Animal Check: New project to monitor aquatic species that live near proposed nuclear storage sites

One of the main concerns opponents have to two of the proposed underground sites for storing Canada’s spent nuclear fuel, one of which is in the Lake Huron watershed, is the potential impact on the environment. A group of Ontario researchers is setting the groundwork to answer that question with a new project.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/monitor-aquatic-species-nuclear-storage/

Sharon Oosthoek

Lake Superior Summer: Blue-green algal blooms come to a lake once believed immune

On a calm morning in late summer 2019, Jim Bailey was kayaking on Lake Superior near Thunder Bay, Ontario, when he found himself paddling through thick green scum, the likes of which he’d never seen in those waters. Puzzled, he headed into the open bay where he could see green patches stretching out about 3 kilometers.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/08/lake-superior-summer-algae-bloom/

Sharon Oosthoek

Duckling Docks: Toronto installs floating docks to save drowning birds

Ducklings struggling to stay afloat in Lake Ontario’s Toronto harbor now have a safe place to rest with the installation of low, floating plywood docks.

PortsToronto installed duckling docks at water level in four shipping areas in June after reports of drowned waterfowl unable to climb out of the water to rest.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/08/duckling-toronto-floating-docks/

Sharon Oosthoek

Plastic Impact: Canada launches multi-year study of microplastics in water and soil

A four-year research project looking into the impact of microplastics on freshwater ecosystems and on agricultural soils will have important implications for the Great Lakes, said its principal researcher.

Funded by the Canadian government, the $1-million project was announced in May. It will measure microplastic levels in wastewater from treatment plants draining into Ontario rivers and streams that feed into the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/06/canada-microplastics-study-wastewater-impact/

Sharon Oosthoek

Chemical Impact: Microplastic pollution more complex than we think, says new research

Microplastics act like a chemical sponge, soaking up contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/05/chemical-impact-microplastic-pollution/

Sharon Oosthoek

Bolder Fish: New study looks at how pandemic antidepressant use might affect freshwater ecosystems

As the pandemic wears on, antidepressant use is on the rise.

Claims for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors increased by 17% in Canada between 2019 and 2020, according to one report. In the United States, the number of prescriptions filled per week for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications increased 21% between Feb.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/04/fish-study-pandemic-antidepressant-freshwater-ecosystems/

Sharon Oosthoek

Salt Levels: The effects of wintertime de-icing linger in Toronto-area rivers in the summer

As spring comes to the Great Lakes region and icy roads and sidewalks become a distant memory, a new study shows the salt we apply over the winter can linger in summertime rivers at alarming levels.

The University of Toronto study measured chloride in four Greater Toronto Area rivers and found it was high enough in many locations to put at least two-thirds of aquatic life at risk during early stages of their development.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/salt-levels-wintertime-de-icing-toronto-rivers-summer/

Sharon Oosthoek

Lake Superior Winter: Researchers belatedly turn their eyes to the impact of warming winters

Deep below the cold, dark surface of Lake Superior, sensors strung like pearls along a vertical steel cable sway with the currents. Recording the lake’s dropping temperatures as winter sets in, their gentle rhythm belies their worrying readings: the lake is getting warmer.

Jay Austin heaved several of these science experiments off a boat last fall – tossing concrete blocks into the deep water to anchor the cable of sensors stretching down from floating platforms just below the surface.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/lake-superior-researchers-impact-warming-winters/

Sharon Oosthoek

Plastic Trap: New project pulls plastics out of the lakes, one floating garbage can at a time

An estimated 9,887 metric tonnes (22 million pounds) of plastics make their way into the Great Lakes every year. Now a new project aims not only to suck out some of that plastic but stop it from getting into the lakes in the first place.

It began last summer with Toronto Harbour’s installation of three Seabins – devices that look like trash cans in the water but behave like vacuum cleaners, said Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/seabins-trap-plastics-great-lakes-canada/

Sharon Oosthoek

Summertime Spike: Great Lakes parks a source of balm and vexation for many during COVID-19

Great Lakes parks have always been popular among outdoor enthusiasts. This summer, however, pandemic-weary residents on both sides of the border flocked to them – many for the first time – just as services such as campsites, visitors’ centers, washrooms and interpretive programs were closed to help contain COVID-19.

The spike in summertime numbers was doubly challenging this year as the lakes’ record-high water levels have washed away some beaches and trails.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/summertime-spike-great-lakes-parks-covid-19/

Sharon Oosthoek

Canada Water Agency: Government hopes to consolidate water data and management

Canada is home to the third largest renewable supply of fresh water in the world, spread across a vast swath of lakes, rivers, aquifers and glaciers. Fresh water is critical to the country’s economy and health, and a key part of the nation’s identity – paddling a canoe through northern waterways is a rite of passage, and more than 30% of Canadians live surrounded by water in the Great Lakes region.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/canada-water-agency-government-consolidate-water-data-management/

Sharon Oosthoek

Blue Jeans Blues: Researchers find denim microfibers in Great Lakes

At any given moment about half the world’s population is wearing blue jeans or other denim clothing. And every time we launder our jeans, tiny string-like particles called microfibers come loose, flow out of our washing machines, down sewers and into lakes and oceans.

Now researchers at the University of Toronto say they have found denim microfibers in sediment taken from the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/researchers-denim-microfibers-great-lakes/

Sharon Oosthoek

Sewage Check: Great Lakes researchers look to wastewater for data on COVID-19

The virus can be detected in infected people’s feces – sometimes even before they begin exhibiting symptoms.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/sewage-check-researchers-look-to-wastewater-for-data-on-covid-19/

Sharon Oosthoek

Taking It in Stride: How Great Lakes islanders are weathering the COVID-19 storm

The tourism that usually rises around this time is on hold, but residents are battening down with ease.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/great-lakes-islands-ferry-coronavirus-covid-19/

Sharon Oosthoek