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

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Before water contamination emergencies hit Flint, Mich., a crisis in Canada became deadly.

When E. coli invaded the drinking water in Walkerton, half of the town became ill and seven people died. That led to a turnaround in the way the community treats its water and trains workers. 

But a question lingers: Does Walkerton’s tragedy still resonate in the U.S.?

  

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few.

Now an unlikely industry has joined the search for solutions -- technology is taking on Lake Erie.


by Angelica A. Morrison / Great Lakes Today

The International Joint Commission, the bi-national group that helps to oversee the Great Lakes, held two public meetings in Buffalo on Tuesday – and more than 200 people showed up to share their concerns.


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. 

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