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Environment

Biggest Great Lakes stories of 2017, month by month

President Trump's proposed budget cuts threatened many Great Lakes projects.
President Trump's proposed budget cuts threatened many Great Lakes projects.

The past year was loaded with turmoil for the Great Lakes. A new president tried to cut $300 million in  restoration projects. Homes were flooded along Lake Ontario. And one of the scariest invasive species -- the Asian carp -- was found less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan.

President Trump's proposed budget cuts threatened many Great Lakes projects.
President Trump's proposed budget cuts threatened many Great Lakes projects.

Here's a look at some of the biggest stories that Great Lakes Today brought you -- from New York to Minnesota, as well as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

January: Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources revised its website, deleting information concerning climate change, including references to human factors. Environmental groups saw the move as a preview of President Donald Trump's policies. 

February: The unusually warm winter triggered fears about climate change, and altered life on a Lake Erie island.

The International Joint Commission held two public meetings in Buffalo.
Credit Eileen Elibol, WNED/WBFO
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The International Joint Commission held two public meetings in Buffalo.

March: The warm winter had deadly impact, as unstable ice was a factor in the deaths of more than 30 people. On a brighter note, Great Lakes Today hosted the International Joint Commission's public meetings in Buffalo, and hundreds of area residents discussed plans to help the lakes.

April: Environmental groups and regional officials began to push back against President Trump's budget outline, which cut the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Sea Grant programs.

May: After heavy spring rains, flooding hit the shoreline of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. That sparked criticism of the IJC's new plan to regulate lake levels. 

A river cleanup in Minnesota was among the projects endangered by proposed federal budget cuts.
Credit Minnesota Public Radio
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A river cleanup in Minnesota was among the projects endangered by proposed federal budget cuts.

June: Great Lakes Today highlighted the potential impact of Trumps budget cuts with a five-part series, Troubled Waters.

July: A Congressional committee put back funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. But a new threat emerged, as a destructive type of Asian carp was found within 10 miles of Lake Michigan.  

August: A federal agency released a $275 million campaign -- including blasting noise underwater -- to battle the Asian carp's advance.

September: Algae blooms turned western Lake Erie a sickly green. Meanwhile, a series called "New Faces, New Issues" examined how the environmental movement was reaching out to minorities.

Algae bloom on western Lake Erie.
Credit Aerial Associates Photography by Zachary Haslick
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Algae bloom on western Lake Erie.

October: As media partner for the Healing Our Waters conference, Great Lakes Today provided hour-by-hour coverage -- and led workshops on the media and citizen science. 

November: A three-part series highlighted the impact of climate change on a Wisconsin forest, a New York vineyard and a destructive insect that targets hemlock trees.  

December: Environmental scientists were investigating another threat: chemicals from pain-killers and other drugs that often end up in the Great Lakes. 

Copyright 2017 Great Lakes Today

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