Great Lakes Commission

WKSU

The federal Farm Bill that's now been signed into law includes provisions to protect water quality. In Lake Erie, agriculture is one of the primary sources of nutrients that leads to toxic algae.  There’s more funding in the new Farm Bill to protect critical conservation areas including western Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay and Green Bay.  Farmers upstream from those watersheds may get more help implementing voluntary programs like cover crops that help prevent nutrient runoff.

Photo of Summit Metro Parks
Summit Metro Parks

Summit Metro Parks will use money from a recent grant to improve water quality for a section of the Cuyahoga River in its newly acquired Valley View property.

The $370,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lakes Commission will also help to restore flood plains in the area.

Metro Parks Chief of Conservation Mike Johnson said this is a major step towards making the water more accessible for visitors.

Great Lakes Commission Takes Aim at Sewage Overflows

Nov 27, 2017
Satellite image of the Great Lakes
USGS

A new collaboration between the Great Lakes Commission and Lawrence Technological University in Michigan takes aim at sewer overflows that are polluting the Great Lakes.

Sewer overflows -- sometimes millions of gallons -- plague many cities in the Great Lakes region. The biggest cities, like Chicago, Toronto and Detroit, all have that problem. And in Niagara Falls, N.Y., heavy rains caused severe overflows that discolored the Niagara River this summer.

New Website Tracks Progress On Great Lakes

Nov 2, 2017
Satellite image of the Great Lakes
USGS

Billions of dollars have been allocated to restoring the Great Lakes – money spent cleaning up pollution, preventing invasive species and educating the public. 

A new regional initiative will analyze how effective some of these efforts – and dollars – have been so far.

The new program is called Blue Accounting. It assembles data – including how much money was spent on a project, who’s in charge of it, and if it was completed – into clear visuals, like a map showing wetland projects.

NOAA

President Donald Trump is proposing massive cuts to the U.S. EPA.

The Chicago-Sun Times recently reported that those cuts would include eliminating the Region 5 office that oversees Ohio and five other states.

An EPA spokesperson calls that report “politicized rumors.”

photo of Great Lakes
GOOGLE EARTH

Aging infrastructure in the Great Lakes region affects the availability of safe drinking water and the ability of ships to navigate the lakes. President Trump campaigned on improving the country’s infrastructure, and one organization wants the needs of the Great Lakes at the top of the administration’s list.