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Tag archives for great lakes

Protecting Our Waterways from Plastic Pollution Starts with Your Straw

The following is a blog post by Garrett Johnson, stewardship specialist for conservation partnerships and programs at Shedd Aquarium. “Only within the moment of time . . . has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.” Rachel Carson’s poignant words spurred the environmental movement of the 1960’s. When…

The Five Voices of Lake Superior

Our Shores was a self-supported ultrarunning expedition undertaken that took 86 days to run a total of 1,352 miles around Lake Superior, the world’s largest body of freshwater, collecting water samples for Adventure Scientists and the stories of people they met along the way.

From Mussels to Crayfish and Gobies: Have the Great Lakes Experienced an “Invasional Meltdown?”

Guest post by Eric Larson, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium Not many people have likely heard of Beaver Island, a large, isolated island located far off shore at the northern end of Lake Michigan. Home to roughly 600 permanent residents and accessible only by ferry or small plane, Beaver Island is a well-kept secret of…

Gar Spotted in the Windy City: First Occurrence of the Primitive Fish

Guest post by Solomon David, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium Last week, when colleague Phil Willink showed me photos sent to him by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) I was excited by what I saw; an elongate fish with a toothy snout, like an alligator with fins instead of legs, the tell-tale traits…

Geography in the News: The Great Lakes’ Mounting Problems

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Great Lakes’ Mounting Problems Recent news about an algae bloom on Lake Erie leading to Toledo, Ohio’s municipal water plants closing is just one of the many problems affecting the Great Lakes. Toledo’s 400,000 people were forced to purchase bottled water for two…

Frigid Forecast for Water Temperatures on Great Lakes This Summer

Of all the images of ice last winter, one of my favorites was a friend’s photo of crumpled sheets of blue ice on the west side of Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. With her smartphone, Denise McDonough snapped a photo that looked like it was taken by a polar explorer, not by one of…

Ice Cover Affects Lake Levels in Surprising Ways

The announcement last week that $300 million was included in the 2014 federal spending bill for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was followed this week with more good news about water levels. The recent Arctic blast that gripped much of the nation will likely contribute to a healthy rise in Great Lakes water levels in 2014,…

PROJECT: ICE Documentary Portrays Changing Climate on the Great Lakes

As the polar vortex descended on Washington, D.C. on Monday night, my husband and I joined Water Currents editor Brian Clark Howard for a private screening of PROJECT: ICE, a fascinating new documentary about the Great Lakes. What was conceived as a documentary about ferries and shipping on the Great Lakes became something else. During filming,…

Botulism Bacteria Blamed for Deaths of Waterbirds on Lake Ontario

Last year, I wrote about finding the carcasses of dead loons and cormorants on the shores of a Northern Lake Michigan beach. Now officials in New York are reporting similar waterbird deaths from Type E botulism on Lake Ontario. Sadly, finding type E botulism in waterbirds is becoming an “annual event in one or more…

Geography in the News: Asian Carp

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Invasive Asian Carp An aggressive invasive species—the Asian carp—is threatening the Great Lakes. Able to consume one-third of its body weight in a day, the carp can grow up to five feet (152 cm) long. It also reproduces very quickly. Its presence may spell…

Asian Carp Reproducing Naturally in Great Lakes Tributary

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that a species of the dreaded Asian carp has reproduced naturally in a Great Lakes tributary. While not the variety of Asian carp experts fear will do the most harm in the Great Lakes region, the results have important implications for those concerned about the spread of this…

The Mystery of the Migrating Fishes: Swimming the Gauntlet to Green Bay

  Dr. Solomon David, Postdoctoral Research Associate Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation & Research, Shedd Aquarium Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison The ice and snow of early spring in northern Wisconsin had come and gone. Also departing with the frigid weather were the adult northern pike our team had been tracking as the fish…

Why Do Blood-Sucking Fish Find Bile Sexy?

Move over, Chanel No. 5: Scientists have discovered why the scent of bile is irresistible to female sea lampreys.

Where Did the Water Go? Busting 5 Myths About Water Levels on the Great Lakes

Much-needed rain in the Great Lakes basin helped water levels recover somewhat this summer. Higher than average precipitation throughout most of the region in July left Lakes Erie and Ontario with above average water levels for this time of year, according to the most recent monthly water level report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

The Mystery of the Migrating Fishes: Northern Adventures in the Great Lakes

Dr. Solomon David, Postdoctoral Research Associate Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation & Research, Shedd Aquarium Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison I had received word from colleagues that northern pike (Esox lucius), an apex predator in freshwaters throughout the northern hemisphere, had begun migrating inland from Lake Michigan, and I had come to track…