Veronica Volk

Helping the Great Lakes one dairy cow at a time

What does a dairy cow have to do with keeping the environment healthy? At the recent Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo people were invited to witness that connection first hand -- and how it played into one farmer’s economic survival. John Kramer can trace the history of his family’s farm back to the 1800s. Despite that long history, a few years ago, like a lot of other farmers, he suffered a setback. “There was a frost,” Kramer says. At the time, his farm consisted of cows – for...

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Rebecca Thiele

Threat of microplastics topic of Healing Our Waters meeting

It’s day two of the Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo New York. Hundreds are learning about problems that affect the lakes, including microplastics.

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Latest From Great Lakes Today

Dr. Rafat Ansari

Planes, drone monitor harmful algae in Lake Erie

Algae blooms continue to color western Lake Erie a deep green. Now researchers and scientists want to know more about toxins produced by the algae -- and they’re getting help from some unlikely sources.

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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.

Troubled Waters

President Trump’s 2018 budget kills a $300 million program for the Great Lakes and cuts funding to key agencies. Our series shows what's at risk -- on all five lakes.

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.

Invasive Species

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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