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October 31st 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Asian Carp, Green Infrastructure, and More

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

United Press International reports that despite some scares last month, no further evidence of Asian carp has been found in the Kalamazoo River. The river was retested after a water sample was found to have carp DNA in it.


The plans for several new “green projects” in Ohio were unveiled this week, reports the Plain Dealer. These projects will utilize natural landscaping to absorb and treat rainwater, reducing the polluted runoff that can create harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.


Public Radio International is running a story that explores some of the factors associated with Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms. The piece focuses on techniques used by Ontario farmers to reduce their nutrient runoff.


The U.S. EPA has removed two Michigan sites, Deer Lake and White Lake, from its Areas of Concern list, according to the Detroit Free Press. There are now eleven AOC’s remaining in Michigan, six of which are targeted for remediation under the second phase of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.


Great Lakes Echo reports on a new study showing that habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change rank as the greatest concerns for Great Lakes fishery managers. The study also found that despite their concerns, fisher managers often have trouble finding or understanding research into the long-term impacts of climate change on fisheries.


The Grand Traverse Insider reports on the Freshwater Summit that was held in Traverse City, Michigan this Friday. The annual conference brings together environmental professionals to discuss issues impacting the Great Lakes; topics for this year’s conference included climate change, invasive species, and Great Lake water levels.

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October 31st 2014

Small Michigan community sees rapids once more thanks to dam removal

The small village of Dexter, Mich., about 50 miles west of Detroit, has rapids running on Mill Creek once more, thanks to the removal of a dam. The dam had been built in 1824 as part of a sawmill, but by 1900 it was decommissioned. In 2008 the dam was finally removed, making way for rapids to reform on the river. Fish can now move up and down the creek and people are often seen kayaking through the water on the way to the rapids. Read more.

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October 30th 2014

Coalition on Toxic Hotspot Delisting: ‘Federal Investments Working’

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (October 30, 2014) – The U.S. EPA today announced it was removing two Michigan locations from a list of the region’s most polluted waters—so-called Areas of Concern. The sites—Deer Lake, south of Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and White Lake, west of Lake Michigan in Muskegon County—had been listed since 1987 as two of the 43 U.S. and Canadian Areas of Concern, former industrial sites plagued by PCB’s, mercury, and other pollutants that led to drinking water restrictions, beach closures, and fish consumption advisories.

The EPA announcement marks the latest progress in an effort by the federal government to accelerate restoration of the Great Lakes—including cleanup of toxic hotspots—through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initiative has invested more than $1.6 billion over the last five years to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, reduce runoff from cities and farms, and fight invasive species. More >

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October 30th 2014

Representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are the latest to sign on to support the Great Lakes

Members of the House Great Lakes Task Force have nearly finished their push to get their colleagues to sign on to ask that the President’s budget maintain Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding at $300 million for fiscal year 2016. The latest members to sign on are Reps. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.), Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.), Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).

More >

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October 24th 2014

Weekly News Roundup: Asian Carp, Harmful Algal Blooms, and More

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

The Associated Press reports that the EPA is providing $8.6 million to Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana to reduce phosphorus runoff, a contributing factor to harmful algal blooms. The grants will provide farmers with technical assistance and incentives to improve their fertilizer practices. Meanwhile, as the weather cools and the winds pick up Lake Erie’s harmful algal bloom is finally starting to fade, reports the Sandusky Register.


The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Asian carp DNA has been found in the Fox River. The Wisconsin DNR cautions that this doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of live carp in the river. As Nature World News explains, the carp DNA could have come from boats, fishing gear, or bird droppings. This discovery comes after Asian carp DNA was detected in the Kalamazoo River earlier this month.


The Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference was held this week in Duluth, reports KDL. Over 600 people gathered to discuss controls for invasive aquatic, plant, and insect species.


Construction of Enbridge’s 9B oil pipeline has been halted due to environmental concerns, according to MLive. The dispute centers around a lack of shutoff valves at major water crossings.


The Times Herald reports that researchers found no evidence that the Isle Royale wolves produced any offspring this year, although they caution that the lack of evidence does not mean no pups were born. If this is the case, however, this will be just the second time in four decades that the iconic wolf population has failed to reproduce.


NPR has posted an interview with a NOAA hydrologist, discussing rising water levels in Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. While Great Lakes water levels are typically dropping at this time of year, these three lakes are currently seeing a significant increase in water levels.

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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.