In case you missed the past week in Great Lakes conservation news:
A bill to reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is currently being considered by Congress, reports the Sandusky Register. The bipartisan bill would continue funding the GLRI at $300 million per year through FY2020.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that four of the five Great Lakes will be far above their average water levels this summer, according to the Detroit News. The lone exception will be Lake Ontario, which has artificially controlled water levels.
The Watertown Daily Times reports that an invasive species of faucet snail, Bithynia tentaculata, is far more pervasive in the Great Lakes than was previously thought. The invasive snail carries several types of intestinal parasites that can be extremely harmful to waterfowl that ingest them.
The cyanobacteria that cause harmful algal blooms can alter lake chemistry to further promote their growth, reports the Sandusky Register. In addition to feeding off the excessive nutrient runoff into the lakes, the bacteria can actually drive the lakes’ phosphorus and nitrogen cycles.
Toledo is planning to convene a panel of experts to discuss potential long-term solutions to harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie and the threats they pose to the city’s drinking water, reports the Toledo Blade. The panel is expected to include a mix of science, policy, technical, and regulatory experts.