Special Reports

The Heat is On

A gathering of all the Great Lakes Echo stories from 2012 related to this year’s unusually warm weather.




Satellite Watch

Satellite Watch provides a diverse collection of stories and photos featuring satellite imagery of the Great Lakes.





A weekly video project in which Echo reporters hit the streets to compare the general public’s knowledge of environmental issues to what experts think we should know.



Great Lakes Week 2011

Great Lakes Week 2011 is a gathering of U.S. and Canadian government officials, public and private groups to discuss environmental problems and solutions throughout the basin.



Beach Conflict

With more than 10,000 miles of shoreline, the Great Lakes have the most freshwater access in the world – at least, in theory. There are growing conflicts over who can do what where roads meet the water.



Septic Setbacks

Ill maintained, leaky and overflowing septic tanks are polluting drinking water sources, rivers and lakes and causing serious health concerns in Great Lakes communities.



Stormy times for city sewers

Feb. 15, 2010 – April 5, 2011
When stormwater and municipal wastewater overwhelm treatment plants, cities get overwhelmed with overflows.



Re-engineering history

March 2011

Engineers are softening the shores of the Detroit River, ridding it of the concrete and steel of its industrial past.


Great Lakes SmackDown! Terrestrial Terror

March 2011

Which terrestrial invasive species is the most destructive to the Great Lakes region? You tell us.


Great Lakes city recycling

Dec. 21 – 30, 2010
Abandoned urban lots are community eyesores that increasingly represent economic opportunity. These so-called brownfields carry social ills, but finding a way to reuse them is more important than ever.


Great Lakes SmackDown!

Oct. 4, 2010
We want to answer the question: Which invasive species is the most ecologically destructive to the lakes?



Water Wages

June 10-11, 2010
Many Great Lakes cities are setting water rate structures that discourage consumption. But these rates can be bad for business if set poorly.



Five Great Lakes Policy Players You Don’t Know

March 26 – April 23, 2010
Great Lakes enviro junkies know the big names credited with major policy decisions that affect the basin. These people keep the Great Lakes gears grinding behind the scenes.


Nearshore Navigators

Jan. 26, 2010
In the Great Lakes, the area closest to shore is also one of the least understood. Researchers use an array of robots to discover its secrets.


Salvaging Insolvency

Jan. 19, 2010
When an industrial giant like General Motors goes bankrupt, who pays to clean up its toxic legacy?



Public Pools, Public Health

pool_icon Jan. 14, 2010
Public pools in any community are recreational havens. They can also be health hazards. While the most common safety risk associated with swimming is usually drowning, few think of water quality.



Cleaning Coal

coal_icon4Dec. 15, 2009
This special report explains how clean air has come at the cost of dirty water and why coal-fired power plant wastewater has gone unregulated.


International Joint Commission examines Great Lakes water quality

Oct. 1, 2009
A binational group of Great Lakes scientists and policy experts advising the U.S. and Canadian governments about the Great Lakes met in Windsor in early October. This special report encompasses some of the issues they discussed.


Public dollars for natural resources

Sept. 16, 2009
Echo is reporting occasional stories on a plan to invest new funds into restoring the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative


The alewife question

Sept. 2, 2009
Alewives are a Great Lakes invasive fish that baffle native fish reproduction but give imported Pacific salmon — the target of a profitable fishery — something to eat.
What’s a Great Lakes fishery manager to do?


Lake Huron sinkholes

July 14, 2009
Explore the exotic life of Lake Huron sinkholes off the coast of northeast Michigan.
Dive in…


Environmental Education

Photo: Sunfrog1, via Flickr

June 29, 2009
A look at the benefits, barriers and solutions to environmental education in public schools.
Read more…


On the (Lake) Level

June 3, 2009
Check out the results of a $3.6 million study of fluctuating Great Lakes water levels, who’s still not happy and what happens next. To the lake levels page.


Building a Great Lakes Toxic Legacy

A dredging barge on the Great Lakes digs up tainted sediment.April 21, 2009
Does it make sense to spend millions of dollars to clean the Great Lakes before the pollution sources are eliminated?
A look at toxic fallout.