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News stories tagged with "great-lakes"

Culture of clostridium botulinum, which produces the botulism toxins. Photo courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.
Culture of clostridium botulinum, which produces the botulism toxins. Photo courtesy of Larry Stauffer, Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

Botulism kills hundreds of loons in Lake Ontario

Type E Botulism, a disease caused by a toxic bacteria, is back in Lake Ontario. And over the last month or so, it's killed several hundred loons, ducks and other birds.

Type E Botulism has triggered annual bird kills in several Great Lakes since the late 1990s. But they've been largely minor on Lake Ontario for the last seven years. That is until residents around Henderson Harbor and Ellisburg in Jefferson County started calling the DEC in late October.  Go to full article
Limnologist Michael Twiss from Clarkson University. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Limnologist Michael Twiss from Clarkson University. Photo: David Sommerstein.

A mystery at the bottom of the Great Lakes food web

Phytoplankton - the algae that are food for plankton which in turn feed fish - are behaving strangely. They're surrounded by a nutrient they need to grow. But for some reason, they're not using it.

The puzzle has big implications for how scientists think about the Great Lakes' future in a warming world. David Sommerstein reports from the St. Lawrence River.  Go to full article
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute
Herring fisherman and president of the North Shore Commercial Fishing Association, Steve Dahl, says the commercial fishing industry on Lake Superior is doing better than ever, but experts predict fish populations will shift due to warming waters. Photo by Doug Fairchild, courtesy of the Minnesota Sea Grant Institute

A chilly Lake Superior warms up

We kick off our week-long series In Warm Water: Fish and the Changing Great Lakes with a look at Lake Superior.

It has long been the coldest and most pristine Great Lake. Its frigid waters have helped defend it from some invasive species that have plagued the other Great Lakes. But Lake Superior's future could look radically different. Warming water and decreasing ice are threatening the habitat of some of the lake's most iconic fish.  Go to full article
Dredging operation on the Genessee River (in 2008). Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/45082883@N00/2716683773">Michael Sauers</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Dredging operation on the Genessee River (in 2008). Photo: Michael Sauers, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Dredging Upstate waterways and ports

Shipping lanes and ports along the Great Lakes are big contributors to the economies of upstate cities. Federal funding to remove sediment and keep these shipping lanes open is available, but funds are limited. One company has taken matters into their own hands in western New York.  Go to full article
The Muskie docked in Buffalo. Photo: Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO
The Muskie docked in Buffalo. Photo: Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO

Research vessel gives Lake Erie a check-up

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission estimates that more than 40 million people in the US and Canada depend on the Great Lakes for food, drinking water and recreation.

A state-of-the-art research vessel the "Muskie" is currently its way through Lake Erie collecting data samples for the US Geological Survey.  Go to full article
Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx swears in U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton Tuesday. Photo: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx swears in U.S. Seaway Administrator Betty Sutton Tuesday. Photo: St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

St. Lawrence Seaway has a new chief

The new Administrator for the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence Seaway was officially sworn in at a ceremony in Washington yesterday. Betty Sutton becomes the tenth person to hold the post and the second woman.  Go to full article
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Seaway digs out from recession

The St. Lawrence Seaway, and its commerce between Great Lakes ports and countries around the world, got hammered by the recession.

Craig Middlebrooks, acting administrator for the U.S. side of the binational waterway, says the steep drop was between 2008 and 2009. "It was almost a 25 percent drop. And I think '09 tonnage was among the lowest for decades."

Middlebrooks says the Seaway's been creeping back to pre-recession levels since then. Last year helped. Tonnage rose almost four percent, driven by coal and iron ore exports to China and Europe and U.S. steel imports. Industrial wind components also continue to be strong.  Go to full article
Should the shipping industry do more to stop invasives?  (Source:  USGS)
Should the shipping industry do more to stop invasives? (Source: USGS)

Top EPA official embraces NY's controversial ballast water rules

For the first time, a top official with the US Environmental Protection Agency has publicly embraced New York's tough new ballast water rules. Those regulations, scheduled to go into effect next year, are designed to stop invasions of non-native animals and plants, like zebra mussels and the spiny water flea.

Industry groups, members of congress and some Federal officials are pushing back hard, arguing that the regulations set standards that can't be met by existing technology. The want New York's rules scrapped. And they're lobbying the EPA to create national ballast water guidelines that are far less strict.

But as Brian Mann reports, the top EPA administrator in New York says new regulations should push the shipping industry to do more to help stop invasives.  Go to full article
Ring-billed seagull. Photo: Wikipedia.
Ring-billed seagull. Photo: Wikipedia.

Natural Selections: Seagulls

Where do all the seagulls come from? Martha Foley talks with Dr. Curt Stager about the population boom of seagulls in the last few decades, particularly ring-billed gulls found in the northeastern United States and the Great Lakes region.  Go to full article
We donít really know what these chemicals are doing to the fish, to the wildlife, and to the people that live around the Great Lakes.

Report: new chemicals threaten Great Lakes

A new report calls on the U.S. and Canada to do more to protect human health and water quality in the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission's biennial report says beach closures, contaminated groundwater, and invasive species continue to be significant problems in the region. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article

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