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November 21st 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Harmful Algal Blooms, Invasive Species, and More

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

The Columbus Dispatch reports on environmental experts testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives this week on potential regulatory changes that could limit future outbreaks of harmful algal blooms on the Great Lakes. The Sandusky Register reports that the U.S. EPA is also planning to release new guidelines that address the toxins produced by algal blooms. Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade is reporting that the Ohio House has passed a bill intended to address agricultural runoff, one of the causal factors behind the harmful algal bloom that poisoned Toledo’s drinking water this past summer. A separate Toledo Blade editorial cautions that this bill does not sufficiently address this issue yet contains additional language that could undermine the Great Lakes Compact.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and a research laboratory at Michigan State University have discovered an Oregon-based bait supplier shipping potentially harmful Pacific herring to bait shops in Saugatuck, Michigan, reports MLive. The herring were not screened for the VHS virus, which has been found in several water bodies throughout the Great Lakes watershed so far.


WHBL Sheboygan reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to install additional electric barriers to the Des Plaines River while experts consider longer-term solutions to stop the spread of Asian carp. One potential solution is completely shutting down the water links between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan, although this could disrupt Chicago’s shipping routes.


A proposed landfill expansion in upstate New York could alter drainage patterns and wastewater treatment, potentially threatening to contaminate the Niagra River on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, according to Great Lakes Echo. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will consider the proposal after November 21.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on a proposed transfer station that would allow ships to travel between Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago, bypassing a lock intended to keep invasive species out of Lake Winnebago. The public agency behind the proposal claims their methodology will prevent the spread of invasives, but environmental experts remain skeptical. The project is now in front of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for approval.

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November 14th 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Invasive Species, Water Quality, and More

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

Great Lakes Echo reports on an effort to digitize the museum collections of Great Lakes plants and animals over the past 50 years. The project aimed at helping researchers examine the history of invasive species in the region more efficiently.


Michigan DNR officials are seeking public comment on their gray wolf management plan, reports CBS. Comments on the plan will be accepted through December 11.


ABC reports that the Wisconsin DNR has created a new tool that may improve Lake Michigan’s water quality. The tool helps researchers identify areas at higher risk for erosion and strong water runoff.


Environmental groups and the White Earth Ojibwe Tribe have issued a legal challenge to the State Department’s approval of increasing the amount of Canadian tar sands oil entering the U.S. through Enbridge pipelines, reports Park Rapids Enterprise.

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November 14th 2014

Coalition Supports Clean Water Rule

Public comment period closes today on rule upholding Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands essential to drinking water, Great Lakes

Seeking to reverse a decade of uncertainty in which smaller surface waters across the country were put at risk for pollution and destruction, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and 51 of its members, representing hundreds of thousands of people across the Great Lakes, today submitted comments to the U.S. EPA in support of an Obama Administration rule clarifying Clean Water Act protections to streams and wetlands. The groups hailed the rule as an essential step in the effort to protect drinking water supplies that millions of people depend on—and to restore Great Lakes streams and wetlands and, ultimately, the health of the lakes themselves.

This rule is good for our communities, our economy, and our Great Lakes,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “At a time when we’re seeing federal Great Lakes restoration investments deliver results across the region, this rule will help ensure that those gains are protected and not undermined.”

Read the Coalition’s comments and list of signatory groups at: More >

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November 7th 2014

Weekly New Roundup: Water Levels, Wind Farms, and More

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

Canadian energy company Enbridge claims it spent $1.21 billion cleaning up from a 2010 oil spill, reports the Associated Press. The spill addefcted the Kalamazoo River system.


The Holland Sentienl reports that Lake Michigan’s water level is higher than average for the second month in a row. Projections indicate above-average water levels may continue into next year.


The Toledo Blade is running a feature highlighting the role of other factors behind harmful algal blooms beyond nutrient levels, including invasive species and climate change.


A large wind farm has been proposed in upstate New York along the Lake Ontario shoreline, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. The proposed wind farm is expected to generate enough energy to power 59,000 homes.

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November 5th 2014

Funding Opportunity: Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act RFP Announced

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced they are accepting proposals for Great Lakes restoration projects, through December 15. See their announcement below or find more information here:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting project proposals to protect, restore and enhance Great Lakes fish and wildlife habitat under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act. The Service requests interested entities to submit restoration, research and regional project proposals for the restoration of Great Lakes fish and wildlife resources, as authorized under the Act (16 USC 941c). The purpose of the Act is to provide assistance to states, tribes and other interested entities to encourage cooperative conservation, restoration and management of the fish and wildlife resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. The deadline for proposal submission is Monday, December 15, 2014 by 8:00 p.m. EST.

More >

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  • A Video Tribute to Peter Wege

    Last month, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition celebrated the life of businessman, philanthropist, and Great Lakes advocate Peter Wege at the 10th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a video tribute. Watch it here.

  • Check out the Latest Update from the Field

    Read our latest field update from New York. Citizens Campaign for the Environment shares the results of their work with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to ban microbeads at the federal level. Learn more.