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:

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.

New technology provides hope for the Great Lakes’ polluted waters
- by Great Lakes Echo

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency have demonstrated a new technology designed to reduce harmful algal blooms in lakes.

Clean Water Act at 50: environmental gains, challenges unmet
- by The Associated Press

Experts and activists agree many waterways are healthier now.

Remedies for Harmful Algal Blooms Are Available in Law and Practice
- by Circle of Blue

They are expensive, in many cases experimental, and take a long time to work.

Powerful Industry’s Torrent of Manure Overwhelms State Regulators
- by Circle of Blue

Cause of Michigan’s worst water pollution is too much waste spread on too little land.

Lake Erie’s Failed Algae Strategy Hurts Poor Communities the Most
- by Circle of Blue

Algae blooms are hiking the cost of water for people already struggling to pay their bills.

In A Year of Water Quality Reckoning, National Imperative is Impeded
- by Circle of Blue

Law and policy treat farms as special class of polluter.

Testing the waters: How groups monitor toxic algae in the absence of state testing
- by Wisconsin Watch

Toxic algae can sicken people and animals. Few states have routine testing programs to check, so some volunteer groups are stepping in to fill that gap.

Farms in Six Southeast Michigan Counties Are Major Sources of Lake Erie Toxic Blooms
- by Circle of Blue

Water sampling finds no reduction in bloom-producing nutrients.