Federal Relief: Great Lakes fisheries finally get a cut of COVID-19 relief funds

After being snubbed in 2020, the folks who make their living by fishing the Great Lakes ­­– both commercially and for sport – have been included in the latest round of federal relief from the economic ravages of COVID-19.

With the second round, passed Dec. 27 and known as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act of 2021, Great Lakes tribal fisheries were included in the $30 million allotted for tribal fisheries nationwide.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/great-lakes-fisheries-federal-covid-19-relief-funds/

Dave Spratt

Pandemic interrupts longtime Isle Royale wolf, moose study

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — One of the world’s longest-running wildlife field studies has fallen prey to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since 1959, a research team has spent most of the winter observing the interplay between wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-pandemic-interrupts-longtime-isle-royale-wolf-moose-study/

The Associated Press

2020 in Review: Climate change, COVID-19 and Michigan’s governor

This is part of a series in which the Great Lakes Now staff looks back on 2020.

When I look back at my 2020 Great Lakes Now reporting, three themes jump off the page – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, COVID-19 and climate change.

In her 2018 election campaign Whitmer articulated an extensive water and environment agenda and 2020 was the year she started to make progress on it.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/2020-review-climate-change-covid-19-michigan-governor/

Gary Wilson

2020 Really Sucked. What’s Up Next? I don’t know.

This is part of a series in which the Great Lakes Now staff looks back on 2020.

A frequent theme of my GLN articles – and others’ – this year was the Crazy-19 virus. For me, its appearance in print ranged from news about charter captains not fishing and non-resident fishing and hunting license sales suspended to parks, monuments, Lake Erie businesses shut down and events cancelled, including The Biggest Week in American Birding.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/2020-really-sucked-next-i-dont-know/

James Proffitt

Lake Ontario: Big catch escapes again

This is part of a series in which the Great Lakes Now staff looks back on 2020.

At this time last year, this humble news director made big claims regarding making a visit to Lake Ontario to complete the full list of “Great Lakes I’ve visited.”

Unfortunately, Lake Ontario remains an achievement I have yet to collect.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/lake-ontario-big-catch-escapes-again/

Natasha Blakely

On the Pulse: I’ve Got One Word For You, 2020

This is part of a series in which the Great Lakes Now staff looks back on 2020.

In any effort to sum up the year that was 2020, one word is unavoidable: poop.

Don’t you agree?

At Great Lakes Now, we’ve kept our finger on the pulse of poop news all year, because we care about our readers and viewers.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/on-the-pulse-ive-got-one-word-for-you-2020/

Rob Green

Family-owned fishing businesses displaced by waterfront developments on Great Lakes

By Hannah L. Harrison, University of Guelph, The Conversation

 is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

For three generations, the Minor family — today brothers Carson and Landon and their father Paul — have been up before first light to board their fishing tug and make their way to their fishing grounds on Lake Erie.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/family-owned-fishing-businesses-displaced-waterfront-developments-great-lakes/

The Conversation

MEDIA STATEMENT  – Monica Lewis-Patrick, President and CEO, We the People of Detroit – 

It has been a long time coming, but We the People of Detroit is pleased that Mayor Mike Duggan is taking a step in the right direction with his announcement today regarding the creation of a water affordability plan on behalf of the residents of Detroit. This is an important first step in safeguarding public health and delivering water affordability for all Detroit residents. We must thank all of the Water Warriors who have been fighting for water equity and justice in Detroit for more than a decade. We also thank Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for his leadership in working with water justice advocates and Detroit city administrators. He has been a true champion for public health and water security. Lastly, we thank Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her bold leadership toward water equity and for implementing an Executive Order in March to end water shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New research from We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective this year showed a strong link between the number of COVID-19 cases and the areas of our city impacted by water shutoffs. The impact of COVID-19 on Detroit’s most vulnerable populations serves as a stark reminder of how essential water access is for public health. The pandemic has made it impossible to deny that water shutoffs are a public health hazard.

