Banned PCBs still haunt Great Lakes

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

PCB emissions may still threaten residents of Chicago and other Great Lakes communities, according to a recently published study that calls for legislation to control the largest sources of the longtime pollutant.

Explore Chicago Collections

Explore Chicago Collections lets researchers, teachers and students search many locations at once. Their unified search lets you locate thousands of archival collections and digital images at member institutions all over the Chicago area.

A search of the site for “pollution” yielded eighteen images, including pollution maps from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records (pictured below), and fifty-four archival collections, including records from neighborhood environmental groups.

Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: Sources of Pollution Along Little Calumet River
Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: Sources of Pollution Along Little Calumet River [FPDCC_00_01_0015_039, Forest Preserve District of Cook County Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library.]

New group wants to open flow of water research in Chicago

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

A new project wants to unite Chicago’s entrepreneurs, researchers and utility companies to solve water problems — and fan Chicago’s economic flame along the way.

The public-private partnership is called Current, and it’s being led by World Business Chicago. Current’s goal is to bring water research out of labs and put it into the hands of companies and utilities.

NASA Awards SIUE $11.5 Million to Expand Citizen Science Education

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

NASA has awarded Southern Illinois University Edwardsville $11.5 million to expand its citizen science and educational activities through CosmoQuest, a second-generation citizen science facility. CosmoQuest Project Director Dr. Pamela Gay, assistant research professor in the SIUE STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Center, will lead the initiative as principal investigator.

Why Farming Fish in the Great Lakes Might Not Be Such a Bad Idea

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Speckled fish are swimming around a 50-foot-square pen in Fraser Bay, Ontario, an inlet in the northeastern section of Lake Huron. It’s one of 14 net pens on either side of the Cold Water Fisheries dock there, near lakeside cottages with mountainous backdrops. I’m talking about 5.5 million fish here. The company harvests 1.7 million pounds of rainbow trout, also known as steelhead, every year from each of its two farms off Ontario’s shores. It’s been in business for close to 30 years, and now it hopes to expand its business across the lake to the Michigan side.

The Canadian government first allowed fish farms in Lake Huron in 1988. This huge body of freshwater now has seven such facilities, and the government is reviewing proposals for five more (but recently it hasn’t been approving commercial operations). As Cold Water Fisheries owner Robert Devine told Michigan Public Radio, he wishes to expand but is getting nowhere with the Canadian government. That’s why, he says, he wants to head south to the United States—well, more like west to Escanaba Bay, Michigan, where the conditions are very similar to those he has had so much success with in Fraser Bay.

Cold Water Fisheries is one of two companies looking to raise fish in net pens off U.S. shores, part of an aquaculture industry that grows by up to 10 percent each year. One of the benefits to Michigan, says Dale Jordison, a production manager for the company, would be local, affordable fish. In Ontario, Cold Water Fisheries has an outlet in town where it sells its product at a fraction of the grocery store cost. Another benefit would be jobs and more money coming into the state. At one of its locations, Cold Water Fisheries employs 45 people, and Michigan estimates that two new facilities could gross the state $4.5 million.

Corporate investment in renewable energy on the rise in Michigan

Read the full story in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Going green has been a mantra from some companies for decades, but the business case for it is evident in a new wave of large corporate-led investments in Michigan.

While some enable corporations to produce more renewable energy internally, others are aimed at improving overall energy efficiency. That’s as the major utilities and state lawmakers debate the merits and downsides of the next round of state energy legislation regarding renewable energy requirements.

There are noteworthy case studies in the making on the issue.