A school preserves the craft of wooden boat building, regular folks get underwater garbage out of the Great Lakes and connected rivers, and fossils discovered by two amateur paleontologists open a window onto the region’s prehistoric past.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN SEPTEMBER
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When to Watch?
Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.
Premieres on DPTV
Tuesday, September 28, 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
Wooden Boat Building
SEGMENT 1 | Les Cheneaux Islands, Michigan
The Les Cheneaux Islands are a chain of 36 protected islands along the Northern shore of Lake Huron in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. For nearly a hundred years, wooden boats have been part of life in the islands, but as boat manufacturers turned to fiberglass, there were fewer craftspeople to carry on the wooden boat tradition. So the communities in the Islands came together and opened a school to teach students the art of wooden boat building. Take a look inside this unique school that is keeping the heritage of the Les Cheneaux Islands alive.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on boats and boating:
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
SEGMENT 2 | Detroit, Michigan; Toronto, Ontario
The Great Lakes Region is filled with beauty. But underneath the picturesque water is some unsightly trash. A few folks have come up with ways to scoop that garbage out of the water. One simple method in Michigan involves a powerful magnet.
“There’s places I’ve pulled in 60 to 70 pounds pounds in one day of just lead sinkers and fishing line, which is my No. 1 goal to get out of the water,” says Jason Vanderwal, who leads Motor City Magnet Fishers. “That’s a big hazard for the wildlife.”
In Toronto, a teenage scuba diver is shocked by all the garbage he finds on the lake bed.
Great Lakes Now takes a closer look at the impact that unseen litter has on our environment.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work about cleanups:
SEGMENT 3 | Waukesha, Wisconsin; Madison, Wisconsin
When you picture a fossil, you might think of a gigantic skeleton of a dinosaur.
But in a Waukesha, Wisconsin quarry, two amateur paleontologists made an amazing discovery. They unearthed ultra-rare fossils that had been buried for more than 400 million years opened a window onto the Great Lakes region’s prehistoric past.
How were they preserved? Scientists were stumped.
“When these were first found, it was a pretty remarkable find,” says Carrie Eaton, curator of the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. “And at the time it was unknown what conditions led to this kind of preservation.”
Find all of Great Lakes Now’s work about historical finds here:
Videos from Episode 1029
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Birds vs. buildings in Chicago, algae blooms on Lake Superior, and aquariums re-open.
Marine sanctuaries protect shipwrecks while volunteers guard sturgeon against poachers.
Plovers nest on a Chicago beach, suckers spawn in Wisconsin, and storms rage in Duluth.
One lakeside town struggles with PFAS pollution from a local Air Force base, while cities around the region race to remove and replace thousands of lead water pipes. And after a year-long delay, Great Lakes…
Carrying oil through the waters of the Straits of Mackinac, the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline is arguably the biggest international, political and environmental issue in the Great Lakes region. Now, with a state-ordered shutdown, rigorous…
Invasive mussels are hastening the deterioration of historic Great Lakes shipwrecks, like the submerged Prins Willem V off Milwaukee. Zebra and quagga mussels are also a big problem for water treatment and power plants. But…
Who are the people in this old freighter movie? And where could PFAS be in your home?
The White House and the U.S. Senate change hands. What will it mean for the Great Lakes?
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 that you don’t necessarily need a scuba tank to see in the Great Lakes’ only national marine sanctuary.
Lake levels rise, COVID’s in wastewater and invasive species weave new food webs.
Nature is both fragile and fearsome. In the Chicago River, fish populations have suffered since the river became a steel-lined channel, but can floating garden islands restore a more natural habitat? Our region offers spectacular night sky views, but will new satellites mar their beauty? And how are Great Lakes parks coping with COVID-19 and record-setting lake levels?
The health of the Great Lakes is inextricably linked to the health of the rivers that feed them. In northern Minnesota, one river faces environmental threats from a proposed mine. In Michigan, a second river is unleashed when aging hydroelectric dams are removed. In Indiana, a third river is protected from invasive Asian carp, which have infested rivers further south.
Learn more about a little-known Chicago shipwreck that took more lives than the Titanic. Check in on the Kalamazoo River’s wildlife 10 years after the Line 6B pipeline spilled over a million gallons of oil there, and find out if COVID-19 means no basketball tournament in 2020 for four Great Lakes island schools.
“The take home is always, always, always water,” Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, said during a preview of the United Nations COP26 event.
A Lake Superior lighthouse plans to welcome visitors back for an annual memorial honoring the sailors who died when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank.
Drinking Water News Roundup: Second US Steel spill, new water purification method, Pennsylvania water treatment plant flood
From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle. Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed Debra Shore, a wastewater treatment official in Chicago, to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Midwestern office.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.