Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are together the largest freshwater system on Earth's surface, home to a fragile fishery, and delicate shoreline beaches and dunes. They are also central to northern Michigan tourism, economies and our way of life. Here you'll find stories and sounds of the Great Lakes.


Extreme Winters
6:56 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Thinking of exploring for ice caves this weekend? What you should know.

Credit Eric LaPaugh / Leelanau Adventures

There have been some reports of ice caves forming again on Lake Michigan this year – smaller than last year and not in the same spots. But Lt. Dan Schrader of the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City says the ice on Lake Michigan is not the same as it was last year. He spent a lot of the day Friday flying around the region.

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The Environment Report
10:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Researchers find high levels of toxic flame retardants in Michigan bald eagles

Researchers have discovered high levels of toxic flame retardants in Michigan bald eagles.
Rachel Kramer User: Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:21 pm

A research team has discovered high levels of flame retardants in bald eagles in Michigan.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, are in all kinds of consumer products.  They're in our couches, our TVs, our cars, our office chairs, the padding beneath our carpets, and the dust in our homes. But the chemicals don’t stay put. They leach out and build up in people and in wildlife.

"What we found was that some of the eagles, particularly in Michigan, had some of the highest exposures to flame retardant chemicals in the world," says Nil Basua professor at McGill University in Montreal.

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Michigan Forests
12:32 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Spreading good news about clear cuts

This is good for birds?
Credit Joe VanderMeulen

One of the problems in Michigan’s forests these days is there is not enough clear cutting. That might sound odd since clear cuts are usually thought of as a bad thing. But forests can get too old, at least from the perspective of migratory birds.

Once upon a time, wild fires created openings in the old growth forests, making way for new growth that provided the habitat for many types of wildlife. Today, well over half of Michigan’s forest lands are privately owned and no one wants uncontrolled fires. In fact, lots of folks want to protect all their trees.

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The Environment Report
12:27 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Seafood Watch gives a passing grade to most commercially-sold Great Lakes fish

The newest update to the Seafood Watch website lists five Great Lakes fish.

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 4:52 pm

There’s a new report card of sorts out on fish sold commercially from the Great Lakes.

It’s from Seafood Watch. That’s a program at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

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Grayling Fish Hatchery
7:17 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Chamber loan gives fish farming a boost

Credit Grayling Fish Hatchery

A federal business loan will help a trout farm expand production in Grayling. The development loan approved by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce is for $210,000.

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