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 J. 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 six 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

Read the latest on harmful algal blooms:

US EPA okays Ohio plan to reduce toxic cyanobacterial blooms; Environmentalists say it won’t work
- by Michigan Radio

Environmentalists say the Ohio plan will not work because it doesn’t hold agriculture responsible for the runoff from fields using manure from factory farms as fertilizer.

Toxins from cyanobacterial blooms can be airborne, but the threat to public health is unclear
- by Michigan Radio

Researchers are studying how much of cyanobacterial toxins become airborne. They say breathing in the toxins is much worse than ingesting them.

Scientists are learning just how complicated it will be to reduce toxic blooms in Lake Erie
- by Michigan Radio

Two decades of study reveals a complex combination of factors causing large cyanobacterial blooms and their toxicity. Government incentives to reduce nutrient pollution from farms have not been enough to solve the problem so far.

“It’s a good thing”: Fishflies in Great Lakes region signify healthy water
- by Jada Vasser

Even though fishflies may not be the prettiest insects, they represent good. A large number of fishflies near the Great Lakes area means the water is healthy.

What are wetlands for, anyway?
- by Lisa John Rogers

Here’s what to know about how the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Sackett v EPA changing wetland protection impacts the Great Lakes region.

Harmful algal blooms appearing on Lake Erie earlier than usual
- by Michigan Radio

NOAA satellite images and a research vessel sampling Lake Erie water both found evidence of harmful algal blooms on July 5, a much earlier date than typical.

Lake Erie harmful algal bloom expected to be smaller than average
- by Michigan Radio

Last year’s severity index was at 6.8. Rick Stumpf with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says this year’s severity is expected to be around 3.

Great Lakes Moment: Decreasing Great Lakes ice cover has consequences
- by John Hartig

In the Great Lakes basin, less lake ice cover is already having major impacts.

Report: MI and OH must spend hundreds of millions more annually to curb toxic blooms in Lake Erie
- by Michigan Radio

A new report suggests Michigan and Ohio will fail to reduce nutrient runoff by 40% as agreed upon.

Lake Erie algae in 2022 worse than predicted; it plateaued rather than peaked
- by Great Lakes Echo

Into October, there were higher air temperatures in the entire northwest region than ever before.

Scientists: Atmospheric carbon might turn lakes more acidic
- by The Associated Press

The Great Lakes have endured a lot the past century, from supersized algae blobs to invasive mussels and bloodsucking sea lamprey.

Some Republicans, Democrats, environmentalists, hunters, anglers, and birders all want the same thing: more wetlands
- by Michigan Radio

The idea is to reduce harmful algal blooms getting into the Great Lakes, reduce flooding, and provide habitat for wildlife.