IN THIS EPISODE:
In this episode of Great Lakes Now, building mountain bike trails on the shores of Lake Superior, investigating how a Supreme Court ruling threatens wetlands, and The Catch offers even more news from around the lakes.
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
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When to Watch?
Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.
Premieres on DPTV
Monday, September 25, 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
Building the Ultimate Mountain Bike Trail
SEGMENT 1 | Copper Harbor, MI
Mountain biking is a growing part of the tourism and recreation industry in the Great Lakes region. In Copper Harbor, Michigan – located at the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. – experienced riders from all over the country flock to experience the thrills of their world class trails.
Join Great Lakes Now contributor Ian Solomon as he meets up with Aaron Rogers, founder of Rock Solid Trail Contracting, the largest builder of mountain bike trails in the world. Together they explore East Bluff Bike Park, an exhilarating outdoor wonderland for mountain biking enthusiasts.
Rogers and his lead trail designer give Solomon and Great Lakes Now a peek into their creative process, sharing insights on how they pick the perfect tract of land for their trails, their recipe for designing a memorable ride, and their focus on constructing trails that appeal to both experienced and newbie riders.
We also explore Rock Solid’s commitment to land conservation and how that thoughtfully impacts their design, development and construction process.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on trails:
Supreme Court Un-Protects Many U.S. Wetlands
SEGMENT 2 | Great Lakes watershed
There is concern about millions of acres of wetlands across America, including the Great Lakes region, following a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The ruling weakens the authority of the EPA to regulate wetlands on private property, and while some farmers and developers support the decision, environmentalists are worried.
Many acres of wetlands across America and the Great Lakes could be in jeopardy following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision came down in May of 2023, and strips the EPA of authority to regulate wetlands on private property. Farmers and land developers say the decision provides clarity, but environmentalists like the Director of the Illinois Sierra Club Jack Darin says it’s bad news. “For over 50 years, we’ve counted on the Federal Clean Water Act to protect these places for our communities and now all of a sudden, the Supreme Court has blown a hole in those protections.”
In a closely watched case called Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, the court ruled in favor of the Sacketts. In 2007, Michael and Chantell Sackett began developing a parcel of land to build a house near Priest Lake in Idaho. But, the EPA halted the project, alleging the property was a protected wetland under the Clean Water Act, which prompted the Sacketts to sue. The Clean Water Act only protects “waters of the United States,” and the Sacketts said their land wasn’t a protected wetland, pointing to dry land between their property and Priest Lake.
In a 5 to 4 ruling, The Supreme Court said that, to count as “a water of the United States,” a wetland must have a “a continuous surface connection” to a navigable body of water. If it doesn’t, federal Clean Water Act protections do not apply. While the Sackett ruling only applies to wetlands on private property, wetlands located on public property such as state and national parks are still protected.
Builders and farmers generally support the ruling, saying it will prevent the EPA from encroaching on property rights. Brian Turmail, of the Associated General Contractors of America says his organization welcomes the ruling because it provides clarity. And while the new definition may be clear, environmentalists say it isn’t logical.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on wetlands :
The Catch: News about the Lakes You Love
SEGMENT 3 | Great lakes watershed
This segment – The Catch – in our award-winning PBS program will keep you in the know. This month, learn about a Great Lakes-centric film festival, a new report looks at how climate change is impacting the infrastructure in Michigan and an excerpt from our new environmental justice series, “Waves of Change,” featuring community organizer Justin Onwenu.
First, a story about the Fresh Coast Film Festival, which takes place in Marquette, Michigan, October 19-22, 2023. Co-founder Aaron Peterson says he came up with the idea for the festival after attending similar events in other parts of the country. The event will include screenings of more than 80 environmental and outdoor-focused films at venues throughout Marquette. As the festival has evolved over the years, the perspectives and topics included within the films have diversified.
Next, the Citizens’ Research Council of Michigan recently published a comprehensive report titled, “Michigan’s Path to a Prosperous Future,” detailing a data-based assessment of where the state stands in terms of infrastructure, climate and the environment. Eric Paul Dennis, an engineer and policy analyst with the Citizens’ Research Council of Michigan, was the lead author of the portion of the report focusing on the environment.
Lastly, an excerpt from GLN’s new web series, “Waves of Change,” which highlights conversations with a variety of people engaged in environmental justice throughout the Great Lakes. This month, Detroit community organizer Justin Onwenu discusses his work to build awareness and community-based policy proposals to protect the water and air quality for people living in and around Detroit.
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.
“Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need” offers examples of how our global food system is affected by climate change. More importantly, it offers hope and solutions for the future that can be applied right here in the Great Lakes region and beyond.
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.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Anna Sysling.