Friday, June 14, 2013

Great Lakes Restoration Success Stories Map

Over the last several years, the federal government has made Great Lakes restoration a national priority. Restoration projects are producing results in communities across the region.

This map provides a sample of successful projects that are helping the environment and economy. Additional stories will be added as projects are completed. Of course, much work remains to restore the Great Lakes, which is why public officials need to maintain support for programs that protect our lakes, drinking water, jobs, public health and way of life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Caring for Lake Erie

Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Walking the beaches of Lake Erie this summer will bring the usual. Fresh air. Exercise. Good memories. Even sunburn.

What it won’t bring – thankfully – are some of the sights and smells of 10 or 20 years ago.

That’s when botulism left thousands of birds massacred along the shore.

It was when trash was at a high tide.

And it was when some native fish and wildlife – which had long since disappeared under decades of pollution – remained far away from home.

Problems remain with Lake Erie.

Sewage overflows and stormwater runoff. Pharmaceuticals. Invasive creatures. Lake levels. Fertilizer and algae. Dead zones.

But the efforts of concerned people are making a difference in cleaning up the water and the shore.

Botulism has subsided.

There’s less trash.

And with the emergence of some once-endangered fish and wildlife in Buffalo Niagara – from the bald eagle to the prehistoric lake sturgeon – hope has sprung.

The scenes from the front lines of Lake Erie’s botulism outbreak a decade ago were reminiscent of a battlefield.

Waterfowl carnage was everywhere.

Loons, ducks, geese and gulls washed ashore by the thousands along beaches between Erie, Pa., and Buffalo.

Buffalo News 
30 May 2013
TJ Pignataro