We the People of Detroit continues to advocate for policies that make water affordability a reality for all. We are building a diverse coalition dedicated to training and mobilizing the citizens of Detroit and beyond to improve their quality of life. Ensuring that all communities have a seat at the table as our city combats water injustice is essential to safeguarding the future of all residents. We look forward to working with the City Council, the Administration, the Governor’s office, and other Water Warriors to usher in clean, safe, affordable access to water and sanitation for Detroiters and Michiganders.

 

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/drinking-water/mayor-duggans-detroit-water-affordability-plan-announcement/

Leslie Burk

Most of the state’s 240 farmers markets survived during the pandemic that upended the way fresh produce, baked goods and other items are sold at the popular venues.

The post Michigan farmers markets adjust to the pandemic first appeared on Great Lakes Echo.

Original Article

Great Lakes Echo

Great Lakes Echo

http://greatlakesecho.org/2020/12/02/michigan-farmers-markets-adjust-to-the-pandemic/

Guest Contributor

Minnesota tribes file to halt pipeline approval due to virus

ST. PAUL, Minn (AP) — Two Native American tribes in northern Minnesota are asking state regulators to stop the imminent construction of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus infections spreading.

The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa filed a motion late Wednesday asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to stay its approval of the $2.6 billion project.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/ap-minnesota-tribes-pipeline-approval-virus/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: Michigan health study, Wisconsin deer and fish, possible impact on COVID-19 vaccine

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/pfas-news-roundup-michigan-wisconsin-study-vaccine/

Natasha Blakely

Campus Clues to COVID-19: Sewage testing key to detecting early infections

Scientists at dozens of colleges and universities around the country are hoping early detection of COVID-19 infections can come from a not-so-glamorous sampling process.

With collection devices set up in campus sewer systems, researchers are sampling waste from residence halls and other buildings for evidence of the virus.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/campus-covid-19-sewage-testing-early-infections/

GLN Editor

Rollbacks, Climate, Justice: Environmental attorney on Biden’s commitments, opportunities and challenges

For President-elect Joe Biden, the environment and climate change as campaign issues weren’t tucked away in an obscure position paper. Neither was his intent to focus on environmental justice if elected.

Biden also put a spotlight on President Trump’s rollback via executive order of nearly 100 environmental protections in his four years.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/rollbacks-climate-justice-environmental-attorney-president-elect-biden/

Gary Wilson

COVID-19 pushed people outdoors. Michigan’s ski industry is ready for them.

By Paula Gardner, Bridge Michigan, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Doubling the size of a factory during a global pandemic may not fit a traditional business plan.

But Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis is based in Northern Michigan, where it’s making a product that helps to define the winter economy for the ski-maker’s home in Boyne City and across the region.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/covid-19-outdoor-recreation-michigan-ski-industry/

Bridge Michigan

Just as she regularly wrestles 50-pound boxes of clay into her studio to shape into vessels adorned with symbols of nature as part of her artistry-turned-business, Sharon Moen—as the newest member of Wisconsin Sea Grant—has some molding to do in her role as outreach specialist focused on the Eat Wisconsin Fish initiative.

Moen will be fashioning the parts of the existing initiative into new forms. She’ll fire them into rejuvenated and brand-new tools to serve commercial fishermen, charter fishermen, processors and aquaculture operators, as well as educating consumers, retailers and those in the culinary world about the benefits of local, healthy and delicious Wisconsin fish.

This is all, of course, to be done against the backdrop of a once-in-lifetime pandemic that is affecting businesses of all types—particularly hitting hard those tied to the fish supply chain—and reaching into family homes where people are making food decisions in a disrupted world.

A Washington Post story from late spring noted that with restaurants closed the nation’s fisheries, across all regions and species, have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent. Some species are considered more luxury choices and with the economic hit from Covid-19 perhaps grocery budgets aren’t putting fish on the household menu. Americans spend more than twice as much on seafood in restaurants than they do at home.

Into this scenario steps Moen, who may be new to Wisconsin Sea Grant but is far from being new to serving Sea Grant stakeholder needs and immersing herself in Great Lakes issues having spent 21 years with Minnesota Sea Grant. She was the program’s senior science communicator prior to her departure from that program in April of this year.

