The Lakes

The Great Lakes -- Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior -- are among the most important bodies of water in the world. They are the largest readily accessible source of freshwater on Earth – roughly 20 percent of the total supply -- and contain more than 80 percent of North America’s surface water supply.

Ways to Connect

Update 9/12/2017: The  City of Toledo has moved its water quality dashboard back to clear.

For a city on Lake Erie, it's the season for monitoring toxic algae blooms -- and drinking water.

Toledo Ohio know how dangerous the blooms can be. In 2014, toxins contaminated its water supply, forcing a "do not drink or boil” advisory for two days.

Dave Rosenthal

The topic of sewage discharges is back in the spotlight again in Niagara Falls and surrounding areas.


Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Last year, 72 dams across the US were demolished; hundreds more were removed in the past ten. Most dam removals are part of an effort to restore rivers and the animals that live there. But when a dam across the St. Regis River in Upstate New York was removed late last year, the Mohawk people that live there saw it as an opportunity to reclaim the land and use it to express their culture and heritage.


Alex Crichton

It's nearly fall, and the rains that triggered flooding along Lake Ontario are long gone. That's allowed water levels in the lake to drop, even though they're still higher than normal.

Now life is finally returning to normal at one waterfront restaurant near Rochester, N.Y.

U.S. Coast Guard

Over the past two weeks, 22 boats in the Chicago area have been ordered to cease operation due to illegal charter service.  This discovery was part of a 39-boat search by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

IDNR issued 14 misdemeanor charges, including obstruction of justice.  The Coast Guard issued several Notice of Violation citations – which totaled more than $50,000 according to a statement from the Coast Guard Ninth District.

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