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Summer vacation researching lakes
The Journal Gazette (8/25)
Steve Park, a seventh-grade science teacher from Riverview Middle School in Huntington, Ind. spent a portion of his summer on an Environmental Protection Agency research vessel.

Senators announce funding for University of Michigan project
WKZO - Washington, D.C. (8/25)
Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin say that a grant for the University of Michigan will help develop models to protect Lake Erie from the effects of algal blooms.

Residents get hands-on lesson about Maumee River conditions
WTVG 13 ABC - Toledo, OH (8/25)
More than two dozen people took a two-hour look at the Maumee River and nearby facilities that impact its condition. The tour, hosted by the Lake Erie Waterkeeper, was especially important this year because of the growing algae bloom in Lake Erie.

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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