IN THIS EPISODE:
In this episode of Great Lakes Now, efforts to control invasive sea lamprey, also known as the “vampires of the Great Lakes,” then a look at the causes and impacts of environmental hazards lurking in our homes. And “The Catch” offers updates from around the Great Lakes with news about shipwrecks, infrastructure and a Lake Erie birding trail.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN JUNE
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, June 29, 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
Vampires of the Great Lakes
SEGMENT 1 | Geneva, Ohio and Lake Erie
Sea lamprey, known as the “vampire fish of the Great Lakes,” are an invasive species that nearly decimated the Great Lakes Fishery in the 1940s and 1950s. With the help of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, scientists developed a control measure to keep their numbers in check.
What does this method look like? Follow a team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as staff treat a section of Ohio’s Grand River with lampricide, the chemical that targets sea lamprey larvae. It’s an important operation because this 28-mile stretch of river is the fifth largest producer of Lake Erie sea lamprey. If left untreated, the lamprey could cause significant damage to the fishery.
We also discover how the sea lamprey, which is native to the Atlantic Ocean, made its way into the Great Lakes, and we learn about its interesting life cycle, which begins and ends in our Great Lakes tributaries.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on sea lamprey:
And take our quiz:
SEGMENT 2 | Detroit, MI
When you think about environmental issues, you might picture toxic chemicals in the air or the water, but the environment we inhabit most of the time is our homes, and there are problems there, too.
Some these issues are because of the aging housing stock in Great Lakes cities. In Detroit, for example. 80 percent of housing units were built before 1960 so it’s no surprise that things like older windows, lead paint, and aging heating and cooling systems are becoming big problems. Other issues like damaged roofs or flooded basements can lead to mold and chronic respiratory issues like asthma for the people living in these homes..
Come along with environmental journalist Nina Ignaczak as she talks about her work reporting on this issue and how it relates to environmental justice efforts in cities like Detroit. Nina takes us inside the home of Thomasenia Weston, a longtime Detroit resident living on the southwest side of the city, who has been struggling with a variety of issues inside her home as well as constant truck traffic just outside her front door.
Plus, gain insights and perspective from a Detroiter who created a community and climate-focused consulting firm, as well as a physician who thinks about housing as a vital piece of public health.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on environmental justice and housing:
The Catch: News about the Lakes You Love
SEGMENT 3 | Oak Harbor, OH; Milwaukee, WI; Sleeping Bear Dunes
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 about birding, shipwrecks and water infrastructure.
First up, a conversation about the Great Lake Erie Birding Trail with Kimberly Kaufman, executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory headquartered in Oak Harbor, Ohio. The trail network was created by recreation and tourism organization Destination Toledo and has a mobile passport component. It allows bird lovers to connect and explore nearly 40 different birding hotspots throughout the Western Basin of Lake Erie.
In Milwaukee, officials are working to eliminate combined sewage overflows that can pour pollution into local waterways including Lake Michigan. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Jonah Beleckis has been following the story. He says overflows can lead to drinking water advisories, restrictions on boating and swimming that drive local tourism, and even harmful algae blooms. These issues are part of why state and local agencies are trying to get a handle on the problem
Finally, a look at shoreline shipwrecks in Michigan. There are thousands of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, but you don’t need scuba gear to see all of them. Author and editorial director of MichiganTrailMaps.com Jim DuFresne has published a “Landlubbers Guide to Shoreline Shipwrecks,” and takes us on a virtual tour of some of his favorites which include wrecks on the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Isle Royale National Park.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on issues reported in this month’s “The Catch”:
Videos from Episode 2206
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A Great Lakes archeological dig site and power generation along the Niagara River.
Sailing on ice, Lake Ontario winter surfing and three Lake Michigan news stories.
Explore Indiana’s shoreline erosion dilemma and Michigan dam removal efforts.
Tracking wolves and moose on Isle Royale, and piloting Great Lakes freighters.
Mountain biking Great Lakes trails and the U.S. Supreme Court’s impact on wetlands.
Rock hunting along Great Lakes shorelines and Niagara farmers adapt to water scarcity.
An encore presentation of stories about eFoiling, water infrastructure, and The Catch.
A community fights for a cleaner future, creatively tackling food waste, and The Catch.
Breaking down an old Great Lakes freighter and feeding a giant freighter’s crew.
Climate change impacts maple syrup and a Toronto company’s push toward renewable power.
Citizen scientists chart the night sky, measure the health of a river and The Catch.
Ice climbing in northern Michigan and a controversial wind energy project on Lake Erie.
A high-tech solution for sewage and recovering WWII aircraft from Lake Michigan.
Travis Novitsky is a citizen of the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe and has been communing with the night sky through his camera lens for over 25 years. “Spirits Dancing: The Night Sky, Indigenous Knowledge & Living Connections to the Cosmos” is a curated collection of his images, in collaboration with Lakota astrophysicist Annette Lee.
For more than a decade now, the Lac du Flambeau School District has brought back a piece of Ojibwe culture that had been missing for nearly two centuries. The Winter Games give students a chance to learn about their culture while having some fun. But a growing concern is how climate change may impact the games.
Waves of Change is an online interview series highlighting the diverse faces and perspectives shaping the environmental justice movement throughout the Great Lakes region.
More anglers are targeting muskie and spending more on the pursuit. Fish populations are thriving in most Great Lakes states due to a combination of factors.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.