IN THIS EPISODE:
Join researchers as they uncover details about the bottom of the Great Lakes, head to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum to learn how scientists are using a natural history collection to understand changes to global biodiversity, and The Catch has news about the lakes you love.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN SEPTEMBER
GREAT LAKES LEARNING:
Explore this month’s hands-on lesson plans designed to help your middle schoolers understand the Great Lakes — all at home or in the classroom. They’re aligned to education standards AND free to download.Lesson Plans
Have a question about the Great Lakes or life in the region?
Ask Great Lakes Now, and if we can answer it, we might loop it into our coverage so others can learn too.Submit Your Question
When to Watch?
Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.
Premieres on DPTV
Wednesday, September 28, at 7:30 PM
STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES
Bad Axe, Michigan
Bay County, Michigan
Bowling Green, Ohio
Buffalo, New York
East Lansing, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Green Bay, Wisconsin
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Menomonie-Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Park Falls, Wisconsin
South Bend, Indiana
Syracuse, New York
University Center, Michigan
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal
Mind the Map
SEGMENT 1 | Cleveland, Ohio
While current charts of the Great Lakes have aided navigation for decades, they’re based on a patchwork of data gathered using primitive survey methods like lead-line surveys, in some cases around 80 years ago. The charts are low-resolution, indicating only depths, often miles apart—but that’s changing.
There’s a new effort to map the Great Lakes bottomlands in unprecedented detail using state-of-the-art sonar. At the heart of the effort, is the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s vessel, the Thomas Jefferson.
There are multiple sonars on the Thomas Jefferson—or “TJ” for short—and on the TJ’s two launches, which also conduct hydrographic surveys. The sonars are sure to reveal details and features that have never been documented before, giving a whole new view of the depths of the Great Lakes.
What does the system look like, and how is the data gathered? Great Lakes Now contributor David J. Ruck spent a day on the Thomas Jefferson to find out.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work by David J. Ruck:
A playlist of his videos is HERE.
SEGMENT 2 | Toronto, Ontario
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s largest museum and is comparable to the British Museum in London, England, or the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
More than a million people a year visit the ROM to enjoy over 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens showcased across 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.
But behind the scenes, the ROM’s fish-specimen collection is one of the top 10 fish collections in North America. It includes 110,000 jars containing about 1.5 million individual specimens spanning more than 7,500 species of fishes. Roughly, one in five species of fish globally are represented, from both freshwater and marine environments.
But the ROM fish collection isn’t housed in their iconic downtown Toronto location. With over 100,000 jars filled with flammable liquid, the entire collection was moved out of the museum basement to a secure — and secret — location outside of the city.
Erling Holm curated the collection for 44 years and recently passed the reins to Nathan Lujan. Both men share with Great Lakes Now why natural history collections play such a critical role in understanding Earth biodiversity and how it is changing over time.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on fish and museums of the region:
The “I Speak for the Fish” monthly features are HERE.
The Catch: News about the Lakes You Love
SEGMENT 3 | Chicago, Illinois; Syracuse, New York; Cleveland, Ohio
Keep up with the Great Lakes’ biggest issues. Find out how environmental challenges are impacting your enjoyment of the outdoors and the health of the ecosystem. Go beyond the headlines with reporters from around the region.
This new segment – The Catch – in our award-winning PBS program will keep you in the know. This month, stories from our partners with the “Water’s True Cost” project.
First, head to Chicago where Daily Herald Climate Reporter Jenny Whidden is looking into the causes of lightning bug population declines. Whidden says the issue is part of a larger problem of declining insect populations in general, but she also has some suggestions on what you can do to help attract and protect lightning bugs in your own backyard.
Next, Syracuse.com Climate Reporter Glenn Coin talks about a historic transfer of land back to the Onondaga Nation.The move marks the first time that land has been returned directly to a tribal entity in the state of New York. The land transfer is part of a settlement involving Honeywell International, a company that polluted and is now helping to restore Onondaga Lake.
Finally, GLN’s Lake Erie Contributor James Proffitt rounds things out with news about the launch of an innovative freighter from the Cleveland-based Interlake Steamship Company. The ship is named the Mark W. Barker and is the first American made bulk cargo carrier constructed on the Great Lakes in nearly 40 years.
Click below for other Great Lakes Now work on issues reported in this month’s “The Catch”:
Videos from Episode 2209
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How coal ash is threatening Lake Michigan, ideas for beneficial coal ash reuse and The Catch.
Saving salamanders, how Great Lakes ports fit into global shipping and The Catch.
Controlling invasive sea lamprey, hazards in our homes, and a Great Lakes news update.
The Great Lakes News Collaborative looks at the cost of water in the region and beyond.
A giant fungus in a tiny Great Lakes town, gangsters vacation “Up North,” and “The Catch.”
Sailing on ice, Lake Ontario winter surfing and three Lake Michigan news stories.
The science of shrinking ice coverage, Great Lakes ice fishing and skating on wild ice.
Lighthouse preservation, community renewal, and sturgeon teach Native American culture.
Plovers nest on a Chicago beach, suckers spawn in Wisconsin, and storms rage in Duluth.
Greener shipping in Indiana, the Benton Harbor lead crisis and water safety in Ontario.
Can two Great Lakes mayors with opposing views agree on how to protect the region’s water?
Building boats, cleaning up trash and uncovering amazing fossils around the Great Lakes.
Birds vs. buildings in Chicago, algae blooms on Lake Superior, and aquariums re-open.
Catch the latest updates on what’s happening with PFAS in Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.
Ontario’s microbreweries are teaming up for an ale trail or IPA itinerary for tourists and locals.
It’s unclear whether the ruling will affect other conflicts around the state involving drainage projects that preserve farmlands but increase the volume of pollutants flowing downstream.
The county prosecutor’s office in Cleveland has opened an investigation into an apparent cheating scandal during a walleye fishing tournament.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.