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After three months of record high water, Lake Erie water levels are starting their seasonal decline, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

“Lake Erie did establish new record highs for the month of May, for the month of June and the month of July,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, Chief of Watershed Hydrology for the Corps’ Detroit District office. “The June monthly mean is the highest recorded level over the past 100 years. So it has never been higher in any month going back to 1918.”

Patrick Hunkler and Jean Backs get drinking water for their house from spring water collected in this cistern. They are concerned that fracking could impact their water.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to energy development, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies.

Kayaker in Cuyahoga River
Mark Urycki / Ideastream

Proposed changes to Ohio's water quality monitoring program would reduce the number of water samples taken from the state's rivers and streams and the number of sampling areas while increasing the size of the areas surveyed.

In early July, Bangladesh became the first country to grant all of its rivers the same legal status as humans. From now on, its rivers will be treated as living entities in a court of law. The landmark ruling by the Bangladeshi Supreme Court is meant to protect the world's largest delta from further degradation from pollution, illegal dredging and human intrusion.

In Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers is working to combat a growing environmental menace: blue-green algae. Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farms and subdivisions combines with warm summer weather to create massive blooms of algae in rivers and lakes that can be toxic.

Algal Blooms And Water Pollution

Jul 16, 2019
NASA

A long season of heavy rains has researchers forecasting a large algal bloom in Lake Erie’s central basin this summer.

That’s according to a new study out of Ohio State University, which predicts this year’s algal bloom to be one of the worst since researchers started they measuring for it in 2002.

Today on All Sides, the science behind and dangers of algal blooms in our waterways. 

Guest Bill Mitsch will be part of a 2019 Wetlands Association Science Symposium. Get more information here

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.

A sailboat awaits the sailing season on Lorain's Black River. The town was built on steel production, but as that industry fades, new emphasis is placed on the region's natural resources.
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

The Black River is wide at its mouth, with parallel banks encased by metal bulkheads. It’s an industrial river, but there is wildlife, like a hissing pair of geese guarding the entrance to the yacht club marina.

The Anthony J. Celebrezze rests near Fire Station 21 on the Cuyahoga River, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Standing on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Industrial Valley, the river looks like chocolate milk surrounded by industry – or the remnants of industry slowly being reclaimed by nature. But in 1969, this was one of the nation’s most polluted waterways

Three years after lead was detected in the drinking water of Flint, Mich., state prosecutors say they are dropping all criminal charges filed against a group of eight government officials implicated in the scandal, in favor of launching a new expanded investigation.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the dramatic shift in a statement Thursday.

Elaina Goodrich sits on a blanket at Edgewater Park Beach on Lake Erie, watching her 3-year-old grandson scoop up sand by the colorful plastic bucketful.

In spring and summer, the two often spend their mornings here. It's a favorite spot for both of them — she for the peace and restoration, he for the fun.

Lately, though, she's been noticing something different: They've been sitting further and further up the beach to avoid actually sitting in the water.

Three students from Dublin Jerome High School created an affordable, solar-powered robot to fix water pollution.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Three Dublin Jerome High School students created what they say is an affordable, solar-powered robot that can monitor and remediate water pollution.  They’re taking their invention to a national competition at The Ohio State University this weekend.

Lake Erie has been breaking water level records over the past month. In May, the lake hit its highest average monthly water level since 1918.

Scott Hardy is an extension educator for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He says the lake is about 30 inches above normal and while water level change is a natural cycle, recent research shows that climate change has contributed.

States in the Ohio River basin will be able to choose whether or not to follow pollution control standards set by the Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission. ORSANCO's board of directors approved the change at a meeting in Covington Thursday morning.

A national civil rights organization says Cleveland’s water department applies tax liens for unpaid bills disproportionately in majority-black neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said its full report, which is expected to be released in June, will examine what it calls a crisis in water affordability in black communities.

The organization released a summary report Wednesday showing 11,000 liens were attached to properties between 2014 and 2018, around. In most years, around two thirds of the liens were in majority African-American census tracts.

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