Chicago groups spotlight the city’s water “abundance,” focus on innovation, collaboration as key to its future

For Chicago’s Alaina Harkness, the availability and well-being of Chicago and the Great Lakes region’s water is clear. It’s about innovation, and that requires collaboration. Bringing together the right mix of policy, science, tech, advocacy groups, and others to work on common priorities for the future of water.

This mix happened recently at Chicago Water Week, organized by the not-for-profit, Current, a Chicago-based water innovation hub.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/05/chicago-groups-spotlight-the-citys-water-abundance-focus-on-innovation-collaboration-as-key-to-its-future/

Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now

Michigan author reflects on 20th anniversary of landmark book The Living Great Lakes

Jerry Dennis wasn’t seeking adventure when as a novice sailor he joined a veteran captain and crew to sail from Traverse City to the Atlantic Ocean. He was looking for a deeper understanding of the Great Lakes, but adventure found him.

Similarly, he wasn’t seeking notoriety when he wrote The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, which was based on the sailing adventure.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/05/michigan-author-reflects-on-20th-anniversary-of-landmark-book-the-living-great-lakes/

Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now

Line 5 activist group wants Gov. Whitmer to “be an advocate” for shutdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s record on the Line 5 oil pipeline that traverses the Straits of Mackinac is mixed, according to Lansing advocate Sean McBrearty.

When running for governor in 2018, “Whitmer pledged to do everything in her power to take Line 5 out of the Great Lakes,” McBrearty told Great Lakes Now in a recent interview.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/04/line-5-activist-group-wants-gov-whitmer-to-be-an-advocate-for-shutdown/

Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now

International nuclear energy expert questions Michigan’s Palisades restart

Is investing a combined $1.8 billion in federal and state funds to restart the aged Palisades nuclear power plant on the Lake Michigan shore necessary to meet Michigan’s climate goals?

That’s what’s in the works, with the Department of Energy leading with a $1.5 billion dollar loan guarantee and Michigan budgeting $300 million to support the restart.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/03/international-nuclear-energy-expert-questions-michigans-palisades-restart/

Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now

“Bad River” documentary combines historical treatment of indigenous people with the fight to protect Lake Superior 

For documentary filmmaker Mary Mazzio, the trek from her first film to making her new release, “Bad River,” took 20 years and included a near-epiphany when the Bostonian first viewed a Lake Superior sunrise. Mazzio, an Olympic rower and attorney, has directed 12 significant films, including the Gracie Award winning “A Most Beautiful Thing.”  

“Bad River” will run from March 15-21 in select AMC theaters.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/02/bad-river-documentary-combines-historical-treatment-of-indigenous-people-with-the-fight-to-protect-lake-superior/

Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now

Study calls for EPA to include human well-being in Great Lakes restoration program

A classic definition of “environmental restoration” talks about reclaiming habitat and restoring land and waters that plants and animals depend on. 

What’s missing from that long-standing approach? Humans. People who may live near toxic waters directly benefit when they’re cleaned up. People who fish  the Detroit River for subsistence, for example.  

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/02/study-calls-for-epa-to-include-human-well-being-in-great-lakes-restoration-program/

Gary Wilson

Book Review: Author Sue Leaf’s latest takes a philosophical look at life on Lake Superior’s South Shore

Author Sue Leaf’s latest work starts in 1977 when she and her then boyfriend embarked on a 185-mile bike trek from Michigan across Lake Superior’s southern shore to Duluth.

It ends many decades later as she, and the boyfriend who became her husband, settle into a new Lake Superior cabin designed by her architect daughter.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2024/01/book-review-author-sue-leafs-latest-takes-a-philosophical-look-at-life-on-lake-superiors-south-shore/

Gary Wilson

New EPA Great Lakes executive warns on “moon shot” cleanup goal for toxic sites

Four weeks into her new position as the top executive of the U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes office in Chicago, Teresa Seidel has mixed news for the region.

