Great Lakes

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Newly Found Shipwreck's Story an Extra-Tragic One

In 1899, captain saw Lake Superior claim crew and family

(Newser) - Shipwrecks are tragic things by nature, but the story behind the Nelson, an 1899 wreck discovered Aug. 26 in Lake Superior, is as sad as they come: When the ship foundered in a sudden gale, the captain stayed aboard to lower the lifeboat, then jumped overboard—only to watch as... More »

Want a Lighthouse? Feds Giving Them Away

100 sold in 14 years, unknown number still available

(Newser) - Ever wish your man cave or summer retreat was in a lighthouse? You may be in luck, now that the federal government is selling or giving away dozens of them, the AP reports. They've shed 100 obsolete or unneeded lighthouses in 14 years, 68 of them freebies handed off... More »

Explorers Looking for Shipwreck Find Plane

Crew parachuted off plane, hoped plane would crash in remote area

(Newser) - A trio of explorers on the hunt for sunken ships managed to solve a six-decade-old mystery—involving a plane. The group uncovered a US Air Force C-45 plane that crashed in the east end of Lake Ontario on its way to Griffiss Air Force Base near Rome, New York, on... More »

10% of US Beaches Teeming With Bacteria

Stormwater runoff major culprit in unsafe beaches

(Newser) - They may look pristine, but one in 10 US beaches is ripe with enough bacteria to make you sick. New research shows 10% of coastal and lakefront beaches fail to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's water-safety standards and swimmers could develop a stomach bug, conjunctivitis, pink eye, or even... More »

Mystery of West's Mammoth Ancient Lakes Solved

Study: Lower evaporation rates led to far larger lakes

(Newser) - During the period known as the Last Glacial Maximum some 21,000 years ago, mammoth lakes spread out across large swaths of the West, and scientists have long wondered why the now-dry lakes used to be so big. Mystery solved: A new study finds that the reason has nothing to... More »

Still-Icy Great Lakes Take a Big Toll

Shipping, wildlife held back by late melting

(Newser) - This winter saw the second-largest recorded ice cover on the Great Lakes, and the five lakes still haven't fully melted. As of April 10, the Atlantic Cities notes, they remained nearly half frozen over; typically, it's about 3% at this time of year, an expert tells Accuweather . All... More »

Great Lakes Days Away From Record Ice Cover

Long cold spell excellent for lakes' health

(Newser) - This long, cold winter has created the most ice cover on the Great Lakes in 20 years —and with ice cover usually at its peak in mid-March, there's still time for records to be broken. Lake Superior is now more than 90% covered by ice, reports NBC , and... More »

Great Lakes Almost Completely Iced Over

They haven't frozen over this much since 1994

(Newser) - It's been so cold for such a long time in the Great Lakes region that the lakes are now almost completely covered with ice for the first time in 20 years. Ice cover has now reached 88% across the five lakes, the most since 1994, when 94% of their... More »

Deep South Braces for 'Paralyzing' Winter Storm

Schools closed; hundreds of flights canceled

(Newser) - The next big winter storm is reportedly on its way, and this time, it's the Deep South that will be feeling its effects. The Weather Channel sees 40 million people in the path of Winter Storm Leon, which an expert says could bring once-in-a-generation weather; another calls the storm... More »

Army: Stopping Asian Carp Could Take 25 Years

Great Lakes solution will cost up to $18B

(Newser) - The fight to keep Asian carp from colonizing the Great Lakes could take longer than any war America has ever fought, the Army Corps of Engineers warns in a report commissioned by Congress. The report offered eight strategies to keep the invasive species from overwhelming the ecosystem and ruining a... More »

Treatment Plants May Miss Half the Drugs in Sewage

Antibiotics, herbicide among chemicals found in Great Lakes study

(Newser) - Treatment plants may only be getting rid of about half the drugs and other "chemicals of emerging concern" that turn up in our sewage, a study finds. Officials in a joint US-Canadian study of the Great Lakes assessed 42 of these chemicals using a decade's worth of data,... More »

A 300-Year-Old Mystery Sits Below Lake Michigan

There's something buried in the lake—is it a 17th century ship?

(Newser) - There's a 40-foot long, 18-foot wide object buried below Lake Michigan, and Steve Libert really hopes it's a 17th-century ship. Libert has been searching for a ship called the Griffin for three decades now. In 2001, he discovered a blackened timber slab near Poverty Island which may have... More »

Famed 1913 Shipwreck Unearthed in Lake Superior

Henry B. Smith went down almost exactly a century ago

(Newser) - Jerry Eliason describes it as "the most satisfying find of my shipwreck-hunting career"—but the sunken ship he speaks of slumbers not in the depths of the Atlantic or Pacific, but off the shores of Marquette, Michigan. The Duluth News Tribune reports on the fascinating coda to the... More »

Great Lakes' Plan: Water- Based 'Blue Economy'

New businesses to include resorts, labs, manufacturing

(Newser) - Cities surrounding the Great Lakes have had it tough since their manufacturing industries dwindled—but now, they're hoping for a comeback based on an enormous resource: the Lakes themselves. "We all recognize that water has become more and more of a precious commodity," says Milwaukee mayor Tom... More »

The Lonely Tale of a Shipwreck's Sole Survivor

Dennis Hale survived 1966 wreck in Great Lakes during brutal blizzard

(Newser) - The SS Daniel J. Morrell was the second-to-last shipwreck on the Great Lakes, torn apart by a fierce blizzard on Nov. 28, 1966. Dennis Hale was the sole survivor of that wreck, and his harrowing tale is detailed in the Morning News . Hale had been sleeping when, around midnight, the... More »

Lake Erie's Garbage Patch May Be Worst of All

Scientists find concentrations of plastic denser than those in ocean

(Newser) - Huge swaths of plastic floating in the ocean get all the attention as emblems of nasty pollution, but rival patches closer to home in Lake Erie are in some ways worse, reports the Atlantic Cities blog. A new study finds that the lake has dense patches of tiny bits of... More »

2 Great Lakes Hit Record Lows on Water Level

Lakes Huron and Michigan continue to drop

(Newser) - Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the US Army Corps of Engineers said today, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation. Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their... More »

Midwest Blizzard Kills 7

1K flights canceled as storm begins to pass

(Newser) - Seven people died across four states as a winter storm continued to tear through the Midwest, dumping more than a foot of snow on sections of Iowa and Wisconsin. A 25-car pileup in Iowa killed two people, and nearly 100 accidents were reported in the state by late last night.... More »

Erie, Ontario Fare Worst in Study of Great Lakes

Lake Superior relatively clean in comparison

(Newser) - A three-year environmental study has produced a color-coded map of the Great Lakes, with Ontario and Erie clearly under the most stress from a hodgepodge of factors, reports the Detroit Free Press . (See the map here .) One big culprit with those two lakes, however, is fertilizer runoff from farms,... More »

Yum? Great Lakes Provide Lampreys for Queen's Pie

England needs them for Elizabeth's jubilee dessert

(Newser) - The slimy eel-like creature known as a sea lamprey happens to be the special ingredient in a traditional English pie that will be cooked up for Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her reign in June, reports the Detroit Free Press . But the animals are endangered and... More »

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