After 10 years in daily newspapers, Karessa returned to school at Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. As a graduate student, she worked on the first version of Great Lakes Echo. After graduation (and the birth of her son, Elliott), Karessa began teaching journalism and writing at various local colleges. She and her husband, editorial editor Brian Wheeler, live in Jackson, Michigan with their three children, Elliott, 6; Alec, 4; and Maggie, 18 months.
The Internet rumor mill was working overtime this week, with stories, columns and tweets flying around that the Obama administration was going to ban recreational fishing in the Great Lakes. It all began with a column on ESPN.com by Robert Montgomery that baldly stated: “The Obama administration has ended public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing some of the nation’s oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters.”
He cites “industry experts” — the industry being sport fishing — as warning that NOAA’s Ocean Policy Task Force is under the influence of environmental groups pushing to end sport fishing. The expert, a spokesman from fishing equipment manufacturer Shimano, said President Obama will issue an executive order for “marine spatial planning” which he believes will impact sport and recreational fishing, as well as commercial fishing, on inland lakes and rivers along with the coasts. The leap from fact to supposition was so great that ESPN.com added an editor’s note to the column after receiving more than 400 comments to the column. Executive Editor Steve Bowman wrote“… this particular column was not properly balanced and failed to represent contrary points of view.
Ever Google “Great Lakes”? As part of my job as links hunter for Great Lakes Echo, I will run searches for Great Lakes stories through Google News to catch some of the more obscure publications that I don’t normally check. Google has been great about sending me some interesting reads. But occasionally it also sends me half way around the world. The Great Lakes of Africa are a system of seven lakes spread through three river basins. It is dominated by Lake Victoria, which is the continent’s largest lake and the third largest freshwater lake in the world (following lakes Michigan and Huron, which actually constitute one water system but two lakes).
For weeks now, the media and politicians have been holding an intense spotlight on the Chicago locks as both the cause of and the cure for invasive species. Close the locks = Asian carp go away. Keep the locks open = Great Lakes are invaded. But this week, we are reminded that the invasive species battle has several fronts. And we’re not just talking about Echo’s carp bombs.
Articles following the carp drama ran in many major newspapers nationwide this week and have found some play overseas as well. But the most consistent and up-to-date coverage is provided by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Dan Egan and John Flesher of the Associated Press. Carp watchers should keep an eye on the “Ongoing Coverage” section of the Journal-Sentinel’s Great Lakes, Great Peril special report. Flesher’s most recent report on the financial implications of closing the locks can be found in today’s Los Angeles Times. And don’t miss Great Lakes Echo’s attempt to resolve competing estimates of the value of the fishery at risk. Michigan Now reporter Chris McCarus may have got the carp quote of the week from a retired steelworker speculating that the invasion may have been launched by the Taliban:
“Did you ever think it was a bin Laden plan?
(MI) Ann Arbor.com – Mayor John Hieftje called for a truce tonight as he addressed a crowd of nearly five dozen members of Ann Arbor’s rowing community gathered at Pioneer High School. Acknowledging the tensions between competing ideologies over the fate of Argo Dam, Hieftje urged the rowers – who rely on the dam to enjoy Argo Pond – to set aside their differences with environmentalists who are calling for the dam’s removal, namely the Huron River Watershed Council. More
(WI) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Calling the city’s search for a radium-free water supply “a critical public health issue,” Mayor Larry Nelson on Thursday said a proposed diversion of Great Lakes water to the city was the only safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable option. Simply switching from deep sandstone wells tainted with radium and salt to shallow wells for all of the city’s needs is not sustainable because the pumping would reduce the volume of groundwater feeding wetlands, streams and lakes and would harm those resources, says a draft application for Lake Michigan water that was released Thursday. More
(WI) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Pumping Waukesha’s treated wastewater to Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa would not degrade the stream or spur algae growth, according to a study released Wednesday. With the finding, Waukesha officials say, the city clears a hurdle in its long-running quest to tap Lake Michigan water to replace the city’s radium-tainted groundwater. Using Underwood Creek would allow the city to satisfy a requirement in a Great Lakes protection compact that the city return nearly all diverted water back to the lake. More
(ON) The Hamilton Spectator – A new $4.6-million, state-of-the-art research facility at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters will be used to try to better understand the environmental consequences of everyday chemicals and contaminants. Scientists at the Aquatic Life Research Facility, which opened yesterday, will look at the downstream implications of consumer products such as dyes and cosmetics on fish and aquatic life. More
(IN) The Post-Tribune – U.S. Steel will update the public on its cleanup of several contaminated sites at its Gary Works facility on Thursday. Among the sites are two contaminated lagoons and a hazardous waste landfill on the west side. More
(IN) The Post Tribune – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued the wastewater permit for U.S. Steel Gary Works, the agency announced Friday. The issuance marks the end of a nearly seven-year process, during which IDEM has released three drafts. More