She readily accepts the goal she inherited from her predecessor to clean up decades-old contaminated sediment sites in the region by 2030, a mission she refers to as a “moon shot.” The sites, known as Areas of Concern (AOCs), are on a list developed in 1987 and their continued presence makes it hard for the region to shake its derisive Rust Belt” stereotype.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/12/new-epa-great-lakes-executive-warns-on-moon-shot-cleanup-goal-for-toxic-sites/

Gary Wilson

The Great Lakes Compact at 15: Region celebrates, veteran policy experts caution against complacency

The year is 1998 and a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation headline reads “Great Lake water deal draws criticism.”

The “deal” to which the CBC referred was an under-the-radar but legal endeavor by a Canadian company to tap Lake Superior water and ship it via tanker to Asia for profit.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/12/the-great-lakes-compact-at-15-region-celebrates-veteran-policy-experts-caution-against-complacency/

Gary Wilson

Book Review: Wisconsin author touches third rail of drinking water issues in new book

Author Peter Annin is known for tackling big issues.

Annin directs the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Wisconsin and he made his mark on water with two editions of Great Lakes Water Wars, chronicling the threat of diverting water from the Great Lakes to arid areas and how the region responded.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/12/wisconsin-author-touches-third-rail-of-drinking-water-issues-in-new-book/

Gary Wilson

Wisconsin agency’s expanded mission led to record $450 million investment in Milwaukee waterways

Since assuming the helm of Milwaukee’s sewerage agency (MMSD) in 2002, Kevin Shafer has been focused on managing and expanding the city’s deep tunnels designed to keep sewage out of Lake Michigan.

Knowing that tunnels alone are not enough, Shafer also started a campaign to emphasize green infrastructure and over the years, Milwaukee went from having a reputation as a bad actor to being a national leader in managing sewage overflows.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/11/wisconsin-agencys-expanded-mission-led-to-record-450-million-investment-in-milwaukee-waterways/

Gary Wilson

New University of Michigan led initiative expands climate research across borders

When it comes to fostering resilience in the face of climate change in the waters that border the U.S. and Canada, hydrologist Drew Gronewold wants the region to be a “role model for the world.”

Gronewald is leading a new U.S. – Canada and sovereign nations effort to establish a research center designed to strengthen climate change resilience in communities that span international boundaries and jurisdictions.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/10/new-university-michigan-led-initiative-expands-climate-research-across-borders/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes EPA office reaffirms 2030 cleanup goal for Detroit River, other contaminated sites

The EPA’s Chris Korleski gets excited when speaking about cleaning up the Great Lakes region’s decades-old, contaminated sediment sites like the Detroit River.

He talks about the “tremendous effort” that’s been rekindled in the past two years under the Biden administration. And how “motivated” the people who work to advance the cleanup are and the value of the partnerships that facilitate restoration.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/09/great-lakes-epa-office-reaffirms-2030-cleanup-goal-for-detroit-river-other-contaminated-sites/

Gary Wilson

Researchers: Current Great Lakes stewardship is “ill-equipped” to handle future challenges

The Great Lakes are facing an era of challenges and opportunities that will require new stewardship principles, and leaders who are able to work across disciplines including science, policy, economics and social science.

That is the message from an ad hoc collaborative of University of Michigan researchers in a recent paper titled Leadership for the next generation of Great Lakes stewardship.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/09/researchers-current-great-lakes-stewardship-ill-equipped-handle-future-challenges/

Gary Wilson

Filmmaker looks at Detroit through the lens of water, life events and justice

Making a film about water came naturally for award-winning documentary filmmaker dream hampton, though water and the environment has not traditionally been her emphasis.

hampton made Freshwater after coming off a hectic schedule in 2018 and 2019 during which she made three films. It was, she decided, a time to shift her focus, a time to be still and reflect.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/08/filmmaker-looks-detroit-through-lens-water-life-events-justice/

Gary Wilson

Book Review: Scientist offers positive vision to avoid dystopian future in “The Three Ages of Water”

We are at a choice point when it comes to our relationship with water, says noted water expert Peter Gleick.

