Great Lakes Week 2013

Great Lakes Great Lakes Week 2013Now will, once again, be covering Great Lakes Week in detail when it takes place in Milwaukee, September 9-12, 2013.

Great Lakes Week 2013 is the first gathering of the organizations governing the Great Lakes since the new Great Lakes Water Quality agreement was signed between the United States and Canada. The agencies involved will be taking stock of the overall health of the Great Lakes, celebrating the cleanup of several environmental areas of concern, and setting priorities for action and scientific research on the lakes for the next three years.

The city of Waukesha, Wisconsin’s request to draw water from Lake Michigan will be another major topic of concern, since Waukesha is located outside of the Great Lakes watershed. Government officials and scientists will be discussing who should be allowed to draw water from the lakes – and how much they can have.

Other discussions will focus on record low lake water levels, the algae bloom that threatens fish in Lake Erie, and concerns about safeguarding the lakes from invasive species that could arrive in the ballast water of commercial shipping.

The setting is the city Milwaukee, which is promoting itself as the world’s “Silicon Valley” of fresh water technologies, and the city’s commitment to fresh water will be on display.

Great Lakes Now will offer live anchored coverage of key sessions beginning at 2pm ET on Monday, September 9th, with full day coverage planned on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In addition, there will be separate live stream of two important public hearings under the new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Great Lakes Week is broadcast by public television stations across the United States and in Canada. Check back for complete tune-in times and online streaming information.

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  1. David Wolf says:

    I found Mr. Nevin’s conspicuous avoidance of discussing human impact on lake levels disturbing. By even the most-conservative measure, Lakes Huron and Michigan have lost at least 20 additional inches of depth to excessive outflow, as a result of historic dredging and bottom mining at the mouth of the St. Clair River. This water loss has been greatly exacerbated by riverbed erosion, once the previously-stable bottom surface was disturbed.

    Our governments are poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on dredging some channels and harbors to their authorized depths. (Note: Only “some” because many private and municipal facilities aren’t covered by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ mandates. These other facilities will be at a significant disadvantage, absent special grants.) Remediation of the river bottom would resolve a significant portion of this issue.

    For a fraction of the amount that will be thrown at limited channel and harbor dredging, the human-induced damage at the mouth of the St. Clair River could be repaired, once and for all, gradually restoring the lost 20 inches of water level, while simultaneously preventing down-stream impacts to Lakes St. Clair and Erie. This remediation has already been authorized (decades ago) but the funding has not been provided, even though the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is projected to have some eight billion unspent dollars by the end of 2013.

    Climate change and its impact on the Great Lakes are important issues however solutions to climate impacts will require decades, or even generations to significantly reverse, and even then only if supported by the political and public will to make the necessary changes.

    Focusing exclusively on climatological impacts may be a popular way to steer public opinion and sentiment to deal with those important issues, but it does so at the cost of ignoring a problem for which there is a real and practical solution. Fixing the enormous “leak” at the mouth of the St. Clair River would be very cost effective and would produce results almost immediately.

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