Category: Great Lakes

Debra Shore, new EPA chief in Chicago, says environmental justice will be a key focus

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The former elected commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District also highlights climate change and hazardous waste site cleanups as priorities.

Food Waste Policy Gap Analysis and Inventory: Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Great Lakes Regions

Download the documents. [Mid-Atlantic][Southeast][Great Lakes]

To further food waste reduction efforts, NRDC surveyed food waste-related policies in twelve states across three regions (corresponding to the states represented in our Food Matters Regional Initiative) and compiled an inventory and gap analysis of existing food waste-related policies for each state, divided into ten categories. The inventories provide a comprehensive overview of policies related to food waste reduction that currently exist across the ten covered categories, and the gap analysis identifies particularly strong policies that can be leveraged to further a city’s food waste reduction goals, as well as advocacy opportunities where policies are weak or nonexistent.

Webinar: Illinois’ Coastal Management Program – working to sustain our many resources

Oct 28, 2021 noon-1:00 pm
Register here.

The Illinois Coastal Management Program (CMP) was established in 2012 as part of the National Coastal Zone Management Program, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since its inception, the ethos of CMP has been to identify and work towards objectives that protect the natural environments and serve the economic, social and recreational needs of our communities, with a focus on equity and inclusivity. CMP has initiated partnerships and projects that exemplify this important balancing act. Of particular interest, Ms. Tecic will highlight strategic partnerships and projects that are helping address the damage affecting habitats, economies and communities due to high lake levels, shoreline erosion and storm damage. An important component of addressing coastal needs is also building the knowledge base and increasing community capacity to address coastal-related issues. This seminar will provide a foundational understanding of Illinois’ Coastal Management Program, how we work, and examples of our activities.

As the shoreline erodes, one national park tries to adapt

Read the full story from PBS Newshour.

On the southern end of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Park has seen the water levels rise five feet since 2014, hastened by human-made structures and an increase in storms brought on by climate change. Higher water marks mean more erosion to the sand dunes that have run through the area for thousands of years. Zachary Green reports on how the park is adapting to the new normal. The story is part of our ongoing series on climate change, Peril & Promise.

The Great Lakes are awash in plastic waste. What can be done about it?

Read the full story at MLive.

In Toledo, Ohio, a device that resembles a small animal cage on pontoons with floating sausage links on either side is trapping trash on a creek that flows to Lake Erie.

In Toronto, Ont., floating garbage cans called Seabins are vacuuming up plastic bottles, cigarette butts, wrappers and other junk at marinas along Lake Ontario.

In Clayton, N.Y., fancy netted baskets called LittaTraps are catching garbage inside village storm sewers that drain runoff into the St. Lawrence River.

In each case, the devices were installed within the last couple years to reduce the amount of plastic waste reaching the Great Lakes, which are receiving an estimated 22 million pounds (10,000 metric tons) of plastic debris annually from the U.S. and Canada.

Wisconsin initiative measures environmental, financial impact of conservation

Read the full story at Wisconsin State Farmer.

Results from the first year of a nationally recognized farm-level sustainability project in southwestern Wisconsin were released today, and the partners in the initiative are encouraged by what they see.

The dozen participating farms demonstrated that their conservation practices contribute to significant reductions in environmental pollutants reaching streams and rivers.

The analysis is part of a pilot project aligned with a first-of-its-kind framework for sustainability projects that helps farmers determine what conservation practices are most effective for their individual farms and document the environmental and financial effects. The goals: protect the environment, remain profitable and demonstrate to communities, customers and regulators that farmers are taking action on sustainability.

Listen to Coastal Hazards Specialist Vidya Balasubramanyam on the Teach Me About the Great Lakes podcast

On the July 19 episode of the Teach Me About the Great Lakes podcast, hosts Stuart Carlton and Carolyn Foley spoke with ISTC Coastal Hazards Specialist Vidya Balasubramanyam about lake level change and her work with municipalities to adapt to it. Tune in for an all-too-rare dose of optimism and a particular fact about donuts that, while true, we hadn’t considered before.

A battle between a great city and a great lake

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The climate crisis haunts Chicago’s future.

People dumped their pets into lakes, officials say. Now football-size goldfish are taking over.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The invasion begins innocently enough: A goldfish paddles the secluded waters of an at-home aquarium, minding its own business, disturbing no native habitats.

The real trouble comes later, when the human who put it there decides it’s time for a change. Not wanting to hurt the fish, but not wanting to keep it either, the pet’s owner decides to release it into a local lake, pond or waterway. That decision, experts say, is well-meaning but misguided — and potentially harmful.

Officials in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles south of Minneapolis, demonstrated why late last week, when they shared photographs of several massive goldfish that were recovered from a local lake. The discarded pets can swell and wreak havoc, the city warned.

Can Michigan become a climate haven? Duluth is already planning.

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

When Mayor Emily Larson first heard the hype about her city’s potential as a so-called climate haven — a place people will flock to as rising seas, drought, heat and wildfire make other regions less hospitable — “I thought it was bananas.”

But in the years since, Larson said, she has come to realize “it’s already happening.”

As climate change fuels dramatic changes that scientists say will make places in the West, South, and along the ocean coasts increasingly unlivable, the city has become a national poster child for the population shift that experts expect to see across the Great Lakes region, where milder climates and abundant fresh water could fuel immigration.

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