IN THIS EPISODE:
Volunteers work to preserve a historic Great Lakes lighthouse, a Chicago community finds new life through embracing its past and high school students learn about Native American culture with the help of lake sturgeon.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN JANUARY
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 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.
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
Love for a Lighthouse
SEGMENT 1 | Northern Lake Huron and Cheboygan, Michigan
The Spectacle Reef Lighthouse sits 17 miles from the mainland in the Straits of Mackinac. It was considered a marvel of construction when it was built in 1869 and became a model for lighthouses constructed throughout the northern Great Lakes.
A group of lighthouse enthusiasts bought the structure and formed a non-profit organization, Spectacle Reef Preservation Society, dedicated to preserving and restoring the lighthouse. Every weekend from the spring to the fall a group of volunteers travel to the lighthouse by boat and work on renovations. Their goal is to make the lighthouse an educational center where visitors can come and learn about the history of lighthouses on the Great Lakes.
One of the challenges to working on the lighthouse is unpredictable weather. The day our Great Lakes Now crew joined the volunteers, high winds and heavy seas threatened the team’s efforts.
“When you’re this far offshore on the second most remote lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Mother Nature calls the shots,” said Patrick McKinstry, the president of the Spectacle Reef Preservation Society.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on lighthouse restoration:
Greening the Pullman Neighborhood
SEGMENT 2 | Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood on the southside of the city was almost bulldozed out of existence.
It was once a thriving company town founded by George Pullman. His company built luxurious railroad cars, employing hundreds of workers. But, the Pullman neighborhood fell on hard times when the industry dried up.
Plans were in the works to turn the nearly forgotten area into an airport. But, Pullman residents rose up and fought City Hall.
Today, Pullman is thriving again after politicians, business and community leaders worked together to come up with a plan. Capitalizing on Pullman’s rich history, they attracted investors and breathed new life into an old, rusted out industrial corridor to create a sustainable green industry success story.
Can this same formula be used to rescue other struggling Rust Belt communities in the Great Lakes Region?
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on sustainability in communities:
SEGMENT 3 | Pellston, Michigan
When the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in northern Michigan decided to create an educational program that would highlight their current natural resources work, the tribe naturally turned to lake sturgeon or nmé, the grandfather fish to pull it all together.
The first lake sturgeon started high school in Pellston, Mich. with the class of 2014.
The program proved successful but expanding into more classrooms created new challenges.
Like, what if the fish got sick? How would the LTBB biologists in northern Michigan help fish in classrooms that were hundreds of miles away on the other side of the state?
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on sturgeon:
Videos from Episode 2201
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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.
The science of shrinking ice coverage, Great Lakes ice fishing and skating on wild ice.
Seeking a small, venomous catfish, highlighting a Great Lakes docuseries and “The Catch.”
Exploring a debate over Great Lakes land use, eFoiling on Lake Huron, and The Catch.
Scanning the bottom of the Great Lakes, a giant library of preserved fish, and The Catch.
How coal ash is threatening Lake Michigan, ideas for beneficial coal ash reuse and The Catch.
Michigan’s wild places — and the fish and wildlife that call them home — are under threat as warmer temperatures cause species to migrate northward and rivers to overheat. Advocates called for more resources to protect Michigan’s fish and game from those changes.
New NASA imagery reveals startling behavior among group of ‘banished’ beavers: “[They] were just about everywhere”
NASA satellite imagery has recently shown that beavers banished to rural Idaho have made significant improvements to waterways in the region. These dams are already buffering against floods and reducing the risk of forest fires.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the MI Healthy Climate Plan last year. Now the state legislature is trying to take those goals and turn them into law.
An invasive mussel is destroying shipwrecks deep in the depths of the lakes, forcing archeologists and amateur historians into a race against time to find as many sites as they can.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.