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.