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Great Lakes Today

Over the past two winters, there wasn’t much ice cover on the Great Lakes. That changed with this month’s deep freeze.


A new year brings new opportunities for recreation and commercial interests along the Great Lakes. It also means seven gubernatorial elections in states that border the lakes, and growing concern over climate change.

Great Lakes Today asked environmental groups and others for their thoughts on 2017 -- and what’s to come in the new year. One issue stood out: the wide gap between regional interests and the Trump administration. 

The past year was loaded with turmoil for the Great Lakes. A new president tried to cut $300 million in  restoration projects. Homes were flooded along Lake Ontario. And one of the scariest invasive species -- the Asian carp -- was found less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan.

Here's a look at some of the biggest stories that Great Lakes Today brought you -- from New York to Minnesota, as well as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River make up the world's biggest freshwater system -- and an enormously valuable resource. It supplies drinking water for millions of residents and powers the region's economy.

Last year, 42 million gallons were withdrawn from the basin each day, according to a new report from the Great Lakes Commission. Here's where it went.

The grey sky seems a bit more ominous out here.

With the winds whipping around and waves crashing on the break wall, Douglas Dobson walks around his home. His neighborhood sits on a narrow strip of land, with Lake Ontario to the north and several ponds to the south.


A new report from the International Joint Commission, a bi-national agency, says the Great Lakes restoration continues to progress -- but not quickly enough.

  

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Monroe County's eligibility for federal assistance for flood damage is under review, according to a FEMA spokesman.

When President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for six New York counties Tuesday, Monroe was not among them, even though local communities along the shore of Lake Ontario were among the hardest hit by flooding this spring and summer.

In Irondequoit, town supervisor Dave Seeley says repairs are still ongoing, a compromised sewer lateral was recently moved costing around $350,000 with overtime expenses. He said those costs hit the town hardest.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal recovery aid will be coming to Lake Ontario shoreline communities after President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for spring and summer flooding.

The declaration issued Tuesday includes Niagara, Orleans, Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

It omits two lakefront counties, Monroe and Cayuga, but says additional designations could be added later if warranted.

Over the years, billions of dollars have been allocated to restoring the Great Lakes – whether its money spent cleaning up pollution, preventing invasive species, or educating the public.  A new regional initiative will analyze how effective some of these efforts – and dollars – have been so far. 


The Great Lakes offer lots of spookiness -- from century-old shipwrecks to blood-sucking animals. For Halloween, we pulled together some of the creepiest photos. Take a look -- if you dare.

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