Pollution

Decades of industrial use degraded much of the Great Lakes' shoreline and waters. In recent years, stricter regulation and ambitious cleanup campaigns have reversed that neglect, but agricultural runoff remains a serious problem.

Ways to Connect

More than 100 scientists gathered recently at the University of Windsor in Ontario to discuss Lake Erie's  somewhat fragile health. And keynote speaker Dr. Jeff Reutter delivered a sober warning about proposals to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Researchers are refining a system to predict the strength and movement of harmful algae blooms that plague Lake Erie during the summer. The blooms can be dangerous -- fouling beaches and threatening drinking water, especially at the western end of the lake. 

Ben Thorp

Residents near an abandoned military base in Michigan are worried about an unseen invader: toxic chemicals that have contaminated wells in the town of Oscoda. Now the chemicals are spreading farther -- and have even reached Lake Huron.


Veronica Volk

Jon Gee of Environment and Climate Change Canada stands on a platform overlooking a part of the Hamilton, Ontario, harbor called Randle Reef. It's one of the most polluted sites on Canada’s side of the Great Lakes. 

Behind him, water runs from a sewer drain into the harbor. This runoff is cleaner now, but years ago, this would be packed with chemical byproducts from the surrounding steel mills and other factories.

International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission released its draft progress report Wednesday morning, calling for aggressive action by the U.S. and Canada to protect the Great Lakes.

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