“It’s an honor to be a public servant again,” said Moen. “The pandemic has revealed many things about the U.S., including how easily our food systems can be disrupted. I’m ready to channel creativity and moxie toward helping people value Wisconsin’s commercial fisheries and fish-producing operations in ways that support jobs, the state’s food independence, the environment and human health. I’m excited to be joining a great team of Sea Grant’s staff and researchers on this important project.”

Moen will tackle a needs assessment of various sectors to inform a strategic plan on how to best proceed to address challenges, perhaps through webinars, one-on-one communication social media and/or the Eat Wisconsin Fish website. She’ll rely on some previously funded Sea Grant research on fish farmers, as well as another on consumer perception on aquaculture.

“We are really excited about all the relevant experience that Sharon brings to Wisconsin Sea Grant. She has worked on past successful outreach and communications campaigns to promote farm-raised and wild-caught fish, including chef competitions and public tastings,” Sea Grant Assistant Director for Extension David Hart said. “Sharon is a gifted writer and contributed to a strategic plan for aquaculture in Minnesota. She has extensive connections throughout the Sea Grant network and will be able to hit the ground running.”

About that pottery, in her off hours, Moen will continue to create objects of utility and beauty, as well as embracing macro projects. She is currently making 140 specialty tiles for a kachelofen, a German masonry stove that will heat a vacation home on one of Wisconsin’s many lakes. This proves, once more, Moen’s skill at merging two careers and two passions from the clay of the Earth and the wonders of water.

The post Meet Sharon Moen, new Eat Wisconsin Fish outreach specialist first appeared on Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Original Article

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

https://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/news/meet-sharon-moen-new-eat-wisconsin-fish-outreach-specialist/

Moira Harrington

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

Drinking Water News Roundup: Illinois COVID-19 shutoff protections, Ontario First Nation evacuation

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Illinois Activists Push for Stronger COVID-19 Utility Shut-Off Protections as Winter Nears – The Intercept

In March, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced an emergency moratorium on utility shut-offs to protect customers during the COVID-19 health crisis, but most major Illinois providers resumed service disconnections by late summer.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/drinking-water-illinois-covid-19-coronavirus-ontario/

Grace Dempsey

Another casualty of COVID: testing for lead poisoning in Michigan

By Robin Erb, Bridge Michigan, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/covid-testing-lead-poisoning-michigan/

Bridge Michigan

Michigan Allocates $20 Million to Relieve Customer Water Debts

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/michigan-20-million-customer-water-debts/

Circle of Blue

House Democrats Ask CDC to Halt Water Shutoffs during the Pandemic

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/house-democrats-cdc-halt-water-shutoffs-pandemic/

Circle of Blue

Trash Fish: Marine debris becomes sculptures at Great Lakes aquariums and museums

An array of more than 80 marine-debris-turned-art works will be making another Great Lakes stop, adding a lake sturgeon sculpture when it’s installed at a Wisconsin site next year.

Made entirely of plastic trash, these larger-than-life figures have realistic designs. They come as part of the traveling exhibit, Washed Ashore, which aims to educate people about plastic pollution.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/trash-fish-marine-debris-sculptures-great-lakes-aquariums-museums/

Natasha Blakely

EMU to test campus wastewater for COVID-19

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University will test campus wastewater for the COVID-19 virus and other signs of infectious diseases.

The testing, part of the school’s return-to-campus plan, is intended to track the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater flowing from residence halls and apartment complexes.

The monitoring might provide early detection of asymptomatic cases of the virus, according to the school.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-emu-campus-wastewater-covid-19/

The Associated Press

Sturgeon Stocking: COVID-19 puts pause on popular sturgeon release program

The Toledo Zoo’s popular lake sturgeon stocking event won’t happen this year, though a pause in the program – thanks to the international COVID-19 pandemic – won’t hurt the project.

