Great Lakes

Wikimedia Commons

  BRIDGEPORT, N.Y. - Researchers say two new exotic zooplankton species have crept into the Great Lakes.

Mike Licht / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Some members of Congress want a one-year deadline for completing a federal study on keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes by strengthening defenses on a crucial Illinois waterway.

In a letter Thursday to heads of House spending committees, 26 lawmakers from Great Lakes states say the next federal budget should order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finish its Brandon Road Lock and Dam study by February 2019.


Tom Ruppe / CC BY-NC 2.0 / Flickr

Experts predict that Great Lakes water levels will rise for a fifth consecutive year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says all five lakes should reach above-average levels in 2018, continuing a steady recovery from record lows in 2013.


The corps recently released a forecast for the next six months. It predicts Lake Superior will break a record high level set in the mid-1980s.


A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Nineteen aquariums across the U.S. are partnering in an effort to reduce plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, rivers and oceans.

SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - President Donald Trump's administration says it's time for state and local governments to pay for cleanups of iconic but polluted waterways such as the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.

Illinois Republican Congressman Peter Roskam has told the White House he opposes a Trump administration proposal to eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Roskam has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing the administration's proposed elimination of the initiative, calling proposed cuts completely unacceptable. Trump in March proposed cutting funding to the EPA by 30%.

Illinois State Geological Survey

The Illinois State Geological Survey is using airborne electronic technology to map the coastal sands in Lake Michigan. A helicopter started making low altitude passes from the Wisconsin state line to the Illinois-Indiana border with a six-sided antenna hanging below it. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian O’Keefe spoke with ISGS researcher Ethan Theuerkauf. He says the goal is to create a very detailed 3D image of the lake bed.

Flickr Creative Commons/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Federal officials are delaying a proposal for a new line of defense in the Chicago area to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was scheduled to release a draft plan today for installing new technologies or taking other steps to block the invasive fish's path at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois.  No new release date has been set.

In a small pond in Wisconsin,  a recent study took place that could have some big implications when it comes to the spread of Asian Carp.  
The invasive species threatens to take over waterways, like the Great Lakes. It's already become a major problem in the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and elsewhere.  

ambientfusion / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Representatives of the eight states in the Great Lakes region are preparing to decide whether a city in the Milwaukee suburbs qualifies to tap Lake Michigan as its drinking water source.

Waukesha, Wisconsin says the groundwater wells on which it has long relied are contaminated with radium. The city is only 15 miles from the lake. But because it lies just outside the Great Lakes watershed, it needs permission from all the region's states to use lake water. 

They include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jessica Vandrick / Flikr Creative Commons

A federal study says small fish can be trapped in water currents created by commercial barges and pulled through electric barriers designed to prevent invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says tests show that fish swimming near barges can remain caught between them for substantial distances. 

Illinois is poised to be one of, if not the first, states to regulate so-called "microbeads." IPR'S Amanda Vinicky.

Microbeads are tiny, think the point of a ballpoint pen. But they're causing a big fuss. Jennifer Walling, is the director of the Illinois Environmental Council.

Flying Fish Festival kicks off in July

Jan 17, 2014

Some area businesses and organizations are working to bring more awareness to the Asian carp population in the Illinois River through the launch of a new festival.

Minnesota Public Radio

There’s been some tension among the Great Lakes states over what to do about Asian carp spreading from the Mississippi River system to Lake Michigan. The two bodies of water join at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that links to the Des Plaines and into the Illinois River.

At their weekend meeting on Mackinac Island, The Great Lakes Council of Governors agreed to adopt a common strategy to fight the spread of invasive species. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn endorsed the concept of sealing off the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin.