Large lakes worldwide share many of the same threats

Algae pollution, plastic pollution and waste run-off plague the Great Lakes in the United States but similar problems also threaten large bodies of freshwater worldwide. The seven African Great Lakes and Lake Baikal in Russia, two of the world’s largest systems of freshwater, also face these problems daily. Collectively, they account for more than 65 percent of the world’s freshwater. A scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research in Ann Arbor explains.

Scandal or not, the money flows

Members of the U.S. House enmeshed in scandal generally raise more money after the scandal breaks than before, and they overwhelmingly win reelection, a new study shows. That was also true for two Michigan lawmakers, former U.S. Reps John Conyers of Detroit and David Bonior of Mt. Clemens. The lead author and an Oakland University congressional expert, say that’s because political contributors want to protect their “investment” in incumbents, especially when Democratic or Republican control of the House is at stake. For news and editorial/opinion pages.

Favorite food not on the menu? No problem for Asian carp – they eat almost anything

Plankton are the preferred food of silver and bighead Asian carp but that food source is declining in the carps’ current breeding areas. However, the fish are still finding lots to eat, making them a greater threat to extend their range in the Great Lakes, according to a recent study by scientists at the University of Michigan and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. These carp eat algae, mussel excrement and many other non-living organic materials, can fast for long periods and can travel long distances.

Churches see the (solar) light

Interest in powering Catholic parishes, schools and missions with the sun is surging in the wake of a solar deal recently announced in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. And church groups nationwide, including ones in Michigan, are keeping a close eye on the project. We talk to experts, including the Michigan chapter of Interfaith Power & Light. For news and religion/faith pages.

Picking Petoskey stones while they’re hot

The near record- high water shrinking Lake Michigan beaches is
uncovering a king’s ransom of Petoskey stones. Now is a good time to find the popular stones,
experts say, and Petoskey stone hunting is at the pinnacle of a long cycle. But don’t take any
from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We hear from a collector-dealer in Traverse City
and a National Park Service ranger.

CNS Budget, July 26, 2019

This is the sixth of occasional summer bonus budgets of environmental stories produced by our partner, Great Lakes Echo. They will move periodically through the summer.

A crack in the Great Lakes Compact? Diversion plan prompts pushback

A controversial plan to divert 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan to a proposed international electronics factory was recently uphelp. But that hasn’t ended opposition by environmental groups or settled worries that this is the first crack in a regional agreement to keep 21 percent of the world’s surface freshwater where it is now: within the Great Lakes basin.

Suffering surfing: Third coast surf swell not so swell

Record water levels are threatening Great Lakes surfing. They are swallowing some surfers favorite beaches and changing how the bottom of the lakes affect the water above. Still, some surfers say that the high water could make accessible previously unsurfable stretches of lake shore.