“In a nutshell, our partners out of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alpena, Michigan, and Genoa, Wisconsin, are the ones who collect the eggs,” explained Kent Bekker, director of conservation at the zoo.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/sturgeon-stocking-covid-19-release-program/

James Proffitt

Department of Public Utilities Is Awarded $50,000 For Full Lead Line Repair to families living without their water during COVID-19

The City of Toledo, Department of Neighborhood awarded the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) $50,000 in support of full lead line repair to residents who are currently living without running water in their home. The funding comes from a  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), making it possible for homeowners to receive financial aid in repairing damaged pipes leading into their home which otherwise would abstain them from water reconnection. Working together with the community ensures that residents are protected and supported by the lead line repair program as it relates to equitable opportunity, water security, and access to clean drinking water. 

The Toledo Community Water Council has played a key role in fighting against water injustices to ensure that the decrease in water disparities is parallel with inclusion and equitable treatment of Toledo ratepayers. The Toledo Community Water Council has taken the initiative to collaborate with the municipality and local institutions to identify challenges as they arise as well as uncovering solutions to better serve the community during the lead line repair process. For example, the Council engages homeowners through education on the present opportunities of water restoration through getting the lead line repaired, pinpointing homes that need the service while collecting existing data from the institutions and municipalities for better accuracy, and holistically support the work needed to replace outdated water infrastructure for residents struggling for water quality within their homes. Toledo, once a city only willing to engage in partial lead line replacement, which could inadvertently increase the lead content within the homeowners’ water, heeds the collective knowledge and insight of the Toledo Community Water Council. When DPU locates a home with lead pipes they are prepared to replace them. The community has been persistent in advocating for full lead line repair, and those families living without water and with lead lines not yet located will also receive full lead line replacement in addition to repairs. The Toledo Community Water Council will also be providing oversight and community support to the DPU to ensure their actions are held accountable and all residents are aware of opportunities. 

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/toledo-water-council-fully-supports-the-50000-grant-for-full-lead-line-repair/

Alexis Smith

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio nuclear bailout bill repeal, COVID-19 energy crises in Michigan

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Michigan’s Bay County to lose millions in tax revenue with closure of coal plant; a COVID-19 study looking at energy crises cites rural areas and tribal nations in Michigan; and Ohio legislators begin the repeal process for controversial House Bill 6.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/great-lakes-energy-ohio-nuclear-michigan-coal-crisis/

Ian Wendrow

Michigan House OKs spending on jobless benefits, flood costs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday began approving a budget bill that would authorize the federal government’s supplemental $300-a-week unemployment benefit during the coronavirus pandemic and provide $6 million in state funding for costs related to devastating flooding in the Midland area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-michigan-house-jobless-benefits-flood-costs/

The Associated Press

Intersecting Crises: Fighting for climate justice in a pandemic

Alongside the illnesses, deaths and closures caused by COVID-19, the threat of climate change still hangs over communities across the Great Lakes region and around the world. And the people and organizations fighting against climate change and for environmental justice have found themselves caught between these two threats to public health.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/intersecting-crises-climate-change-justice-covid-19/

Emily Simroth

During this pandemic many of us have had to take our work home with us, and now that children are returning to school they will be, too. Everybody is at home battling with their own stress, so dealing with others too can be tough. It becomes more daunting when days just can’t seem to go right. You know what I am talking about. Confined within the same four walls everyday can start to feel as if they are closing in when there is so much that “has” to be done. By that time, anxiety rises, motivation withers and you want to throw your hands up, curl up in bed and eat your favorite dessert, mine is ice cream, while watching Netflix wishing all deadlines and projects go away.

We’ve all been there but during the pandemic it has a chance to happen a lot more often. The reality is we will be knocked off our square and being able to recognize when we are knocked off, provides us an opportunity to realign with our internal self. Without peace, we can’t think straight. Without thinking straight, let’s be honest, we’re no help to anyone, including ourselves. So what can we do to quiet the madness inside and keep our hands from ripping out our hair? (Though I’m bald already.) We must incorporate activities that bring us peace during our work day, and practice them daily. Practicing these activities daily ensures they become second nature and ensures the practice of self-care, which some would say we need more than ever. The holy grail to the consistent high level productivity you expect from yourself is self-care. Take care of your body, mind, and spirit, and in turn, they will take care of you. The key is to understand that you must give to yourself before you give yourself to others. Sounds too simple? Perhaps, but it is as easy as making a choice.

