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.

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Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

About 40 people testified last week at a public hearing on a potential offshore wind farm in Lake Erie.

The majority of people who spoke at Cleveland City Hall presented favorable testimony to the Ohio Power Siting Board, which will take public comments into account before deciding whether to certify the project. The board's staff recently released a report endorsing the project; it included 34 recommendations for the developer.

Researchers aim for faster water contamination test

Jul 18, 2018

Many are heading to the beach to escape the hot temperatures this summer, only to find the water is closed. Now, a group of researchers is trying out a new method that could deliver water testing results faster.


Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

Scientists predict a significant harmful algae bloom for western Lake Erie this year.

The forecast, a joint effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Heidelberg University and other partners, predicts a bloom severity of six on a 10-point scale. That would be better than last year, but worse than 2016.

NOAA GLERL

An algae bloom was identified in Lake Erie’s central basin this week, causing increased testing and increased caution at Cleveland’s beaches.

Toxin concentrations were high only one day last week. On Friday, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District detected a concentration of 10 parts per billion at Edgewater Beach. Ohio’s recreational threshold is 6 parts per billion.

In August 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha was having a glass of wine in her kitchen with two friends, when one friend, a water expert, asked if she was aware of what was happening to the water in Flint, Mich.

Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician in Flint, knew that the city had changed its water source the previous year. Instead of channeling water from the Great Lakes, residents were now drinking water from the nearby Flint River. She had been aware of some problems with bacteria after the switch, but she thought everything had been cleared up.

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