Latest From Great Lakes Today

Ohio trains farmers to help Lake Erie -- but is it working?

The buildup of nutrients in western Lake Erie can trigger algae growth – and contaminate drinking water in nearby cities. That happened as recently as 2014, when Toledo residents could not drink their water for two days. Researchers say agriculture is largely to blame, so Ohio is requiring farmers to take special training. But it’s not clear that approach will work.

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(Left) Jason Wulf and Erik Bernardi owners of Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream in Lockport

"Lake Effect" brings trouble, but some companies embrace name

What’s in a name? Turns out, a whole lot. It’s how Buffalo's Lake Effect Furies stand out from the crowd. At first the group was called the “Queen City Roller Girls All Star Team.” "But that didn’t have a lot of personality to it," said Michael Thomas, one of two team captains.

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Pollution

Decades of industrial use degraded much of the Great Lakes' shoreline.

How healthy are the Great Lakes?

The International Joint Commission, which helps regulate use of the lakes, is seeking answers that question at a Buffalo public meeting on March 28.

The Weird Winter of 2016-2017

Temperatures in the Great Lakes region are unusually warm. That has a broad impact – from Lake Effect storms to ferry schedules to fish spawning.

Winter on a Lake Erie Island

Put-in-Bay, an island town in Ohio, draws thousands of summer tourists. In winter, the pace of life slows – and residents face many challenges.

Invasive Species

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

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.

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.

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.

History

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

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.

Development

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