If you’re looking for ideas to recenter yourself and allow time to recharge and re-calibrate yourself to be the best you for others read the following suggestions and see what works best for you.

Meditation: a way to really center yourself is finding a relaxing spot, sitting down, closing your eyes and just breath. It may not make sense since most of us have a million thoughts passing by, but next time, sit down and focus on your breathing in and out while observing your thoughts as they come and go. This will clear the fog in your mind and has been proven to reduce anxiety while boosting clarity.


Self Talk: You ever wake up in the morning, stub your toe, and the first thoughts you have are unhappy? Those negative thoughts can create a snowball effect with the expectation that the rest of the day will be a bad day. I invite you to wake up and before you grab your phone or think of the million and one things you have to do that day, to write down or say to yourself at least three things you are grateful for and try this for at least 10 days. Practicing gratitude opens the door to more and better relationships, improves physical and psychological health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, and improves sleep and self-esteem.

Being totally focused on what’s in front of you: I know a lot of people take pride in being multi-taskers but I will, respectfully, ask you guys to cut the crap. That may be one of the reasons why you feel overwhelmed at times. You don’t need to do it all at once. Take the most important task in front of you and put all of your focus on it and finish it before moving to the next one. You will experience a dramatic change in your productivity.

These are only a few options out of thousands to choose from. I invite you to begin thinking about what you can do for yourself. In this productive society we are constantly thinking about what we can do better at work, for our family, and for our friends. Now it’s the time to think about the most important person — yourself. Take care of yourself and enjoy the benefits of a more relaxed, centered you. I guarantee others will.

Written by Brandon Tyus, Policy and Community Program Associate

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/a-closer-look-at-self-care-during-covid-19/

Leslie Burk

August 06, 2020

This week: U.S. EPA Weakens Rules for Toxic Waste Ponds for Coal-fired Power Plants + New York Adds Water Safeguards To Remove Emerging Contaminants + Action Request–Ask Legislators to Include Water Service in COVID Relief Package + Apply for a Freshwater Future Grant Today


U.S. EPA Weakens Rules for Toxic Waste Ponds for Coal-fired Power Plants

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted rules that  favor electric utilities extending the use  of toxic coal ash ponds for decades. A recent assessment found 91 percent of the ponds are leaching contaminants into drinking water and groundwater. The new regulations are filled with loopholes; some coal ash ponds will remain until 2038 though the initial cleanup deadline was set for 2021. With majority coal ash ponds surrounding Environmental Justice communities, who regardless of race, color, national origin or income are entitled to equal protection from environmental harms and risks, will face health consequences.


New York Adds Water Safeguards For Some Emerging Contaminants

Testing standards are raised in New York to address three emerging contaminants found in drinking water – PFOA, PFOS (“forever chemicals”), and 1,4-dioxane. All water systems are required to test for these harmful chemicals and remove them from the drinking water if above the new standards (10 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS and 1 part per billion for 1,4-dioxane). Although we understand there is more to be done around the many other emerging contaminants, Freshwater Future applauds all the organizations and community members that worked to improve regulations on water quality.

Comparison Chart of State and Canadian Protections


Take Action:  Ask Legislators to Include Water Service in COVID Relief Package

Handwashing is our first line of defense against the spread of COVID-19, and access to clean and safe tap water is a basic human need to protect individuals, families and communities. Please urge your Congresspeople to include the following in the COVID relief package:

  • A national moratorium on water shutoffs and the restoration of residential water services;

  • $50 million in grants to address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 in environmental justice communities;

  • $12.5 billion in grants to restore or keep water access for communities facing shut offs or toxic water; and

  • $35 billion in funding for waste and drinking water utilities for infrastructure improvements that could create up to nearly one million jobs across the country.

No one should have to worry about how they will wash their hands and masks, cook their food, and get their drinking water. Please take action today.


