The Lakes

The Great Lakes -- Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior -- are among the most important bodies of water in the world. They are the largest readily accessible source of freshwater on Earth – roughly 20 percent of the total supply -- and contain more than 80 percent of North America’s surface water supply.

Ways to Connect

Lake Erie algae file photo

Lake Erie’s harmful algae bloom season is over for the year, and it wasn’t as bad as scientists expected.

NOAA

Lake Erie’s harmful algae bloom season is over for the year, and it wasn’t as bad as scientists expected.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks this year’s algae bloom as relatively mild, a 3.6 on the agency’s bloom severity scale. That’s compared to an eight last year.

The forecast in July predicted the bloom would be significant – a six.

Caitlyn Whyte, WXXI News

The Cumming Nature Center is a little oasis about an hour's drive south of Rochester, N.Y. Miles of quiet trails meander through swamplands and towering pine trees. It’s a great place to talk about citizen science.

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

Researchers have made a startling discovery in Lake Erie -- two species of exotic zooplankton that originally hail from the southern hemisphere.

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