Latest From Great Lakes Today

For Islanders In Lake Superior, Warmer Winters Mean They Can't Drive

For Michael Childers, ice makes getting around a little easier. When it's thick enough, the ice on Lake Superior creates a makeshift road between Bayfield, Wis., and Madeline Island, the small resort island where Childers and about 250 others live year-round. But for the second year in a row, warmer winters have made it necessary for the ferries that usually don't operate during winter to continue to run. The ferry is a lifeline for islanders, transporting schoolchildren, commuters, vehicles...

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Submitted Art / Jennifer Nalbone

Family of aviators shares connection to Lake Erie in Watermark Project

Its 20 degrees on a frigid Saturday afternoon. Jennifer Nalbone is standing outside a small Western New York airport waiting for her father Lou.

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Oklahoma Attorney General's Office / Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt confirmed as head of EPA

Pollution

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

Video: Impact of marine debris on the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Today reporter Elizabeth Miller appeared on WVIZ/PBS program Ideas to discuss marine debris and the recent Northeast Ohio Plastic Marine Debris Reduction Symposium.

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.

Strong currents cause drownings across the Great Lakes.

A special 4-part series from Great Lakes Today

A new series from Great Lakes Today

New York’s Niagara Falls State Park plans to temporarily shut off the flow to the American Falls, to repair two aging pedestrian bridges. A shut off has only been tried once, in 1969.

History

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

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.

Invasive Species

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

Regulation

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

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.

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.