Environment

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Over the years, pollution has been seen as a big threat to fish in the Great Lakes. Now, a data scientist says that might not always be the case.

Construction of the Rover Pipeline in Shelby, Ohio.
Trayden Schumacher / YouTube

The final say on building interstate pipelines, like the controversial NEXUS and Rover natural gas lines across northern Ohio, rests with FERC—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  And its newly appointed chairman has come on board saying it’s time to review the agency’s pipeline policies.

The appointment of Cathy Stepp to lead a regional EPA office that covers most of the Great Lakes is drawing praise and criticism.

EPA adminstrator Scott Pruitt says her background as a Wisconsin official and small business owner "will bring a fresh perspective to EPA as we look to implement President Trump’s agenda."

But Henry Henderson, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Midwest director, told the AP that Stepp’s record fits with the administration's "lax mode of enforcement.”

It's an annual tradition in the Great Lakes: setting up an ice boom across the eastern end of Lake Erie. 

The boom -- a series of pontoons that stretches nearly two miles -- is designed to cut down on ice jams that could damage properties and the hydroelectric power plant intakes along the Niagara River.

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River make up the world's biggest freshwater system -- and an enormously valuable resource. It supplies drinking water for millions of residents and powers the region's economy.

Last year, 42 million gallons were withdrawn from the basin each day, according to a new report from the Great Lakes Commission. Here's where it went.

Hemlock-Killing Bug Getting Help From Warmer Winters

Dec 5, 2017
Caitlin Whyte / Great Lakes Today

On a rainy day, City Forester Jeanne Grace takes me on a tour of the Ithaca City Cemetery, where tall, evergreen trees hang over many of the graves.

The cemetery has the peace and quiet of any cemetery, but if you take a closer look at the hemlock trees - real close - you’ll spot the pesky hemlock woolly adelgid.

President Trump has dramatically scaled back two national land monuments in Utah. The administration and Republican leaders in Utah say taking the land out of the hands of the federal government will allow the state to decide what to do with it, including protecting some areas and possibly allowing development in others.

Note: Updated on Dec. 6, based on lake surface temperatures in November, which significantly lowered predictions for the ice cover. --

Over the past two winters, the Great Lakes have had a below-average ice cover. And that’s expected to continue this year.  


Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

On a visit to Utah on Monday, President Trump announced his proclamations dramatically shrinking the size of the state's two massive national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Taken together, Trump's orders mark the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

The change has already been challenged in court by conservation groups.

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