Great Lakes

City Releases Video to Warn of Drowning Dangers in Great Lakes

Jun 5, 2017
photo of red flag video

June marks the beginning of beach season in the Great Lakes – but it also means more people are at risk of drowning. But what does it mean to see a red flag at the beach?

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project reports  that 98 people drowned in the Great Lakes last year, the most since 2012. Currents caused by wind or structures like piers can make swimming in the lakes dangerous.

Lake Erie
Elizabeth Miller / Ideastream

For years, the Sea Grant program has helped Americans learn about the oceans, the Great Lakes and other waters. Now President Trump wants to stop funding it, and some teachers fear the program will disappear.

At SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek field station, science teachers recently used plastic chips and a map to test a classroom activity that lets students compare the depths of the Great Lakes. Sea Grant’s Helen Domske says these workshops help teachers find ways to reach thousands of students. 

President Trump Proposes More Great Lakes Cuts to Restoration Initiative

Mar 29, 2017
photo of Donald Trump

Lots of people were already upset about President Trump’s plan to slash Great Lakes funding in next year’s federal budget. Now he’s recommending a $50 million cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for this year. 

International Joint Commission Focuses on Great Lakes Progress in Buffalo Meeting

Mar 28, 2017
photo of IJC meeting

U.S. and Canadian commissioners representing the Great Lakes met in Buffalo, N.Y., today to hear from the public on the region’s progress. Local environmental groups presented their progress as well.

U.S. International Joint Commissioner Lana Pollack opened with a message:

“What we’re here today to do is to hear from some experts, hear from the public, and thereby advise the governments in both countries as well as local jurisdictions on how lakes can best be protected."

photo of microplastics

The International Joint Commission is calling for the U.S. and Canada to take action against micro-plastics in the Great Lakes.

The commission’s report recommends a binational plan for research, education and outreach. It also recommends a standardized scientific approach to sampling and finding out where the plastic is coming from.

Frank Bevacqua  is a spokesman in the IJC’s Washington office. He says federal and state governments will need to work together.