We can continue on our current path, which has evolved over centuries and includes unsustainable water use and ecological destruction. Both further worsened as we grapple with the effects of climate change.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/07/book-review-water-scientist-offers-positive-vision-avoid-dystopian-future/

Gary Wilson

Environmental justice, climate resilience are top priorities for new Great Lakes executive

In December 2015, the Flint drinking water crisis that had been brewing for two years finally hit the national spotlight. Then Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder apologized to the citizens of Flint and accepted the resignation of his top executive at the Department of Environmental Quality, the agency with direct oversight of Flint’s drinking water issues.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/07/environmental-justice-climate-resilience-priorities-great-lakes-executive/

Gary Wilson

Landmark Great Lakes coastal wetland program continues restoration drive that began in 2010

It was 2010 when after a decade of lobbying by Great Lakes advocates, federal funding in the U.S. to restore the Great Lakes began to flow to the tune of $475 million.  

Beneath the radar in that first year, Central Michigan University received $10 million to lead a team of regional scientists who would study coastal wetlands that had been severely degraded over time.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/06/landmark-great-lakes-coastal-wetland-program-continues-restoration-drive-that-began-in-2010/

Gary Wilson

Illinois, feds grapple with agreement that would advance billion dollar plan to stop invasive carp

The first efforts to stop the advance of invasive carp to the Great Lakes began in the early 2000s when electrical barriers in the Chicago Area Waterway System leading to Lake Michigan were thought to be a deterrent.

The fear was that if the voracious carp entered the lake, they could expand their range, wipe out the food supply and eventually devastate the multi-billion dollar Great Lakes fishery.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/06/illinois-feds-grapple-agreement-advance-billion-dollar-plan-stop-invasive-carp/

Gary Wilson

New Great Lakes book challenges readers with mystery, facts and whimsy

What is President Abraham Lincoln’s connection to a current vexing Great Lakes threat? Traveling south to Canada, right? And why would France go to court over a Great Lakes issue?

Those are some of the questions Traverse City author Dave Dempsey asks in his latest book, The Great Lakes: Fact or Fake.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/05/great-lakes-book-challenges-readers-mystery-facts-whimsy/

Gary Wilson

Former U.N. adviser warns on water futures trading, elevates water crisis to level of climate

There were two differing visions on how to deal with the global water crisis at the recent United Nations World Water Conference, according to former U.N. water adviser Maude Barlow.

One, would “treat water as a commodity like oil and gas and put it on the open market for sale,” Barlow said.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/04/former-adviser-warns-water-futures-trading-water-crisis-level-climate/

Gary Wilson

Environmental justice expert questions Michigan’s subsidies for electric vehicles

It’s a mistake, environmental law attorney Nick Leonard says, for Michigan to invest so heavily in private auto transportation in place of public transit options.

Leonard was referring to the billions of dollars in subsidies Michigan has recently budgeted primarily for electric vehicle (EV) production. Investment in public transit better serves lower income groups who don’t have resources to purchase EV’s and it’s the better option to deal with climate change, according to Leonard.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/03/environmental-justice-expert-questions-michigans-subsidies-electric-vehicles/

Gary Wilson

Hope springs eternal for Michigan legislator who champions drinking water equity

In 2014, Detroit and Michigan received international attention on a water issue, but it wasn’t the spotlight either would have wanted.

The United Nations dispatched an official human rights rapporteur to Detroit to document the harm caused by water shutoffs based on the inability to pay. “There was no water for food or toilets or for care of the elderly or kids, people had to go to public parks and put water in cans,” water rights advocate Maude Barlow told Great Lakes Now in a 2022 interview.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/02/hope-springs-eternal-for-michigan-legislator-who-champions-drinking-water-equity/

Gary Wilson

Book chronicles human, water connection from nomadic to modern times

If you want to peg the date when humans began the trek to modernity facilitated by a relationship to water, start 10,000 years ago, says Giulio Boccaletti, author of Water: A Biography. That’s when nomads became settlers, began farming and their existence started to depend on rivers and streams.

