Regulation

The Great Lakes, which straddle the U.S.-Canada border, are subject to multiple layers of regulation. Water use, shipping and other issues are handled by various local, state and federal bodies, as well as the International Joint Commission.

Ways to Connect

Talk of a fictional pipeline that could carry Great Lakes water to the Southwest caused a recent uproar from folks around the lakes. But the NASA scientist who mentioned the idea says Phoenix and other desert cities aren’t coming for the Great Lakes’ water any time soon.

Nuclear plant shutdown divides Great Lakes community

Apr 12, 2017
Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Great Lakes beaches have always been popular for tourists. But in the 1970s and 80s, they were also prime real estate for nuclear power plants because there was lots of water to cool the reactors.

Now there are nine nuclear plants on the U.S. side of the lakes -- but cheaper energy sources are forcing some to shut down. And in one Michigan town, residents are divided about a shutdown.

©Visit Phoenix, photographer Nick Cote

States surrounding the Great Lakes have a recurring nightmare about proposals to siphon off water for parched areas in U.S. or other countries.

So they might be staggered by suggestions from NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti, who said a water pipeline from the lakes to cities like Phoenix was "part of our future.”  

For years, the folks who protect the Great Lakes have warned about the dangers of ballast water discharges -- because they can carry invasive species. Now a study by Michigan State researchers shows that ballast water also can contain viruses dangerous to wildlife and humans, Great Lakes Echo reports.

Veronica Volk

On a tiny beach at Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo, N.Y., Nate Drag scans the sand and driftwood. He's part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and he helps organize beach clean ups.
 "The closer you look, you can start seeing the plastic popping out," he says.

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