Apply for a Freshwater Future Grant Today

For 25 years, Freshwater Future has provided grants to community and grassroots groups supporting advocacy efforts to protect or improve drinking water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, and groundwater in the Great Lakes region. Check-out Freshwater Future’s 2020 grant opportunities guidelines to see if your organization is eligible. The deadline for Fall Project grant applications is September 30, 2020. Want to learn more? Join us for an informal webinar on August 19, 2020 at noon, register here.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-august-26-2020/

Alexis Smith

Thousands allowed to bypass environmental rules in pandemic

Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise bypass rules intended to protect health and the environment because of the coronavirus outbreak, The Associated Press has found.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-thousands-allowed-bypass-environmental-rules-pandemic/

The Associated Press

Milwaukee significantly behind in project to replace 1,100 lead pipes by end of year

By Matt Martinez, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

The city is significantly behind in its goal to replace 1,100 lead pipes by the end of the year, exacerbated in part by the ongoing pandemic, Milwaukee officials say.

As of Aug.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/milwaukee-significantly-behind-lead-pipes-by-end-of-year/

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Survey analysis finds race plays role in perception, vulnerabilities to climate change in Indiana

By Enrique Saenz, Indiana Environmental Reporter

People across the U.S. are taking to the streets to protest racial inequity, saying that people of color experience a wholly different experience in the country than white Americans. New findings from a statewide survey indicate that the disparity extends to how Hoosiers of different races perceive climate change and its risks.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/race-perception-vulnerabilities-climate-change-indiana/

Indiana Environmental Reporter

Like others in so many economic sectors hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin aquaculture operators and commercial fishers are looking for ways to adapt their products and strategies in a disrupted marketplace.

The National Sea Grant College Program, in which Wisconsin Sea Grant is a participant, recently committed resources to coastal states to help those affected by COVID-19. In Wisconsin, that response is to structure and hire for a new, one-year non-renewable marketing and outreach position focused on the Eat Wisconsin Fish Initiative. Applications will be accepted until 11:55 p.m. CST Friday, Aug. 28.

Photo by David Nevala

The Eat Wisconsin Fish initiative kicked off five years ago and connects Great Lakes fishermen and aquaculture operators with consumers, restauranteurs and retailers. It seeks to capitalize on the premise of eating locally and supporting local businesses. The United States imports more than 90 percent of its seafood and this effort would inspire more domestic production and consumption, along with educating Wisconsin consumers about the health benefits of fish.  

 

Original Article

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

News Releases – Wisconsin Sea Grant

https://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/news/sea-grant-hiring-for-a-marketing-and-outreach-position/

Moira Harrington

In a time of COVID-19, millions of Americans are plagued by water debt

Mass water shutoffs in Detroit following the city’s bankruptcy proceedings brought the issue of water affordability and water shutoffs into public notoriety in the U.S. in 2014.

The threat of COVID-19 brought the issue back to the forefront as the CDC urged people to wash their hands frequently.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/water-debt-environmental-justice/

GLN Editor

COVID-19 has resurrected single-use plastics – are they back to stay?

By Jessica Heiges, University of California, Berkeley and Kate O’Neill, University of California, Berkeley, The Conversation

 is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

COVID-19 is changing how the U.S. disposes of waste. It is also threatening hard-fought victories that restricted or eliminated single-use disposable items, especially plastic, in cities and towns across the nation.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/covid-19-single-use-plastics/

The Conversation

2 more Indiana counties join others in mandating face masks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least two more Indiana counties on Friday joined the growing list of local governments in the state mandating the wearing of face masks while in public as the state has seen recent growth in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations.

The new requirements were adopted by officials in Monroe County, home to Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus, and northern Indiana’s LaPorte County.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ap-indiana-counties-covid-19-mandating-face-masks/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: Research suggests link with COVID-19, disposal methods increase contamination

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/pfas-michigan-wisconsin-legislation-foam-covid-19/

Samantha Cantie

Outdoor Escape: Visitors flock to parks, beaches, lakes as states reopen

Great Lakes states and provinces have opened up their parks to overnight campers again now that COVID-19 closures have been lifted.

