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Coastal Centre concerned about plastic pollution in Lake Huron
Owen Sound Sun Times (7/17)
Everyone has a role to play in turning the tide on the growing problem of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. That's the message from Ontario's Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation outreach specialist, who is working to educate people on simple ways to help combat the issue.

Elementary Adventure Day outing provides hands-on fun
The Ashland Daily Press (7/12)
Just over half-a-dozen youngsters gathered at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, in Wisconsin, to participate in the first of this year’s three 4-H Elementary Adventure Day’s.

Summer interns help to research Lake Erie issues
The Toledo Blade (7/5)
Eleven college and university students from across the United States are studying freshwater lake issues this summer at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center.

Anglers enlisted in water fight
Great Lakes Echo (6/29)
A recent study by researchers at Cornell University, in N.Y., revealed that anglers in the Great Lakes region are aware of and concerned about the threat of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Lake State opens Sea Grant office
Sault Ste. Marie Evening News (6/29)
Lake Superior State University officially welcomed its new Michigan Sea Grant office to campus with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.

Stone Lab hosts series of experts to discuss lake
Port Clinton News Herald (6/28)
In Ohio, people looking to learn more about the issues facing Lake Erie will have several opportunities this summer to hear firsthand from the experts in the field who deal with those issues every day.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
Urban Sprawl in the Great Lakes

table of contents
Introduction
The Causes of Sprawl
The Effects of Sprawl
Some Solutions to Sprawl
More Information

Know sprawl when you see it!Perhaps you've noticed your community is getting a little bigger. Road construction seems to be everywhere and traffic is more heavy than it used to be; new strip malls and "big box" stores are popping up; and land on the outskirts of your town is being cleared for new housing subdivisions. Your community could be experiencing urban sprawl, an issue that has affected cities and towns across the country as well as the Great Lakes region.

Urban sprawl can be generally defined as wide-spread, low-density development that consists primarily of strip commercial developments, such as malls and large office buildings, and housing subdivisions connected by new, wide roads and boulevards. The subdivisions are set apart from other development and built within a specific price range, and people are dependant on their cars to get them from one place to another. With sprawl, fewer people occupy more land and as the people spread out, so do the buildings, roads and houses. Urban sprawl is difficult to define but people usually know it when they see it. The following maps describe what an urban sprawl suburb might look like (left) compared to the land use plan of a town that avoids sprawl (right).

Sprawl    Anti-sprawl
Maps by Gail Dennis, Michigan Land Use Institute
Source: "The Next American Metropolis," by Peter Calthorpe.

The Great Lakes region is losing its rich farmland and other greenfields to urban sprawl at an alarming rate, and the environment and the residents are paying the price. Many cities of the Great Lakes region, such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, are seeing their businesses and residents move to the suburbs, forever destroying open spaces and leaving behind cities of abandoned buildings with fewer tax payers.

Graphics: Urban sprawl layout (left) compared to an anti-sprawl urban design (right)

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