killing oak trees in the city’s north and west sides.

Oak wilt can kill red and white oak trees within days or weeks by cutting off supplies of water and nutrients. The disease is transmitted by insects through open wounds or broken limbs.

Ohio EPA

An analysis from Bloomberg finds that the Rover Pipeline has received more environmental violations than any other major interstate natural gas pipeline built in the past two years. That includes damage in Ohio.

Brent Deppe is taking me on a tour of the farm supply business, called Key Cooperative, that he helps to manage in Grinnell, Iowa. We step though the back door of one warehouse, and our view of the sky is blocked by a gigantic round storage tank, painted white.

"This is the liquid nitrogen tank," Deppe explains. "It's a million-and-a-half gallon tank."

Nitrogen is the essential ingredient for growing corn and most other crops. Farmers around here spread it on their fields by the truckload.

In 2011, the National Park Service put in place a policy to encourage national parks to end the sale of bottled water. The aim was to cut back on plastic litter.

It was not actually an outright ban — but 23 out of 417 national parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, implemented restrictions on bottled water sales. The parks encourage visitors to use tap water and refillable bottles instead.

Now, The Trump administration has reversed this Obama-era policy.

WYSO

Some Clark County residents are pushing back against a proposed mining project in Mad River Township. Opposition to the project has been growing louder after company Enon Sand and Gravel announced plans for the quarry project last year.

Sam Hendren

Ohio officials have long stressed the issues toxic algal blooms can cause for the state’s tourism industry. A new study says the blooms have also cost homeowners on two of Ohio's largest lakes more than $150 million in the past six years.

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.


The Trump administration has begun the process of rolling back tough fuel standards for America's car and light truck fleet.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department have opened the public comment period on the rewriting of standards for greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025.

Lake Erie shore line in Sandusky, Ohio.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Environmental advocates are warning Ohioans that the state’s land, air and water are all at risk if the proposed cuts to the U.S. EPA are implemented.

A plan working its way through Congress could cut the U.S. EPA by 8 percent. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Moms Clean Air Force, say this poses a threat to Ohio’s most valuable resources, such as Lake Erie.

The year 2016 was the warmest on record for the planet as a whole, surpassing temperature records that date back 137 years, according to an annual report compiled by scientists around the globe.

For global temperatures, last year surpassed the previous record-holder: 2015.

Since President Trump took office in January, enforcement of environmental laws has dropped dramatically, compared with past administrations. A study released by the Environmental Integrity Project finds that $12 million in civil penalties have been collected from violators in 26 cases between January and the end of July.

Editor's note, Aug. 10: An earlier version of this story said the draft climate report had been leaked by The New York Times, which has since updated its coverage to reflect that a version of the report was made available by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January.


A draft government report on climate says the U.S. is already experiencing the consequences of global warming. The findings sharply contrast with statements by President Trump and some members of his Cabinet, who have sought to downplay the changing climate.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed spending $275 million to upgrade defenses against an invading force. The enemy? A fish. Specifically, Asian carp that are threatening to break through to the Great Lakes.

Artwork doesn't go on display right away when the Cleveland Museum of Art acquires it. The first stop is the conservation department. Some pieces move through quickly, and others require work.

Yi-Hsia Hsiao and her colleague speak to one another in Chinese as they work on smoothing out the creases on a wet piece of patterned, silk spread on the table in the Asian painting lab on a recent afternoon.

“I’m an art doctor. I save art[‘s] life,” said Hsaio, an assistant conservator of Chinese paintings.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it will use its authority to bypass environmental laws and other regulations to "ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads" near the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego.

Tim Durbavetz / ideastream

Gov. John Kasich chose a deck at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland to sign a new bill aimed at protecting Lake Erie. Senate Bill 2 will expand the power of the Ohio EPA, but it’s also aimed at helping businesses.

Pages