NYS proposes ban on single use plastic bags

Great Lakes states have struggled with plastic pollution for decades. Now, New York state, is making a bold move when it comes to pollution caused by single use plastic bags.

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by ANGELICA A. MORRISON /University at Buffalo dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Liesl Folks, leads the NAVIGATE Project at UB

Women in STEM battle gender bias

Will EPA continue to help the Great Lakes?

The federal government has played a huge role in reviving the Great Lakes -- but some in the region wonder how strong that support is these days. For two straight years, the Trump administration proposed slashing funds for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Both times, Republicans and Democrats worked together to restore the $300 million allocation. That's the good news. Now the EPA -- a crucial partner in keeping the Great Lakes healthy -- is in turmoil.

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Latest From Great Lakes Today

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Can bubbles keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes?

There's no shortage of theories for stopping the Asian carp's move toward the Great Lakes. Big gates, underwater electric barriers, annoying sound -- all have been used or talked about as solutions. Now, add bubbles. That was the winning idea from "Carp Tank," a $500,000 competition that wrapped up in Michigan this week.

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Environmental Injustice

In the Great Lakes region, minorities face a greater burden from air pollution, water contamination and other environmental hazards. A look at the issue – and related health problems.

New Faces, New Issues

Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir helped launch the nation’s environmental movement more than a century ago. Great Lakes Today explores the forces – and people -behind the transformation of the movement.

Video: Salt mine lies 1,800 feet under Lake Erie

Have you ever wondered where road salt comes from? One source is the Whiskey Island Cargill Salt Mine, which lies far below the floor of Lake Erie.

Environment

The Great Lakes are significantly cleaner today, now that many of the region's factories have closed. But environmental challenges -- including pollution and invasive species -- remain.

History

For centuries, the Great Lakes have served as an important food source and trade route for people living along their shore.

Recreation

The Great Lakes are the home to a wide range of recreation -- from sailboat and powerboat races to fishing tournaments. They're also a draw for tourists.

Development

Across the Great Lakes region, the shoreline is being targeted for increased development.

Invasive Species

The Great Lakes ecosystem has been severely damaged by more than 180 invasive and non-native species.

Shipping

The Great Lakes is often referred to as the "fourth seacoast." U.S. and Canadian lake fleets annually haul upwards of 125 million tons of cargo, including iron ore, limestone and coal.

Regulation

The Great Lakes, which straddle the U.S.-Canada border, are subject to multiple layers of regulation.

Farming

Great Lakes agriculture generates more than $15 billion a year and it accounts for 7% of total U.S. food production. Agricultural practices shape the health of the lakes and the farming economy.