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
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.
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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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.