Plastic microbeads, often found in personal hygiene products, are getting rinsed down the drain and ending up in the Great Lakes and other waterways.
To alert customers to these barely visible plastics, a new smartphone App lets consumers scan barcodes to see if a product contains the beads.
The App was developed by the North Sea Foundation and the Plastic Soup Foundation, both based in the Netherlands.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., January 9, 2014 -- With temperatures now rising after record lows across much of the nation, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says now may be a good time to check on your boat in winter storage, and has these five tips to ensure old man winter is kept at bay:
1. How low can she go? If your boat is stored in the water over the winter, are all of the above-water thru-hulls still well above the waterline? The weight of snow and ice can submerge above-waterline thru-hulls, including the exhaust (inboard boats), so start shoveling if you notice she's sitting lower in the water - plastic shovels and brooms are best. It's also a good time to check on your bubbler system.
2. Call me shifty: For boats stored on trailers, jackstands or cradles, ensure the boat hasn't shifted. Boats on stands/cradles should be level, while those on trailers should be slightly bow up.
The International Joint Commission, which regulates levels in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system has announced water level adjustments for the winter season.
The IJC's International St. Lawrence River Board of Control recently reviewed conditions in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system and noted a rapid onset of winter. With the arrival of cold temperatures has comes the formation of ice in the St. Lawrence River. As a result the board has directed changes in the lake levels to influence levels downstream in the river system.
The board plays an active role in ensuring the formation of a stable ice cover. This is essential to minimize the risk of ice-related issues, such as flooding and to ensure that water levels and flows can continue to be managed in accordance with the IJC's Orders of Approval for the regulation of Lake Ontario.
A four-phase, five-year process is underway to restore one of the largest coastal wetlands in Lake Erie.
Erie Marsh contains 2,217 acres of wetlands that are home to 65 species of fish and 300 species of migratory birds. That’s according to The Nature Conservancy, the organization tasked with cleaning up the marsh.
Only around 5 percent of the wetlands in western Lake Erie remain from the mid-1900s, when pollution and dike construction harmed the quality and flow of the water, according to the director of the operation to restore the marsh in southeast Michigan near the Ohio border.
ALBANY, New York — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has adopted a restoration plan for sauger, a walleye-like fish that biologists call one of New York's most imperiled fish species.
The fish used to thrive in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and Allegheny rivers and Lake Champlain, but they've become scarce because of pollution and habitat loss. Only a small remnant population remains in Lake Champlain.
The DEC hopes to re-establish sauger in the Allegheny River, Lake Champlain and Lake Erie watersheds by 2030. The plan calls for stocking, documenting and improving habitat, population monitoring, and public outreach.
WASHINGTON — A long-awaited report on how best to stop the spread of voracious species of Asian carp into the Great Lakes is due out the first week of 2014. But it won’t include a straightforward recommendation — even though that’s what many members of Congress say they want from it.
The Army Corps of Engineers says its study — years in the making and due Jan. 6 — will outline options for controlling the spread of invasive species between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes, but stops short of choosing among them. Officials instead say the report is intended to aid “more educated decision making” as to next steps.
LEELANAU COUNTY, MI – The giant ice boulders of Lake Michigan have rolled back into the spotlight – they have been named one of the “Most Amazing Earth Images of 2013” by the online magazine LiveScience.
The beach ball-sized orbs captured global attention after a Leelanau County woman, Leda Olmsted, snapped a few photos while on a walk in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in February. The field of ice boulders gives an eerie, other-worldly feel to the beach. It looks as if a bunch of giants are preparing for a snowball fight.
PORT HURON, Mich. — The Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock's recent mission was filled with gingerbread cookies and giggles.
Crew members took the 255-foot ship out into lower Lake Huron to retrieve the buoys that protect the ships traveling through the area. Crew members also retrieved time with their spouses and children.
The Dec. 20 mission was gathering buoys and gathering families together, according to the Times Herald of Port Huron.
Alexander Berry, 10 years old, had an essential role in both parts of the endeavor.
Raffle tickets now on sale for this unique adventure!
You have watched the vessels steam majestically through the harbor and grandly sail over the horizon on Lake Superior.
An interactive map showcases successful federal restoration projects in the Great Lakes states, including projects from the $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
The map is produced by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, an association of more than 120 environmental and conservation groups.
Here’s a quick look at what the coalition views as success stories in Illinois:
KINCARDINE, Ontario (AP) — Ordinarily, a proposal to bury radioactive waste in a scenic area that relies on tourism would inspire "not in my backyard" protests from local residents — and relief in places that were spared.
But conventional wisdom has been turned on its head in the Canadian province of Ontario, where a publicly owned power company wants to entomb waste from its nuclear plants 2,230 feet below the surface and less than a mile from Lake Huron.
Some of the strongest support comes from Kincardine and other communities near the would-be disposal site at the Bruce Power complex, the world's largest nuclear power station, which produces one-fourth of all electricity generated in Canada's most heavily populated province. Nuclear is a way of life here, and many residents have jobs connected to the industry.
Canadian researchers think they have found a great way to trace the travels of treated sewage after it is discharged into rivers: Follow the artificial sweeteners.
The scientists found elevated concentrations of four sweeteners - cyclamate, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame – in water samples collected along the length of the Grand River in Ontario, Canada.
Commonly used in diet drinks, the sweeteners got into the Grand by way of the 30 sewage treatment plants that empty into the river and its tributaries.