Northerly Island near downtown Chicago was the site of a former airstrip. The space has been completely transformed to provide habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as a beautiful space for people to visit. The land is close to downtown and brings 40 acres of nature into the windy city. Read more here.
In normal concentrations, algae are an important component of healthy freshwater systems. When supplied with excessive nutrient levels in water warm enough to promote growth, however, cyanobacteria can multiply out of control to form harmful algal blooms that cause numerous health and environmental problems. Unfortunately, the Great Lakes have seen a dramatic rise in the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms over the last decade. To effectively manage and prevent harmful algal blooms, health and environmental officials need to understand the relationship between blooms and their causal factors. Thanks to a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, researchers from Michigan Technological University are studying harmful algae bloom trends to help guide future management. Researchers used archived satellite imagery to record the extent and biomass of past algal bloom events and correlated this data with potential causal factors over the same time frame, including nutrient loading and water temperatures. Read more here.
The Burnham Wildlife Corridor parallels Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive providing a space for migratory birds and butterflies to stop over. Invasive species have been removed and volunteers have planted thousands of native trees and shrubs in their place. Plants such as milkweed, heath aster, purple prairie clover, black-eyed Susan, spiderwort, and prairie dock have all returned now. The corridor has already attracted visitors, animals and people alike. Read more here.
The Dear Colleague sign on letter that has been circulating since early last week has picked up considerable steam. The letter urges President Obama to set funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 millions for FY2017. This popular program helps clean up and restore our lakes so that people in this generation and the next can enjoy fishing, swimming, and working in and around the Great Lakes. Please urge your Representative to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter if they have not already.
So far there are 32 cosigners: Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Mike Quigely (D-Ill.), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio).
You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Although the budget for fiscal year 2016 has not yet been finalized in the U.S. Congress, members are putting together a push to encourage President Obama to commit to fiscal year 2017 funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. As part of this push, members are circulating a Dear Colleague letter for members to sign on to urging President Obama to fund the GLRI at $300 million in FY 2017. Please contact your member and urge them to sign on, if they haven’t already. Read the letter to President Obama here.
So far there are 9 cosigners: Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)