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News stories tagged with "ten-threats"

Turning farmland back to wetland

Loss of wetlands is one of the most serious threats to the environmental health of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Lots of the wetlands were turned into farmland. Thousands of miles of ditches and trenches were dug to drain the water away. But losing millions of acres of wetlands meant the loss of most of the natural filter for the lakes' waters, as well as habitat for wildlife. More and more farmers are now part of a growing effort to restore what's been lost. The GLRC's Mark Brush has more.  Go to full article

Ten Threats: preserving wetlands

One of the biggest threats to the Great Lakes system is the loss of thousands of square miles of wetlands. From Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River, some of the most important wildlife habitat along the edge of the waterway has been lost. For example, 200 years ago, much of the southern shore of Lake Erie was a huge swamp. Almost all of it has been drained and filled since European settlement. The GLRC's Julie Grant went to visit the last remaining bit, and the people who preserve it.  Go to full article

Shipping a route in for invasives

Environmentalists say a plan that could double the volume of freight shipped on the Great Lakes by bringing more ocean freighters through the St. Lawrence Seaway could increase the threat of invasive species brought in through ballast water. Scientists and other experts polled last year by the Great Lakes Radio Consortium ranked invasive species at the top of the list of the ten most serious threats to the lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Seaway management officials in Montreal say that since 1993, ocean freighters have been required to exchange ballast water offshore before entering the system. But several studies say that hasn't stopped the flow of exotic species into the lakes. The GLRC's Lester Graham reports.  Go to full article

Eels disappear from Lake Ontario

Few species illustrate the consequences of the complex threats to the Great Lakes system as the American eel. Only 50 years ago, the snake-like fish accounted for half the biomass of Lake Ontario. Today, it's all but gone. David Sommerstein reports. (This story was part of The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's series on Ten Threats to the Great Lakes.)  Go to full article

Nurturing the Sturgeon

The region's biggest freshwater fish is also its most ancient -- and is among the most threatened. Lake sturgeon were once found throughout the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Locally, they were found in the St. Regis, Racquette, Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers, as well as the St. Lawrence. Only remnants of the population survive - in scattered locations. New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation has stocked fingerling sturgeon and provided spawning habitat in several North Country waterways. Good gravelly spawning grounds seem to do the most good. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Celeste Headlee reports that similar efforts are underway further inland as well:  Go to full article

Great Lakes: Farmland to Wetlands

Our series on the Ten Threats to the Great Lakes continues with a story about how farmers are getting involved in restoring some of the natural landscape. Before farmers could work the fields in the nation's bread basket, they first had to drain them. So thousands of miles of ditches and trenches were dug to move water off the land. In the process, millions of acres of wetlands were lost. And losing the wetlands meant losing nature's water filter. Today, some farmers are working to restore these wet places. Mark Brush reports.  Go to full article

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