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July 29th 2014

Coalition Submits Comments on Revised Great Lakes Action Plan

‘With some simple improvements, a strong program can be even better.’

Federal Great Lakes restoration efforts over the next five years need to be better aligned with goals of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, take into account climate change impacts, improve how progress is monitored, and not be undermined by bad federal policies, according to comments submitted today to the U.S. EPA by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

“Federal Great Lakes restoration investments have produced tremendous results in communities across the region,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “With some simple improvements, a strong program can be even better.” More >

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July 25th 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Lake Pollution, Oil Pipelines, and More

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

The Associated Press reports that two Enbridge oil pipelines running through the Straits of Mackinac will receive additional support structures. This comes after the oil company acknowledged that the decades-old pipelines were partially out of compliance.

Great Lakes Echo reports that Michigan’s Deer Lake may soon be taken off the polluted hot spot list. The lake was initially listed as an Area of Concern by the International Joint Commission in 1987 for high levels of mercury and nutrient loading. The recent improvement comes after decades of cleanup efforts.

Mercury levels in hundreds of northern Wisconsin lakes have not improved over the past several years, reports the Associated Press. The high levels of mercury make it dangerous to eat fish caught from those lakes.

Ohio environmental regulators are encouraging state lawmakers to end the practice of dumping silt dredged up from Toledo’s and Cleveland’s harbors into Lake Erie, reports the Associated Press. State officials are researching other potential uses of the dredged silt, such as fertilizer for crops.

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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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  • 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 Michigan. Ducks Unlimited shares the results of their restoration tour with Congressman Dan Benishek. Learn more.