Freshwater Weekly 11/1/18

This week: lake effect snow + a peek at the plan to clean up Lake Erie + Michigan considers dramatic changes to environmental law + funding opportunities.

LAKE EFFECT

Fun fact: in order for lake effect snow to form, cold air has to move over at least 62 miles of open water. Lake Erie is already almost 90% covered by ice, but those of us living on or around the other Great Lakes will have to wait awhile for enough ice coverage to shut down lake effect snow.


A PEEK AT THE PLAN TO CLEAN UP LAKE ERIE

Speaking of Lake Erie, the governments of Ontario and Canada have just about finalized their Action Plan for cleaning up our shallowest Great Lake. The final version will be released next month, but our staff got a peek at the draft and we’ve had a chance to evaluate it.

The good news is the plan includes a number of our recommendations, including increased transparency and more money for research and monitoring.

Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t rise to the urgency of the challenges we’re working to address. It relies on programs that ask farmers to voluntarily reduce the runoff pollution that fuels toxic algal blooms. Voluntary measures simply won’t reduce pollution enough for the lake to recover. We need an innovative approach that combines new legislation, enforcement, and education.

In the year ahead, Freshwater Future Canada will continue advocating for the health and safety of Ontario families and do everything we can to push the government to develop smart programs and incentives to protect Lake Erie. Read more on our blog.


MICHIGAN BILLS COULD DRAMATICALLY ALTER ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

The Michigan legislature is considering two sets of bills that would undermine existing environmental protections and dramatically change how Michigan’s environmental laws are implemented. If passed, these bills could impact all environmental law in Michigan, for years to come.

Learn more about the bills—and what our sister organization Freshwater Future is doing to stop them—on the Freshwater Future blog.


FUNDING FOR GREAT LAKES RESTORATION WORK

Sustain Our Great Lakes is soliciting applications for funding to restore and enhance habitat in the Great Lakes basin. The organisation will host a webinar on January 16, 2018 at 11 AM Eastern Time/10 AM Central Time to share more information about funding priorities and the application process. Interested? Register here.  


FRESHWATER FUTURE WELCOMES NEW STAFF

Our sister organisation welcomed three new staff members late in 2017. Meet Latia, Megan, and Mitch on the blog and learn about how they’re helping Freshwater Future protect the Great Lakes.