Economy

The Great Lakes have always played a major role in the region's economy -- as the backdrop for shipping, steel-making and other industries. Today, the lakes are crucial to wind energy, tourism and other elements of the new economy.  

Ways to Connect

Chris Caya, WBFO News

As communities along the Great Lakes reclaim land once dominated by industry, officials are facing a daunting decision: How much land should be preserved as open space? 

In Cleveland, a developer has proposed an outlet mall along Lake Erie, near the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In Rochester, the city has considered building housing and a hotel on Lake Ontario's shore. In Chicago, plans by Star Wars creator George Lucas to build an art museum along Lake Michigan crumbled this summer amid legal challenges.

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

Each year, ports on the Great Lakes dredge tons of material to keep shipping lanes open. But disposing of the spoils is a big problem. The Port of Toledo has a creative approach: farming.

The Port of Toledo dredges more sediment than any port on the Great Lakes – up to a million cubic yards every year.  The idea of reusing sediment as soil for agriculture is new for the Great Lakes region and ideal for Lake Erie’s western basin.

National Park Service

Mayors of 123 American and Canadian cities are challenging a Wisconsin city’s plan to divert water from Lake Michigan. This is in direct opposition to the Great Lakes governors who approved the precedent-setting request in June. 

Elizabeth MIller

Heavy winds didn’t stop the hundreds gathered to watch the Port Clinton lighthouse make a half-mile journey down the Portage River to its new home on Lake Erie. The 120-year-old lighthouse has been an enduring symbol for Port Clinton, a town west of Cleveland. 
 

Fans followed the path of the 12,000-pound lighthouse Tuesday as it traveled by boat and truck, lifted by a crane three times. It had been sitting for more than 50 years at a nearby marina. 

On Tuesday, governors of the eight Great Lakes states approved a precedent-setting request by a Wisconsin city to take water from one of the lakes. The request sparked months of controversy.

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