Great Lakes

What's Next for the Oil Pipeline Under Lakes Michigan & Huron?

Jul 27, 2016
National Wildlife Federation

The hot button issue of oil pipelines continues to get a lot of attention. In the Great Lakes, there’s a long-running battle over a crude and natural gas line that runs through a waterway connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

It’s known as Line 5 and it carries about 20 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids. But because it’s 63-years-old, environmental activists say the line is past its useful life and poses a threat to the lakes.

Enbridge, the Canadian company that operates the pipeline, insists that it's safe.

Groups Work to Preserve Great Lakes Watershed

Jul 6, 2016
Photo by Angelica A. Morrison

When the weather is mild, it’s not unusual to find nature lovers and hikers exploring the trails along the Jackson Falls, in the western New York town of Aurora.

The land in the Lake Erie watershed is an example of a headwater forest. Such forests are important in keeping the Great Lakes clean -- and some land conservancies in the region are trying to preserve them.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is raising money to purchase the land around Jackson Falls and turn it into a nature preserve.

Changes Coming to Great Lakes Coast Guard Stations

Jun 8, 2016
Great Lakes Today

Security and rescue operations on Great Lakes waters are changing. The U.S. Coast Guard is planning to temporarily shut down eight Coast Guard stations around the Great Lakes.

It’s the beginning of a larger transition aimed at improving the efficiency of stations around the nation. But Ashtabula, Ohio, doesn’t want to see its Coast Guard unit go.

Sixty miles east of Cleveland, Ashtabula sits on the coast of Lake Erie. Its Coast Guard station is a small house along the Ashtabula River.

S Bence

Loreen Niewenhuis’  first professional path led her to science, working in settings from hospital laboratories to a bone marrow transplant team. But while she raised her two sons, Loreen began writing fiction.

In 2009, her short story collection, Scar Tissue, earned Niewenhuis finalist status for the Flannery O’Connor Award.

S Bence

A day long festival Saturday at Atwater Beach in Shorewood celebrates surfing and the importance of Lake Michigan.

Surf @Water kicks off with a sunrise paddle and ends with a surf film festival at sunset.

Susan Bence


Grand hiking trails of the U.S. include the Appalachian and the Pacific Coast Trails, but if Melissa Scanlan has her way, there will be another one – a Great Lakes Trail, which would span eight states and two Canadian provinces.

Scanlan now teaches environmental law at Vermont Law School, but her roots are in Wisconsin and Lake Michigan. The idea of a Great Lakes Trail came to her as she was hiking the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, by surface area, and it has something the other Great Lakes do not: stable populations of mostly native fish species.

But scientists say a key fish in Superior's food web is now in trouble because of mild winters and an appetite for caviar in Europe.

There wasn't much demand for lake herring 10 years ago. It used to be fed to mink and used as fertilizer, according to Craig Hoopman, a commercial fisherman in Wisconsin who fishes around Lake Superior's Apostle Islands.

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project /

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is not primarily about helping surfers in trouble – though the group recently elicited the help of one of the world’s pioneers in the field of surf rescue.

The mission of the project is to convince municipalities to have better safety measures in place at Great Lakes beaches, and also to make water safety training mandatory for children growing up in the region.

S Bence

This Saturday, surfers will descend on Atwater Beach on Lake Michigan's shore.  

On Monday, residents of Toledo, Ohio could resume using their tap water. It was deemed dangerous late last week, because of blooms in Lake Erie.

Michigan native Loreen Niewenhuis has always loved the Great Lakes but says it was a mid-life crisis that pushed her to become an explorer and author.

C Nenn

A group of 24 scientists and policymakers are clearly sounding a climate change alarm, but are also handing the country a blueprint. It’s called the Great Lakes Restoration and Climate Change report.

"November's Fury" page 35

A hundred years ago this week, a nasty storm blew across the Great Lakes - and into history.

U.S. Forest Service

It turns out that the health of forests has quite a bit to do with the health of the lakes.

Researchers are analyzing water samples from rivers that feed into the Great Lakes.