The book continues through the millennia to modern times when America constructed the Hoover Dam and created the Tennessee Valley Authority which Boccaletti says “became a model for the world.”

Boccaletti is a scientist and an honorary research associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at University of Oxford.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2023/01/book-chronicles-human-water-connection-from-nomadic-to-modern-times/

Gary Wilson

Divided Congress: Smooth sailing or choppy waters for Great Lakes programs?

Since 2020 when Democrats swept into power by winning the presidency and taking control of both chambers of Congress, Great Lakes programs have had a tailwind of funding support from Washington.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided a $1 billion windfall for the region to accelerate clean up of the multiple toxic sites known as Areas of Concern that remain from the peak industrial period in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/12/smooth-sailing-or-choppy-waters-for-great-lakes-programs/

Gary Wilson

Buffalo legislator calls for bill of rights protection for the Great Lakes

Should natural resources like the Great Lakes have the same legal right to protection from harm as a person has? Including the right to be free from exploitation as a commodity for financial gain?

New York state Assemblyman Patrick Burke thinks so and has introduced formal legislation that would provide for those rights.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/12/buffalo-legislator-calls-for-protection-for-great-lakes/

Gary Wilson

Democrats in control: Advocates want action on justice, climate and “stronger leadership” from Gov. Whitmer

Elections have consequences, the saying goes, and for the Michigan Democratic party, the election last week resulted in a sweep of the race for governor and the legislature.

Now comes their opportunity to deliver on long-stalled environmental initiatives.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was re-elected and for the first time in almost 40 years, Democrats will be the majority in the legislature.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/11/advocates-want-action-on-justice-climate-stronger-leadership-gov-whitmer/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes, Chicago River and Asian carp in the spotlight in Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Under a White Sky”

For Elizabeth Kolbert, the path to writing a book on our penchant to control nature started with a guided tour on the infamously reversed Chicago River.

Kolbert wanted to get a close look at the Asian carp issue and talk to the people on the front lines of efforts to repel the carp advance to the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/10/great-lakes-chicago-river-asian-carp-elizabeth-kolbert/

Gary Wilson

Dave Dempsey explores connection between people, dogs and environmental policy in new book

When we think of our cherished dogs, most of us don’t easily make a connection to environmental policy or protecting the Great Lakes.

But that’s the path Traverse City’s Dave Dempsey followed in his latest book release, Half Wild: People, Dogs and Environmental Policy.

The premise of the book examines our tendency to engage in binary thinking on protecting the environment and the Great Lakes, much like dogs who are domesticated but retain long-ingrained wild tendencies.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/09/dave-dempsey-people-dogs-and-environmental-policy/

Gary Wilson

Can shipping on the Great Lakes take the next step toward transporting high-value container cargo?

A common question for casual observers of Great Lakes vessels is “Where are the big container ships?” The reference is to the massive ocean-traversing ships with containers stacked stories high.

The container ships have been absent from the Great Lakes where cherished lake freighters dominate the waterways hauling bulk cargo.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/07/shipping-update-great-lakes-container-cargo/

Gary Wilson

Does extreme weather threaten the hazardous waste sites that border Lake Michigan?

Climate change-fueled weather such as extreme storms will provide a direct threat to contaminated waste storage sites, nuclear power plants and industrial facilities at multiple sites on the shores of Lake Michigan, according to a new report.

The 63-mile corridor from Gary, Indiana, through Illinois to the Wisconsin border is particularly at risk.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/06/extreme-weather-hazardous-waste-sites/

Gary Wilson

Water executive tells cities to “get creative” when it comes to replacing lead service lines

Lynn Broaddus has little patience for cities who focus on the reasons why they can’t replace lead service lines.

She understands that finances are a big part of the problem but says too often cities focus on the barriers, instead of what’s possible.

