Forget Washington, it’s time for a Great Lakes Now road trip!

Forget Washington, it’s time for a Great Lakes Now road trip!
June 26, 2017 Gary Wilson
Photo courtesy of Adam Moss via Wikimedia

The first six months of 2017 produced Great Lakes news at a pace that exceeds anything I’ve seen since I became involved with the lakes in 2002.

A new president has designated the U.S. EPA for a major downsizing including a zeroing out of all funding for the Great Lakes.

Michigan’s attorney general recently brought serious criminal charges against five government officials for their role in the Flint water crisis.

And the spotlight on Enbridge’s Line 5, Straits of Mackinac pipeline continues to get brighter.

But these headline-grabbing stories have taken Great Lakes Now’s attention away from slower developing yet still important stories.

It’s time for a road trip!

Beaver Island

Photo courtesy of Charles W. Bash via Wikimedia

Lighthouse at Whiskey Point in St. James Harbor on Beaver Island, courtesy of Charles W. Bash

I’m off to Beaver Island in Lake Michigan to catch up on the important Great Lakes work being done by Central Michigan University’s Institute for Great Lakes Research.

The university has been the recipient of two significant Great Lakes restoration grants from the U.S. EPA to map and monitor the long-neglected issue of wetlands in the region. Wetlands are the “kidneys” of the Great Lakes and are essential to sustain the lakes over time.

I’ll get updates on the wetland work from Prof. Don Uzarski and his team. We’ll talk overall  health of the Great Lakes including the never-ending toxic algae problem,  and I’ll try to wrangle a comment from Uzarski on the impact of those budget cuts.

Check in over the next few weeks for these stories.

Not everything important to the Great Lakes emanates from Washington.

What happens on Beaver Island is important too and Great Lakes Now will be there.

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