In March, national parks were closed in Canada, along with Ontario provincial parks. In the U.S., while parks remained open to visitors, facilities and many campgrounds were closed to the public.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/visitors-flock-parks-beaches-lakes-provinces-states-reopen/

Emily Simroth

July 10, 2020

This week: Legislation to Address Water Access Focus of All About Water Webinars + Governor Whitmer Extends Water Reconnection To Year’s End   + Great Lake Water Temperatures Spike Due to Heat + Michigan Airports Receive $2.5 Million In Grants For PFAS Testing + Wastewater Can Show Early Detection of COVID-19 Outbreaks


Legislation to Address Water Access Focus of All About Water Webinars

Hosted by Freshwater Future, the All About Water Webinars focused on policy solutions to address access to affordable, safe drinking water and how we can work together to ensure that water is turned on, stays on and is affordable. Visit our website to view the slides from presenters and links to recorded sessions.

Water as a Human Right Legislation Gaining Bipartisan Support in D.C.

Representative Rashida Tlaib shared on the All About Water Webinar that Republicans and Democrats are sponsoring legislation to continue moratoriums on water shutoffs while we are still fighting this pandemic.  Water is essential for life and protecting public health. No one person should ever have to worry about whether they are able to put food on the table or have water flowing from their taps.  You can urge your Congressional member today to support and work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to swiftly pass the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act and the Emergency Water is a Human Right Act.


Governor Whitmer Extends Water Re-connection Order To Year’s End

The number one preventive measure taken to fight against COVID-19 is washing our hands. Gov. Whitmer extended the water reconnection order until the end of the year to help people do exactly that.  We know there are still people who have not been reconnected, and that there are groups including Freshwater Future working to change that.


Great Lake Water Temperatures Spike Due to Heat

Several days of sunny, hot, calm weather resulted in large portions of the Great Lakes warming significantly in some places over ten degrees in just five days. Astounding visuals and video forecast of how and where the Great Lakes temperatures have increased can be seen here.


Michigan Airports Receive $2.5 Million In Grants For PFAS Testing 

Fire-fighting foams containing the toxic chemical called PFAS have been used for decades to put out jet fuel fires.  Fire department training and use of foams contaminated groundwater and drinking water.  The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team is awarding municipal airports throughout the state grant funding for testing of PFAS contamination. Areas like Pellston, MI have been issued $250,000 of this grant due to known impacts on residential wells.


Wastewater Can Show Early Detection of COVID-19 Outbreaks

Researching human waste has proven to be an effective model for tracing and pinpointing COVID-19 infected populations before the area experiences an uptick in cases. In particular, targeting the asymptomatic group that unknowingly carries the virus and spreads it to more vulnerable populations is what makes this research that much more valuable.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-july-13-2020/

Alexis Smith

Water shutoff protections extended by Michigan governor

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Protections to prevent water shutoffs during the coronavirus pandemic are being extended to the end of the year under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Since March, 2,477 Michiganders have had their water restored through a grant to help utilities reconnect consumers.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ap-water-shutoff-extended-michigan-governor/

The Associated Press

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio pipeline, Indiana rejects rate increase

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: 713-mile Rover Pipeline at center of legal dispute between Ohio EPA and Ohio Supreme Court; Hi-Crush Inc., frac sand company filing for bankruptcy after reporting negative revenue, defaulting on loans; and Indiana regulators reject utility rate increase request.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/great-lakes-energy-ohio-pipeline-wisconsin-fracking-indiana-regulators/

Ian Wendrow

Slow Legislation: Flushable wipes become an issue in court and in law

Fatbergs — massive buildups of wipes and hygiene products congealed with greases and oils — make for a cringe-worthy topic. And the damage they cause to sewer systems can be a huge amount of trouble for the people in charge of those sewer systems.

That includes Candice Miller, the Public Works Commissioner in southeast Michigan’s Macomb County.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/legislation-flushable-wipes-court-law-fatberg/

Natasha Blakely

July Fourth weekend will test Americans’ discipline

The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ap-july-fourth-weekend-covid-19/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: Potential COVID-19 connection, DOD bill, Michigan lakes and rivers with PFAS foam

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/pfas-michigan-foam-pfas-covid-19/

Samantha Cantie