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What's New
Great Lakes Month in Review: Chicago conferences focus on Asian carp, toxic algae, oil pipelines
WKAR - East Lansing, MI (9/29)
The “Who’s Who” of the Great Lakes community is in Chicago for the yearly Great Lakes Week, a series of conferences bringing together government officials and environmentalists to talk about the region’s most pressing environmental issues.

EDITORIAL: Wisonsin company, DNR need to minimize impact of golf course
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (9/8)
The property also includes at least one Indian burial mound, which the company has said it will not disturb. The DNR should make sure that there aren't more such sites. While the company would not be required to preserve the mounds, it needs to treat the sites with the respect they deserve, and will have to move any remains to another location.

National Marine Sanctuary proposed in southeastern Lake Ontario.
Watertown Daily News (9/4)
Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties, the city of Oswego and federal representatives will unveil a proposal to implement a National Marine Sanctuary in the southeastern waters of Lake Ontario.

In Minnesota, fight between mining and environment gets personal
Al Jazeera (8/23)
Mining projects that would bring much-needed jobs to Minnesota could also ruin irreplaceable Boundary Waters freshwater resources.

COMMENTARY: Pipelines, fish tanks and environmental risk
Great Lakes Echo (8/12)
The pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac was built with a 62-year-old technology and is now 12 years beyond its anticipated lifetime and risk assessment quickly gets complicated.

Comment sought on western NY county's proposed microbead ban
North Country Public Radio (8/11)
In New York, the Erie County Legislature passed a ban on the tiny plastic balls found in things like facial scrubs and toothpaste last month. It would take effect in January. The measure still needs County Executive Mark Poloncarz's signature. He's scheduled a hearing for Tuesday to seek public comment.

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The environment of the Great Lakes region is blessed with huge forests and wilderness areas, rich agricultural land, hundreds of tributaries and thousands of smaller lakes, and extensive mineral deposits. The region's glacial history and the tremendous influence of the lakes themselves create unique conditions that support a wealth of biological diversity, including more than 130 rare species and ecosystems.

The environment supports a world-class fishery and a variety of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrat, weasel, fox, black bear, bobcat, moose and other furbearing animals. Bird populations thrive on the various terrains, some migrating south in the winter, others making permanent homes. An estimated 180 species of fish are native to the Great Lakes, including small- and large-mouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, lake herring, whitefish, walleye and lake trout. Rare species making their home in the Great Lakes region include the world's last known population of the white catspaw pearly mussel, the copper redhorse fish and the Kirtland's warbler.

The region's sand dunes, coastal marshes, rocky shorelines, lakeplain prairies, savannas, forests, fens, wetlands and other landscapes contain features that are either unique or best represented withink the Great Lakes basin. For example, the world's largest freshwater dunes line the shores of Lake Michigan.

Over the course of history, many types of pollution have inflicted and been reduced in the region, yet significant challenges remain. These range from threats to divert water out of the Great Lakes basin to the introduction of nonindigenous invasive species and airborne toxics into the basin. Protection of water quality and sustainable development remain long-term goals.

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General Resources
Great Lakes Atlas
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
This Environmental Atlas and Resource Book is an excellent resource on the Great Lakes, including physical characteristics, natural processes, people, concerns, joint management and new directions (mirrored on Environment Canada's site).

Great Lakes Radio Consortium
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium produces environmentally focused radio features and news featured on more than 100 public radio stations around the Great Lakes region and several national radio programs.

Illinois Natural Resources Information Network
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Provides natural resource-related information to the citizens of Illinois so that individuals and groups can make informed decisions about natural resource management and policy.

Science & The Environment Bulletin
Environment Canada
This bimonthly publication provides information on leading-edge environmental science and technology. Includes collections on habitat, pollution, species at risk, water and related topics.

Software for Environmental Awareness
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Purdue University produce free interactive software programs on environmental topics.

Summary of Environmental Law in North America
Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
The CEC created this summary to improve public access to the environmental law of the three parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement; i.e., Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Visualizing the Great Lakes
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
GLNPO has an extensive collection of images from around the Great Lakes that is available for you to use.

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Updated: October 4, 2015
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