The Erie Situation – and beyond

Join six PBS stations to watch this important documentary.

Whether you go out on a boat, to a beach or get your drinking water from Lake Erie, you know harmful algal blooms are a problem.

But they’re not limited to this Great Lake. The blooms are a threat to all five lakes, the connectors like the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair and other parts of the watershed.

A new documentary explores the issue and helps residents of the region understand what’s a stake and what possible solutions could be. Produced by David Ruck and Plastic Oceans, the film has aired at film festivals around the region this year. Ruck, who lives in Muskegon, Mich., is a regular contributor to Great Lakes Now.

In partnership, PBS stations in five cities and three states that border Lake Erie — and one along Lake Superior — are simultaneously broadcasting the film and sharing more resources with residents about this important environmental and economic issue.

Tune in at 9 p.m. ET, Monday, Sept. 12 on:

Buffalo Public Media in New York

Detroit Public Television in southeast Michigan

Ideastream Public Media in Cleveland, Ohio

WGTE-TV in Toledo, Ohio

WNMU-TV in Marquette, Michigan

WQLN-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania

Will Michigan farmers voluntarily help reduce phosphorus loading into Lake Erie?
- by Michigan Radio

Public pressure is growing over toxic cyanobacteria blooms growing in the western basin of Lake Erie and other places in Michigan.

To reduce harmful algal blooms and dead zones, the US needs a national strategy for regulating farm pollution
- by The Associated Press

The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked the state’s high court Monday to weigh in on a legal battle over Pennsylvania’s plan to charge power plants for their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide.

2022 Forecast: Smaller than average amount of harmful cyanobacterial blooms for Lake Erie, but some hot spots possible
- by Michigan Radio

Long-term forecasts of less rain leads researchers to predict there will be a less severe outbreak of harmful cyanobacterial blooms.

Study suggests phosphorous reduction alone could lead to more toxic algae
- by James Proffitt

A new study says efforts to reduce harmful algae blooms by limiting phosphorous in Lake Erie could result in more toxic algae.

Harmful algal blooms cause problems in Lake Erie; drinking water customers pay the price
- by Michigan Radio

Data from the Ohio EPA show the additional costs at water treatment plants are paid by customers, not polluters.

Michigan Great Lakes: Expect lower waters, ample fish and a hot summer
- by Bridge Michigan

This is why we love Michigan. What to expect in terms of weather, beach cover and water conditions on the Great Lakes.

Water executive tells cities to “get creative” when it comes to replacing lead service lines
- by Gary Wilson

Too often cities focus on why “they can’t tackle the problem,” says Water Environment Federation’s Lynn Broaddus, pointing to Lansing, Madison and Buffalo as cities that found a way.

Michigan’s lack of septic system regulations is causing problems for some of its most pristine lakes
- by Michigan Radio

The cost of updating sewer systems in growing communities is either a hefty price tag or polluted waters.

New Ontario watercraft regulations fight invasive species
- by Great Lakes Echo

New legislation in Ontario can result in a fine if boats are not cleaned properly when they are moved from one body of water and into another.

Scientists take rare look under Great Lakes’ frozen surfaces
- by The Associated Press

The field studies over the past few weeks — a collective effort known as the “Winter Grab” — were intended to boost knowledge of what happens in the five lakes when they’re covered partially or completely with ice.

Lake heatwaves driven by human-caused climate change
- by Brian Owens

What sort of effect this will have on lake ecology and organisms is still unknown, though researchers say an increase in algal blooms can be expected.

Great Lakes Water Authority monitoring Detroit River for algal bloom threat
- by Sharon Oosthoek

A new floating sensor in the Detroit River is the first to be placed at the head of the water authority’s intake. Researchers are hoping it will contribute to our understanding of algal blooms and the risk they pose.