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Great Lakes Now Presents

Episode 1012: Warmup, Cleanup

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

Explore the Episode

Warmup, Cleanup | Episode 1012

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

WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN MARCH


Watch Live on DPTV

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:30 PM

STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES


DPTV
Detroit, Michigan

WCML-TV
Alpena, Michigan

WDCP-TV
Bad Axe, Michigan

WBGU-TV
Bowling Green, Ohio

WNED-TV
Buffalo, New York

WCMV-TV
Cadillac, Michigan

WTTW-TV
Chicago, Illinois

WKAR-TV
East Lansing, Michigan

WQLN-TV
Erie, Pennsylvania

WCMZ-TV
Flint, Michigan

WGVU-TV
Grand Rapids, Michigan

WGVK-TV
Kalamazoo, Michigan

WNMU-TV
Marquette, Michigan

WMVS-TV
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WCMU-TV
Mount Pleasant Michigan

WNIT-TV
South Bend, Indiana

WCNY-TV
Syracuse, New York

WGTE-TV
Toledo, Ohio

WDCQ-TV
University Center, Michigan

WNPI-TV
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal

WPBS-TV
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal

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In the Month of March on Great Lakes Now

Click the tabs to read descriptions of each feature in Episode 1012.

Ontario’s Ice-Fishing Extremes

SEGMENT 1 | Manitoulin Island, Ontario; Mitchell’s Bay, Ontario

The unseasonably warm winter this year created different economic impacts from ice fishing in different Canadian communities on the Great Lakes.

On Manitoulin Island, nearly 1,000 people competed for $50,000 in prizes during the annual ice fishing tournament, almost doubling the previous year’s attendance.

But just a nine-hour drive south, most lodges haven’t been so busy. Ice hasn’t formed in Lake St. Clair this season, in contrast to the 24 inches of ice that were on the connector lake in 2017.

Jim Williams, who owns Parkside Restaurant & Cabins in Mitchell’s Bay on Lake St. Clair, said customers have gone where the ice is.

“We have to adapt to the changes that have happened and move forward with it,” he said.

Here is other Great Lakes Now work about warm winter and the outdoors:

  • What does a warming winter mean for Minnesota? Click HERE to read more.
  • Read HERE about how the Lake Erie ice fishing industry is suffering with warmer weather.
  • Warmer weather is changing but not stopping outdoor recreation for people HERE.

Click HERE to learn more about the way government and industry is trying to collaborate on promoting outdoor recreation.

The PFAS Problem

SEGMENT 2 | Rockford, Michigan; Belmont, Michigan; Lansing Michigan; Washington D.C.

In March 2019, Great Lakes Now released the documentary “The Forever Chemicals,” which examined the impact of PFAS contamination in west Michigan communities: Private wells that tapped into groundwater near the dump sites were delivering PFAS-laden drinking water to unsuspecting residents for years, until the contamination was detected and reported publicly.

Since then, lawsuits there have moved forward, Michigan’s political leadership changed, and other Great Lakes states are addressing their own drinking water contamination issues.

Here are some of the latest developments about how—without enforceable standards at the federal level in the U.S. or Canada—states and provinces around the Great Lakes are addressing PFAS in differing ways and on differing timetables.

Here is other Great Lakes Now work about PFAS in the Great Lakes region:

  • What actions and standards are happening in each of the Great Lakes states and the two Canadian provinces? Read more HERE.
  • Check out this map of the official government webpage for each state or province on PFAS HERE.
  • Read about the documentary on PFAS, “No Defense: The U.S. Military’s War On Water,” from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim HERE.

Videos from Episode 1012

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Previous Episodes

In the Waters

Episode 1008

Politics, economics, recreation and science are all part of the latest episode of Great Lakes Now. Go underwater in the five lakes with a group of women who dove them all 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, who wants you to know that Great Lakes fish can be fun and festive.

Watch the Show

Finding Impacts

Episode 1009

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.

Watch the Show

Sand, Sinkholes and Science

Episode 1010

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.

Watch the Show

Drop, Soo and Lock It

Episode 1011

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.

Watch the Show

Featured Articles

New law mandates Indiana schools test for lead contamination
- by The Associated Press

The law requires schools’ drinking water equipment to be tested by Jan. 1, 2023, and take action if results show lead at higher than 15 parts per billion.

Great Lakes Learning: Tips for growing a fatberg at home (safely!)
- by Gary Abud Jr.

In this lesson, help kids understand what not to flush down the toilet and do a fun at-home science experiment at the same time.

Michigan water shutoffs in sharp focus amid coronavirus outbreak
- by The Associated Press

Michigan has the sixth-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data tracking of the disease.

Lack of social distancing leads to closure of parks, trails in Chicago and elsewhere
- by The Associated Press

All over the United States, mayors and other officials fed up with residents who ignore social distancing guidelines have been shutting down parks, beaches, marinas and other public areas.

Digital Credits
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.

Digital Designer: Shelby Jouppi

Additional Video Provided by: Mlive Media Group, Fishtown Preservation Society, National Weather Service, Oceana County Road Commission, WTTW/Chicago Tonight, WRVO Public Media, Robert Carlisle