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Journey with WKSU reporter Karen Schaefer as she explores the environmental challenges facing Lake Erie and its people.  Schaefer is circum-navigating the lake with a group of journalists as a fellow of the Great Waters Institute, a program of the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.  Over the next week, the group will explore:

Lake Erie is the source of drinking water for 6 million people, an economic engine for industry, shipping, fishing and recreation (Karen Schaefer)
  • a controversy over regulating lake levels and how that could impact Lake Erie
  • how large animal farming operations are impacting the watershed
  • research on dead zones and algae growth in Lake Erie
  • modernization of the port of Cleveland
  • new hydropower projects at Niagra Falls
  • an Ontario wind farm on the shores of Lake Erie
  • impacts of climate change on the lake
  • US/Canadian division of the annual fish catch
  • habitat loss on the Lake Erie Islands
  • bird migrations and cormorant populations
Lake Erie is cleaner than it was 40 years ago, but now faces many new challenges, including agricultural run-off, invasive species and climate change - NASA Habitat loss in the Lake Erie Islands has resulted in over-population of cormorants.  The once endangered species is damaging the ecosystems of uninhabited islands One proposal to increase green energy - and jobs - in the Lake Erie region is to install wind turbines both on land and in the lake.  The U.S. has just passed regulations for siting offshore wind farms.  Canada has halted new wind turbine installations following a new study about human health impacts - Karen Schaefer
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