Great Lakes Today

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal includes major cuts to Great Lakes restoration efforts.

The administration's 2020 budget proposal would cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by more than 90 percent.

This initiative funds projects from habitat restoration to shoreline improvement programs, and is usually fully funded at $300 million a year. This budget would knock that down to $10 million.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

In a changing climate, people living on Lake Ontario may be more at risk for flooding and extreme weather, so what compels them to stay?

They'll be biting on Lake Ontario this season, DEC says

Mar 8, 2019
International Joint Commission/Joe Nohner

Fishing is good on Lake Ontario — and it might be even better this year, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation briefing on the "State of Lake Ontario" held Thursday night in Lockport, Niagara County.

DEC fisheries experts were at the Cooperative Extension complex to talk with dozens of anglers about last year's fishing season on the lake and what to look forward to as the weather warms up.

WXXI file

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) Advocacy groups are lobbying Congress to pump more money into programs to protect Great Lakes water quality. 

More than 100 representatives of organizations in the region are in Washington, D.C., this week for an annual gathering in support of funding for Great Lakes priorities such as toxic pollution cleanups and fighting invasive species. 

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition organizes the trip. Policy Director Chad Lord says a high priority this year is boosting federal investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. 

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on officials to reduce the higher than average water levels on Lake Ontario, but officials who manage the water regulation say that might not be possible.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

According to the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board, Lake Ontario is more than a foot higher than usual for this time of year.

Keith Koralewski with the Army Corps of Engineers says, we're not alone. "Most of the Great Lakes are currently above average," he said by phone.

It was the fish’s failures as an invasive species, perhaps more than its successes, that first drew Sunči Avlijaš to studying tench.

This story is part of a collaboration with APM Reports, the investigative unit of American Public Media, and Great Lakes Today.

Monroe County’s waste water treatment plant is getting $28 million in upgrades and improvements, partially in response to several years of violations with state and federal environmental standards.

Ever since the Frank Van Lare water treatment plant underwent extensive upgrades from 2011 to 2015, it has had a series of violations for discharging too much sewage waste into Lake Ontario.

The original upgrades were intended to make the plant more energy efficient, but Director of Environmental Services Mike Garland says they noticed problems almost immediately.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

An end-of-year report from the Great Lakes Adaptive Management Committee says last year’s floods could not have been prevented.

Last year, Lake Ontario and some of its tributaries were so high that homes and businesses along the shore were damaged and destroyed.

Residents blamed a newly implemented management plan, but the Great Lakes Adaptive Management Committee and its governing body, the International Joint Commission, have concluded that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the flooding.