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June 20th 2017

Weekly News Roundup: GLRI Funding, Climate Change, and More

Here are some of the biggest Great Lakes restoration stories from last week:


WXYZ-TV reports on a resurgence of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes, particularly in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. Meanwhile, a recovery for lake sturgeon populations in Lake Ontario is being threatened by President Trump’s proposed elimination of the GLRI, according to Great Lakes Today.


The Toledo Blade reports on a renewed push by Great Lakes mayors to address climate change, following President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. The renewed commitment was made at the annual Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative conference in Montreal.


The Chicago Tribune reports on concerns by environmental groups, EPA employees, and lawmakers over the proposed cuts to the EPA by the Trump Administration. The cuts include 31% reduction in the agency’s budget, the elimination of the GLRI, and the potential closure of the Region 5 office in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reports on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s praise for the GLRI in Congressional appropriation hearings last week.


Enbridge Energy claims its recent stress test of its Line Five oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac show the pipeline remains structurally sound, according to Michigan Radio. Environmental groups have raised concern that an oil spill in the Straits, at the confluence of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, would be catastrophic. mLive provides details on how and when to comment on these studies.


North Country Public Radio reports that proposed cuts to the National Sea Grant Program by the Trump Administration would significantly impede research into harmful algal blooms. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has spoken out against the cuts to the Sea Grant Program.


WBFO has a story examining the progress made towards cleaning up the industrial pollution Lake Superior so far, and how this progress might be threatened by the Administration’s proposed elimination of the GLRI.

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June 14th 2017

Pike River Restoration

Our latest Great Lakes success story is outside of Mt. Pleasant, Wis. The Pike River travels through lower Wisconsin before emptying out into Lake Michigan. Prior to restoration, the river was in a straight channel and prone to flooding during heavy rain events. The erosion would travel downstream and contribute to pollution in the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked to naturalize the river, giving it curves to slow the flow of water to reduce flooding and helping to restore habitat. Read more here.

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June 13th 2017

Weekly News Roundup: GLRI Funding, Zebra Mussels, and More

In case you missed them, here were some of the key Great Lakes restoration stories from last week:


A story in the News-Herald explores the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and the ongoing political debate over its funding. In his recent budget proposal, President Trump has proposed eliminating the program. Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade reports on a coalition of U.S. Senators fighting to protect the National Sea Grant College Program, which the president has also proposed eliminating


A bipartisan group of lawmakers are urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to prevent the burial of nuclear waste near the Lake Huron shoreline in Canada, according to the Detroit News. Canada’s minister of environment and climate change is expected to decide this year whether to approve the proposed burial.


An editorial in the Buffalo News makes the case that restoring lake sturgeon populations is a vital component of protecting the Great Lakes.


The Detroit News reports that the pipeline company Enbridge Energy is preparing to stress test Line 5, an oil pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac. The tests follow recent disclosures of structural damage along large stretches of the pipeline.


The population of zebra mussels in Lake Mendota is rapidly expanding, reports the Capital Times. The invasive mussel, which was first detected in Lake Mendota in 2015, causes significant damage to aquatic ecosystems and underwater infrastructure.

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June 7th 2017

Illinois Town Replants Trees Following Invasive Beetle Infestation

In 2006, the village of Wilmette discovered an infestation of emerald ash borers, an invasive beetle whose larvae consume and kill ash trees. For a community that takes pride in its status as a Tree City USA, and in which 15 percent of its tree population was ash, this was devastating. From 2006 through 2014, the village had to remove over 2,000 dead or infected ash trees from public property alone. Many of these trees had been planted between streets and the Lake Michigan shoreline, where they helped retain stormwater and filter out pollutants. Removing the ashes significantly increased the flow of sediment and suburban contaminants such as car oil solvents, pesticides, and fertilizers into Lake Michigan. Now, thanks to a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the village was able to begin replacing the lost trees. Read more here.

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June 6th 2017

Weekly News Roundup: GLRI, Oil Pipelines, and More

Here are some of the big Great Lakes restoration news stories from last week, in case you missed them.


A conference in Detroit last week focused on the topic of green infrastructure, reports Michigan Radio. Green infrastructure has the potential to improve storm water management throughout the Great Lakes region.


The Detroit Free Press revealed previously undisclosed damage to the oil pipelines running under the Straits of Mackinac. The damage was discovered by the owner of the pipelines, Enbridge, in 2003.


President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the GLRI threaten environmental cleanup efforts along the St. Louis River, reports the Star Tribune.


The Chicago Tribune reports on Lake Michigan’s shoreline erosion, which has increased dramatically in the past several years.


Michigan Radio reports on a new study suggesting a viral infection contributed to the 2014 Toledo water crisis by increasing the amount of toxins released by the harmful algae bloom. Meanwhile, scientists are projecting larger than usual algae blooms in Lake Erie this summer, according to WBFO.

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  • Washington Update: May 11, 2017

    With the budget for fiscal year 2017 finalized, Congress can turn its attention to fiscal year 2018. Big cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and more were proposed by President Trump. We're watching Congress to see how they respond to the President's proposed budget. Read the latest here.

  • Tools for Great Lakes Advocates

      We need your help! Let Members of Congress know how important the Great Lakes are to you: for swimming, for fishing, for our drinking water, and for our way of life. Find tips and tools here for reaching out to Members of Congress and engaging in the conversation.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Restoring the natural curves and riverbank of the Pike River in Wisconsin has reduced flooding and erosion, while increasing fish and wildlife habitat. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.

  • 2017 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference! The location and dates for the 13th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference has been announced. We will be in Buffalo, N.Y. October 17-19, 2017. As more information becomes available in the spring, please check back with our Great Lakes Restoration Conference website.