Biggest Great Lakes stories of 2017, month by month

Dec 22, 2017

The past year was loaded with turmoil for the Great Lakes. A new president tried to cut $300 million in  restoration projects. Homes were flooded along Lake Ontario. And one of the scariest invasive species -- the Asian carp -- was found less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan.

President Trump's proposed budget cuts threatened many Great Lakes projects.

Here's a look at some of the biggest stories that Great Lakes Today brought you -- from New York to Minnesota, as well as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

January: Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources revised its website, deleting information concerning climate change, including references to human factors. Environmental groups saw the move as a preview of President Donald Trump's policies. 

February: The unusually warm winter triggered fears about climate change, and altered life on a Lake Erie island.

The International Joint Commission held two public meetings in Buffalo.
Credit Eileen Elibol, WNED/WBFO

March: The warm winter had deadly impact, as unstable ice was a factor in the deaths of more than 30 people. On a brighter note, Great Lakes Today hosted the International Joint Commission's public meetings in Buffalo, and hundreds of area residents discussed plans to help the lakes.

April: Environmental groups and regional officials began to push back against President Trump's budget outline, which cut the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Sea Grant programs.

May: After heavy spring rains, flooding hit the shoreline of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. That sparked criticism of the IJC's new plan to regulate lake levels. 

A river cleanup in Minnesota was among the projects endangered by proposed federal budget cuts.
Credit Minnesota Public Radio

June: Great Lakes Today highlighted the potential impact of Trumps budget cuts with a five-part series, Troubled Waters.

July: A Congressional committee put back funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. But a new threat emerged, as a destructive type of Asian carp was found within 10 miles of Lake Michigan.  

August: A federal agency released a $275 million campaign -- including blasting noise underwater -- to battle the Asian carp's advance.

September: Algae blooms turned western Lake Erie a sickly green. Meanwhile, a series called "New Faces, New Issues" examined how the environmental movement was reaching out to minorities.

Algae bloom on western Lake Erie.
Credit Aerial Associates Photography by Zachary Haslick

October: As media partner for the Healing Our Waters conference, Great Lakes Today provided hour-by-hour coverage -- and led workshops on the media and citizen science. 

November: A three-part series highlighted the impact of climate change on a Wisconsin forest, a New York vineyard and a destructive insect that targets hemlock trees.  

December: Environmental scientists were investigating another threat: chemicals from pain-killers and other drugs that often end up in the Great Lakes.