Great Lakes Now Monthly Series

A monthly public media program covering crucial issues affecting the well-being and future of the Great Lakes


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Water damage – Episode 1016
- by GLN Editor

Large-scale dairy and animal farms fuel the annual toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie — are regulation loopholes contributing? Record-high water levels are costing lakefront towns millions of dollars, and the Midland dam breach came after years of warning from regulators.

Unlocking the Lakes – Episode 1015
- by GLN Editor

As stay-at-home orders end around the Great Lakes, does Wisconsin’s experience opening businesses predict anything for other tourism-dependent communities? How are researchers, reef restorers and hydroponic farms reacting to the pandemic? Plus, with an increase in use of personal wipes, will more fatbergs grow in our sewer systems?

Lakes on Lockdown – Episode 1014
- by GLN Editor

Produced fully during the COVID-19 pandemic, this episode checks in with people, businesses and institutions from previous episodes to see how work has changed during the public health emergency. But while social distancing keeps people inside, it lets the residents of some Great Lakes aquariums get out.

From Rust to Resilience – Episode 1013
- by GLN Editor

Rebuilding Chicago’s iconic lakefront, managing Buffalo’s rainwater and sewage, and tracking the annual algal blooms in Lake Erie are all part of the Great Lakes region’s effort to manage the impacts of climate change. This month, Great Lakes Now takes you to meet the citizens, city leaders and scientists who are working on these issues.

Warmup, Cleanup – Episode 1012
- by GLN Editor

This year’s warm winter boosted ice-fishing tourism in one part of the Great Lakes while potentially spelling disaster for businesses depending on colder weather. Catch up with the communities in our documentary “The Forever Chemicals,” and learn what Great Lakes states and provinces are doing to fight PFAS contamination.

Drop, Soo and Lock It – Episode 1011
- by GLN Editor

Winter doesn’t stop work around the Great Lakes. See what happens at the Soo Locks when they close for maintenance, and drop into the chilly water with commercial divers who battle the zebra and quagga mussel invasions in the lakes. In a warmer setting, join us in the Mackinac Island school gym for a tournament just for island school teams.

Sand, Sinkholes and Science – Episode 1010
- by GLN Editor

Travel with Great Lakes Now to the remote Canadian research station where scientists are working to understand – and protect – freshwater. Go deep into Lake Huron to see mysterious sinkholes, and watch as some homeowners try to save their Lake Michigan coastal homes while the waters wash away the beaches below them.

Finding Impacts – Episode 1009
- by GLN Editor

Search for a meteorite on the bottom of Lake Michigan, learn how a little striped fish might help us understand the health impacts of industrial chemicals on people, and see how a Milwaukee community is UN-developing a river to improve the environment and water quality.

In the Waters – Episode 1008
- by GLN Editor

Go underwater with a group of women who dove all five lakes in 24 hours, and learn more about the controversy about controlling water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. Get aboard a commercial fishing boat  on Lake Huron, and meet Dr. Katfish.

Waters Infected – Episode 1007
- by GLN Editor

Household waste, lead and agricultural runoff are byproducts of modern life. In this episode of Great Lakes Now, get the down-and-dirty reality of what can happen when these substances get into the region’s water systems.

Waters Restored – Episode 1006
- by GLN Editor

Floating islands on the Chicago River are creating habitats for fish, turtles and birds inside the city waterway, while up north in Lake Superior, scientists are working to protect a rocky reef from legacy mining pollution. Also, see what happened after a Michigan community started running out of drinking water.

Cruises, Rising Waters and Ship Safety – Episode 1005
- by GLN Editor

Travel aboard one of the growing number of cruise ships as passengers visit First Nation communities on a Canadian island in Lake Huron. See who is winning and losing from the record-high water levels around the lakes, and learn more about the latest technology on freighters.

Pipelines, Plastics and Parks – Episode 1004
- by GLN Editor

The fight over an oil-and-gas pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac went to the courts, and microplastics were detected in waters around the region. The newest U.S. National Park on Lake Michigan’s shoreline means increased visitors but not necessarily more protection against erosion, contaminants and native plant loss.

Fire, Fish and Food – Episode 1003
- by GLN Editor

See how Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River has been cleaned up since it famously caught fire 50 years ago. Go fishing for Asian carp and learn to identify all four species in or near the Great Lakes, then find out how hydroponic farming is creating connections between sustainability, technology, water conservation and food.

Ships and Shipwrecks – Episode 1002
- by GLN Editor

Come aboard a boat that delivers mail to ships on the Great Lakes. Learn about life on a Great Lakes freighter, and dive into some incredible shipwrecks in the Great Lakes’ only national marine sanctuary.

Great Lakes Now Presents – Episode 1001
- by GLN Editor

Learn what life is like on a Lake Erie island and how a Chicago port helps get one of your favorite candies made. We look at how Ann Arbor, Michigan, is dealing with industrial chemicals in the city water supply, and we answer viewer questions about drinking water safety.