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July 18th 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Zebra Mussels, Asian Carp, and More

Hey everyone! Here are some of the things happening in Great Lakes conservation from this past week:

The Columbus Dispatch reports scientists are using blood samples from nesting chicks and eggs to study the presence of metal and chemical contamination in the Great Lakes. The samples are collected without harm to the birds. The researchers are also studying the birds’ nesting pattern to examine how these pollutants impact behavior and mortality.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals has dismissed a case brought by 5 Great Lake states against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The suit asked that physical barriers be installed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes watershed. The court felt the states have not shown the ineffectiveness of currently used methods, such as electric barriers, screens, and poisons, reports the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reports that the two sides may be able to find some common ground on short-term solutions.

Researchers believe that invasive species, such as Zebra mussels, quagga mussels, and round gobies have played a larger role in altering Lake Erie’s zoobenthic community than pollution has, according to Scientists examined how the native communities have declined or recovered through time in relation to the severity of each stressor.

Public Radio International reports that a plan to develop offshore wind energy in Lake Erie is losing momentum. The plan, proposed by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, has come up against concerns over the turbines potential impact on migratory birds, as well as opposition from people with lakeshore property views.

This Sunday will be the 25th annual Lake Superior Day, according to the Northland News Center. Lakeshore communities in both the U.S. and Canada will hold events and festivities in appreciation for the lake and its importance to local economies, ecosystems, and lifestyles.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released its most recent Lake Michigan fisheries plan to the public, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The plan, revised every ten years, intends to preserve Lake Michigan’s sport fishing, commercial fishing, and overall ecosystem health.

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July 17th 2014

Action Alert: Urge Your Representative to Sign On to Support EPA’s Clean Water Rule

A vista overlooking Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of Sarah Morrison.

A vista overlooking Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of Sarah Morrison.

Representatives Dingell and Quigley are circulating a letter in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States Rule, also known as the protect clean water rule. We need your help in getting the rest of the Great Lakes Delegation to sign on! Please call your Representative and ask that he or she sign on to this important letter. The deadline to sign on to this letter is August 1, 2014. The Waters of the United States Rule will clarify which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act and will protect critical waters in the Great Lakes Basin – tell your Representative that you support the Rule because it helps to protect the Great Lakes.

You may contact your Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121

Or you can tweet them about the importance of signing on to support @EPA’s #ProtectCleanWater rule. Find their twitter handles here. More >

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July 16th 2014

Funding Opportunity: 2014 GLRI Request for Applications Open

The 2014 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Request for Applications is now open! Up to $27.5 million will be available during this funding cycle, and applications are due August 25th, 2014. Applications are requested for projects within the following three categories:

  • Invasive Species Control
  • Watershed Management Implementation
  • Sediment Reduction Projects in Priority Watersheds


The RFA and more information can be found here:


Additionally, EPA will be holding a webinar for more information on Tuesday, July 29th, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am Central Daylight Time. Register for the webinar.

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July 15th 2014

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Outlines Reasons to Support Clean Water Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put forward some great facts about their clean water protection rule that every supporter of clean water should read. The clean water protection rule—or Waters of the United States Rule—has been subjected to unfair, outlandish, and completely untrue statements from the Farm Bureau and others. This page addresses some of those statements and also explains why this clean water protection rule is important and necessary. If you are interested in learning more, the EPA will host a webinar, Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 3-4p EST.

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July 11th 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Enbridge Pipeline, Lake Restoration, and More

In case you missed this past week in Great Lakes conservation news:

A University of Michigan researcher warns that an oil spill under the Straits of Mackinac would be disastrous, reports The Detroit Free Press. The Enbridge oil pipelines running through the Straits are 61 years old.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports on a grant awarded to the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to restore Bradley Lake. The lake’s water quality had become degraded due to polluted storm runoff and invasive species.

The Buffalo News reports on the progress and setbacks in environmental legislation in New York State. While the state legislature in Albany made progress in addressing issues such as climate change and invasive species, it failed to join Illinois in banning household products containing microbeads.

Ohio has launched a new initiative called Healthy Water Ohio, according to the Toledo Blade. The program will put a renewed focus on restoring and protecting Ohio’s water resources, covering areas including drinking water, agriculture, and shipping.

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  • 2014 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Registration for the 10th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference is now available! To register, view the agenda, see what field trips are being offered, and to find out more about becoming a conference sponsor or exhibitor, please visit the main conference page.

  • Check out the Latest Update from the Field

    Read our latest field update from Ohio. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Ohio Environmental Council share the results of their restoration tour with Representative David Joyce. Learn more.