Great Lakes

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.