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community weblog - [ Environment ]

House considers Sleeping Bear wilderness

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Legislation under consideration in Congress would designate about 32,500 acres within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness.

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the measure this week in Washington, D.C. It would ensure that natural features of the wilderness areas would be preserved, while county roads, historical structures and public access to Lake Michigan would be protected. more...



Environment  Other  

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$51.2 million federal plan offered to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp

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President Barack Obama's administration unveiled the federal government's latest efforts on Wednesday to protect the Great Lakes from the Asian carp, including an upgrade of an electronic barrier in Illinois and an Indiana project that would serve as a buffer between the Mississippi River basin and the lakes.

The $51.2 million plan, building on a 2010 initiative, will raise spending to $200 million to keep the lakes free of the invasive carp, according to federal authorities.

The strategies, known as the 2013 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, are designed to stop the spread of the carp from entering the Great Lakes, including a primary access point in Lake Michigan.   more...



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Studying Lake Michigan's currents

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A team of researchers at Purdue is getting a better understanding of the currents in Lake Michigan.

Cary Troy, assistant professor of civil engineering, and four students spent most of last week on the lake taking measurements. He says they used a dye to trace the movements of the water in the deepest part of the southern basin.  more...


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A new report says it's time to tackle a potential Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes

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This Ontario Family Fishing Week, a new report warns of the threat of an invasive species which could put the health of the Great Lakes at stake, and damage Ontario's boating, fishing and tourism economies. The report released today, Tipping the Scales: How Canada and Ontario Can Prevent an Asian Carp Invasion of the Great Lakes, outlines recommendations on what can be done to prevent Asian carp from establishing in the lakes.  more...


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Unlocking the secrets of sea lamprey love

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The sea lamprey is an invasive fish with a round mouth like a suction cup.  It latches onto big fish like lake trout and salmon, drills its razor sharp tongue into them, and gets fat drinking their blood and body fluids. A single lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds of fish in its lifetime.

Scientists spend a lot of time trying to outsmart them, and they’ve just made a new discovery.  more...



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Mysterious substance in Lake Michigan baffles beachgoers, scientists as source remains unknown

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A strange substance discovered last month just off the southern shore of Lake Michigan has beachgoers and scientists alike wondering how it found itself in the water.

Officials first heard of an "oily substance" during the middle of June after swimmers at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore reported the material on their bodies, said Dan Goldblatt, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  more...



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Lake Michigan's cooler-than-normal temperatures discouraging to some beach vistors

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muskegon-sunset.jpg
Would-be swimmers of Lake Michigan are finding the water temperatures rather unwelcoming.

When it comes to the sandy beaches and the recent sunny conditions, there are no complaints. However, they are eagerly awaiting the Lake Michigan water to warm up.

The Muskegon State Park's beach was full of plenty of beach-goers on Friday afternoon, but not many were brave enough to wade in the cooler-than-usual Lake Michigan water.  more...



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Macomb County commissioners oppose Ontario nuclear waste site on Lake Huron

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The Macomb County Board of Commissioners has gone on record opposing the underground nuclear waste site proposed by Ontario Power Generation on the shores of Lake Huron near the Bruce Peninsula.

The board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution against the nuclear dump on June 20, following the unanimous recommendation of the Health and Human Services Committee on June 17.  more...


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Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and How (And For What)

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There is an increasingly urgent need for renewed investment in our communities' water infrastructure. This need is driven by the unfortunate reality that for the many decades, funding to maintain water systems has fallen short of the cost of providing safe drinking water, sewage treatment and flood control. The result is decaying or outdated infrastructure that cannot keep pace with changing demand for water and wastewater treatment, growing population and increasingly heavy rainfall events. -  more


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New Bill Would Be a Boost for America’s Great Lakes

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The Great Lakes are a truly great resource. They’re home to more than 300 bird species, including spotted sandpipers and herons that wade in the coastal marshes, and ospreys and eagles that fish the waters. Muskrats burrow into banks, and wolves, black bears, and moose inhabit wetlands. The lakes hold more freshwater than anywhere else on earth except the polar ice caps, and they supply drinking water to 42 million Americans. On June 26, senators introduced a bill to protect and restore this important region.  more...


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Lake Superior fisheries OK a year after storm

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Fish populations in Lake Superior and its surrounding fisheries are faring much better than expected a year after a major storm dumped up to 10 inches of rain in the Duluth area and sent tons of sediment rushing into the big lake and its surrounding rivers and streams.

"I'd say the Lake Superior fishery was little affected," said Don Schreiner, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor for Lake Superior. "Fishing this spring has been gangbusters. Lots of lake trout and coho and chinook salmon are being caught."  more...



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Brown trout stocked in Wisconsin's Lake Superior waters

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Lake Superior anglers near Duluth and Superior may soon be catching a new strain of brown trout. In late May, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stocked about 60,000 Seeforellen-strain brown trout in Lake Superior waters near Superior. The fish were 5 to 6 inches long.

The stocking came in response to anglers who were unhappy that the Wisconsin DNR had refused to continue stocking Chinook salmon in the area, said Peter Stevens, supervisor of Lake Superior fisheries for the DNR.  more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Quelling cyanobacteria in Lake Erie: editorial

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lake erie.jpgLake Erie will be in full bloom from the middle of August to early October.

It will not be pretty: a collection of monospecific assemblages of cyanobacteria -- or toxic green scum puddles -- that two years ago slimed an area of the lake surface six times the size of New York City.  more...



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Mayflies' return means a healthier Lake Erie

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Lake Erie's mayfly population is surviving and showing no signs of trouble despite water quality problems over the last few years that have caused alarm.

The pesky but harmless winged insects are starting again to rise out of the lake along Ohio's northern shore.

One researcher said the annual invasion is a good sign because mayflies are an indication of a healthier Lake Erie.  more...


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EPA says Sheboygan River no longer an 'area of concern'

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The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced the completion of all dredging and habitat restoration projects required to remove the Sheboygan River 'Area of Concern' from a list of toxic hot spots identified in the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.   more...


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