Lake Erie

Big cities struggling to connect with Great Lakes

May 22, 2017
Matt Richmond, ideastream

Cleveland, which sits on Lake Erie, has big plans for its waterfront. But the city faces some major obstacles – like highways and railroad tracks.

The question for Cleveland and many other Great Lakes cities is: How do you retrofit an old industrial giant?

Courtesy of Cleveland Water Alliance

The Erie Hack competition is over, with $40,000 and consulting services awarded to Micro Buoy, a team from Wayne State University in Detroit. 

The team’s idea is a nano-sensor that can be attached to a buoy that will be able to detect temperature, lead, and nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. 


On Lake Erie, the offshore wind industry is moving forward with Project Icebreaker, a proposal that would place 6 wind turbines off the coast of Lake Erie.  It’d be the country’s first freshwater wind farm.

The Cleveland Foundation’s Shilpa Kedar says there is an advantage to being first in the Great Lakes in offshore wind.

"As this grows in the rest of the Great Lakes and beyond, we can start exporting the skills, the intellectual capital, the ability for our manufacturing to produce these products," said Kedar.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit, accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of violating the Clean Water Act.

The lawsuit involves a dispute over whether western Lake Erie should be classified as an impaired waterway. 

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Great Lakes Today's feature on Erie Hack, a regional technology competition, was featured on NPR's All Things Considered Monday.  

Reporter Elizabeth Miller highlighted a team of University of Akron scientists who made it to the finals of the competition.  The team, called Water Warriors, created an educational kit that helps students analyze water samples.