Broaddus is the recent past-president and now a trustee with the international group Water Environment Federation, a non-profit focused on increasing the awareness of the impact and value of water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/05/water-executive-creative-replacing-lead-service-lines/

Gary Wilson

PFAS is a widespread problem. The solution needs to come from widespread sources

PFAS research is still in the early stages, which means issues with PFAS crop up all the time to surprise researchers like Michigan State University professor Cheryl Murphy.

PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are known as Forever Chemicals because of their reluctance to break down in humans. They can be in the food chain, drinking water and are found in common items in everyday commercial use like water-repellent clothing, dental floss and non-stick cookware.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/04/pfas-solution-widespread-sources/

Gary Wilson

Substantive change will require a ‘massive culture shift’ in federal, state and local agencies

When it comes to dealing with Michigan’s regulators on environmental justice issues, Detroit environmental law attorney Nick Leonard wants to change the narrative.

Too often when confronted with decisions that impact environmental justice communities, regulators focus on limitations and what they can’t do, Leonard recently told Great Lakes Now.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/03/substantive-change-federal-state-local-agencies/

Gary Wilson

Canada’s Maude Barlow chronicles 40 years of activism in new book, “Still Hopeful”

For Maude Barlow, the importance of hope was instilled by her parents as a child while having her morning oatmeal. It grew into a “lifelong mantra” that took her through the travails of 40 years of social justice and environmental activism in Canada and on the international stage.

Now, Barlow chronicles that hopeful trek in her 20th book, Still Hopeful: Lessons From A Lifetime Of Activism.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/02/maude-barlow-activism-book-still-hopeful/

Gary Wilson

Federal Great Lakes restoration program should focus on protection and flexibility, says Ojibwe leader

As the U.S. EPA prepares to expand its Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with the $1 billion-dollar windfall from the infrastructure bill, Ojibwe Tribal executive Michael “Mic” Isham has a vision to bolster the program.   

Isham wants an increased emphasis on protection of the Great Lakes with a priority for Lake Superior, which Isham says is the “cultural and historic center” of the Ojibwe tribes.   

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/02/federal-great-lakes-restoration-program-protection-flexibility/

Gary Wilson

Biden’s First Year: An infrastructure win, but climate and justice plans struggle

In November 2020, shortly after President Joe Biden was elected, Great Lakes Now talked with University of Detroit Mercy  associate professor Nick Schroeck about the opportunities and challenges facing the president-elect. 

Schroeck is an environmental law attorney and urban policy expert who has a background in transboundary legal issues between the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/01/bidens-first-year/

Gary Wilson

Climate Ghosts author: To save more species, treat them like kin

For Professor Nancy Langston, our intransigence in protecting struggling species like caribou and others is a puzzle. These species exist in our memories and culture, and we’ve invested in protecting them, so why do their populations continue to crash? 

That’s the question at the core of Langston’s latest book, “Climate Ghosts: Migratory Species in the Anthropocene”.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/01/climate-ghosts-author/

Gary Wilson

Q&A: New EPA Great Lakes administrator talks Benton Harbor, infrastructure, AOC cleanup

Conservation action for Debra Shore started with the driveway at her suburban Chicago home.

It was asphalt, and she wanted to replace it with gravel to absorb the rain and keep pollutants out of the stormwater drains. But her town administration said no to the permit, though it eventually yielded.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/11/epa-great-lakes-administrator-benton-harbor-infrastructure-cleanup/

Gary Wilson

Intervention: Doctor who exposed Flint’s lead levels sees similarities in Benton Harbor water crisis

For Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, advocating for safe drinking water for Benton Harbor was an easy decision.

She called it a “duh” moment, a “choiceless choice.” Of course she would join a group of citizens and activists in requesting the U.S. EPA to use its emergency intervention authority in Benton Harbor, she said.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/intervention-doctor-lead-levels-benton-harbor-water-crisis/

Gary Wilson

Q&A: Climate, equity and diversity top priorities for new national non-profit executive

Manish Bapna believes that, as a country, we are at a critical juncture with climate change and the time to act is now.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overcome the climate crisis and build a healthier, more equitable and more vibrant world,” Bapna said in a statement on his appointment in August as president and CEO of the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/09/natural-resources-defense-council-climate-equity-diversity-qna/

Gary Wilson

Question of Diversion: Great Lakes governors group silent on future water threats

“Lake Michigan coming to Idaho.”

