Great Lakes

Erosion problems are deepening along the Lake Erie shoreline in Geneva-on-the-Lake, affecting both private and public property. Public infrastructure could be under threat and officials are developing plans to combat the land loss in the most problematic areas.

Village officials met with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last week to inspect areas around Geneva’s Township Park, which has lost more than 45 feet of shoreline in some areas.

The rate of erosion has been inconsistent, said Mayor Dwayne Bennett, Sr.

Algae blooms on the coast of Toledo.
NASA Glenn Research Center

Reducing harmful algal blooms remains the top priority for protecting and restoring Lake Erie, according to a draft plan released by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

Lake Erie advocates are hoping a proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project in Illinois will block invasive carp species from entering the Great Lakes — but they’re watching to see how officials will pay for it.

Representatives of several Great Lakes and environmental groups met Sept. 4 in Perry to talk with Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) about protecting the lake.

"Water, water everywhere." That line from poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge could be the mantra for rain-weary residents across the country. Some regions have seen record amounts of rain since early spring. The Mississippi River and tributaries spent months above flood stage, while all of the Great Lakes are nearly at or above historic highs.

Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, says data show that the Great Lakes have been on the rise for several years, especially in recent months.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Invasive Asian Carp may pose a greater threat to the Great Lakes than previously feared, according to a new report from the University of Michigan.

lgae floats in the water at the Maumee Bay State Park marina in Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 2017.
Paul Sancya / AP

Heavy rains that inundated the Great Lakes region this spring will fuel another massive algae bloom across parts of western Lake Erie later this summer, researchers said Thursday.

Managers of the Port of Cleveland and other ports around the Great Lakes say they’re being overlooked in the national conversation about America’s crumbling infrastructure. 

On the heels of the nation’s seventh annual Infrastructure Week, the Port of Cleveland hosted a May 20 roundtable with port officials, maritime industry leaders and representatives of several Northeast Ohio Congressional members to talk about their needs. Port officials say it’s partly a problem of perception.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing plans for the next phase of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The effort began in 2010 and has funded more than 4,000 improvement projects totaling $2.4 billion.

The next phase is set to begin in September and be carried out over the next five years. It’s moving forward despite President Trump’s initial plan to de-fund it.  

Lawmakers fought to have funding restored, but Senator Sherrod Brown said the president’s view of the project is a concern.

Lake Erie water levels currently measure 11 inches higher than last May and areas along the North Coast are already starting to see an impact, according to Chris Winslow, director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program.

The steady spring rainfall has been a factor, Winslow says, but most of Lake Erie's water comes from the upper Great Lakes.

A Rising Lake Erie Causes Floods Along Ohio Shoreline

May 14, 2019
Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

Floodwaters spilling over western Lake Erie's shoreline have swamped streets, shut down ferries and left behind dangerous debris during the past month. Now residents are bracing for more problems.

A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

As Congress looks over President Donald Trump’s budget, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is criticizing the administration for proposing a 90 percent cut to Great Lakes restoration funds.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 26, the residents of Toledo will have the chance to vote on an unusual (some might even say radical) proposal: whether to give the fourth largest lake in the United States its own Bill of Rights. If the ballot measure passes, it would be a win for the small but growing “rights of nature” movement, which aims to deter activities that pollute the environment by granting legal rights to ecosystems.

Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslic / NOAA

Ohio Senate Republicans are saying one of their top goals is to protect what they believe to be the state’s number one natural resource: Lake Erie. They say keeping Lake Erie clean will be a team effort that doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of farmers. 

Kent State University professor Dr. Anne Jefferson is not a federal employee, but she and other science professors and researchers at universities across the Great Lakes say they’re being affected by the partial government shutdown.

“We can’t get data, we can’t talk to collaborators, we can’t get answers from program officers,” said Jefferson.

She uses data from the National Weather Service and other federal agencies in her hydrology class – teaching her students how to use data to solve water resource management issues.

Fourteen islands around the Great Lakes have banded together to form a coalition to address their unique challenges, including a lack of broadband access and healthcare.