That’s a potential solution to Idaho’s drought conditions suggested by a Twin Falls radio commentator in June. He said Idaho’s current drought is in its second year and cited a previous drought in the not-too-distant past that lasted seven years. The commentator went on to talk about pipelines of Great Lakes water heading west and their feasibility.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/08/diversion-great-lakes-governors-future-water-threats/

Gary Wilson

Investing in the Lakes: New bill could redirect tech money to neglected Great Lakes cities

As President Joe Biden tries to advance his high-profile legislative agenda in a sharply divided Congress, a low-profile bill that could help the Great Lakes region is progressing with bipartisan support.

If passed, it could finally help the region shake its Rust Belt image.

The legislation is the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/07/legislation-investment-tech-research-great-lakes-cities/

Gary Wilson

Big Convener: Watershed councils provide critical support across municipal boundaries

For Rebecca Esselman, the mission is clear even if there isn’t a big spotlight on her work.

Her goal is to protect the Huron River and its environs, a diverse 900 square miles of land that includes farmland, urban centers, suburban sprawl and intact forest. The river itself runs for 125 miles before emptying into Lake Erie.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/06/michigan-watershed-council-support-municipal-boundaries/

Gary Wilson

Environmental Justice: Michigan’s goal is to be a national leader

President Joe Biden has put a spotlight on environmental justice like no president before him, and that’s good news for Regina Strong.

“I feel like environmental justice is having a moment,” Strong told Great Lakes Now last week. She was referring to a recent indication that U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan may be willing to engage more than his predecessors with state and local governments on issues important to communities.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/05/environmental-justice-michigan-goal-national-leader/

Gary Wilson

Spotlight on Infrastructure: Policy executive talks new Biden plan, definitions of infrastructure

While President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, officially the American Jobs Plan, emanates from the White House, a veteran Chicago policy executive says we should consider its genesis as broader than top down.

“It is something that cities and regions have requested – full partnership with the federal government – for quite some time,” said MarySue Barrett, president of the non-profit Metropolitan Planning Council.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/04/infrastructure-biden-administration-policy-qna/

Gary Wilson

Priority Shift: Great Lakes exec moves environmental justice to top of list

Chicago’s Joel Brammeier came of age advocating for the Great Lakes in an era when federal programs that are widely accepted today like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative were barely on the drawing board.

Brammeier started his advocacy work in 2001 when he managed habitat programs for the Lake Michigan Federation, which later became the Alliance for the Great Lakes as its mission expanded.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/great-lakes-environmental-justice-priority/

Gary Wilson

Excited about Biden: Detroit advocate hopeful on environmental justice progress after decades of inertia

Detroit’s Michelle Martinez is acutely aware of the patience needed when your profession is advocating for environmental justice, the fair and meaningful involvement of all people related to environmental laws and policies.

Martinez is acting executive director and statewide coordinator for the grassroots Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition.

It was 1994, almost three decades ago, that President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 putting the federal spotlight on environmental justice.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/detroit-advocate-hopeful-environmental-justice-progress-decades-inertia/

Gary Wilson

Principled Poet: Michigan’s Alison Swan tackles environmental issues on an experiential level in new book

In a Great Lakes world dominated by policy proclamations, fights for funding and the never-ending conflict between the triad of politicians, business and environmental interests, Michigan poet Alison Swan operates on a different level.

Fully cognizant of these struggles, Swan engages them on a human and experiential level through her poetry by calling “the reader to witness, appreciate and sustain this world before it becomes too late,” as described on the cover of her new book, “A Fine Canopy.”

“A Fine Canopy” is a collection of poems based on Swan’s life-long personal experiences, diverse locales where she has lived and material collected over decades.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/michigan-alison-swan-environmental-experiential-poetry-book/

Gary Wilson

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