Freshwater Weekly 10/26/17

Posted on October 26, 2017 by

This week:  what’s your water vision? + Chicago meet & greet + comment on the Brandon Road Study + Lake Erie algae watch + more ways you can make a difference.


For the past month, Freshwater Future staff members have been traveling around the Great Lakes to learn what water means to residents and what we all envision for the future. We’ve been hearing what Great Lakes residents want for their water—including drinking water—and what gets in the way of achieving that vision. That input is helping to shape a Water Vision for the Great Lakes that we’ll share with organizations and governments working on policies.

As we’ve met with residents throughout the region, it’s been encouraging to see how quickly common themes emerge. At each meeting, we asked people to draw or write about their vision for water. This week on our blog we’re sharing some examples of what we’re seeing and hearing, one of which is pictured above.

What’s your vision for water? Reply to this email, or share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.


We’ll be at Revolution Brewing in Chicago on Monday, October 30 and we still have space available to join us! Learn more about how we’re helping communities around the Great Lakes protect their local waters. Meet Executive Director Jill Ryan, one of the leading voices for Great Lakes conservation, and hear her take on the critical issues facing our lakes and the communities that depend on them. Get all the details and RSVP here.


Speaking of Chicago, the Brandon Road lock and dam—located just outside the city and less than 50 miles from Lake Michigan—is one of the critical choke points between the current location of Asian carp and the Great Lakes. The recently-released Brandon Road Study details promising increased protections that would significantly decrease the possibility of invasive carp entering the Great Lakes, and Congress should act quickly to authorize and fund these critical measures to protect our Lakes and our water-dependent economy.

However, if the option recommended by the Corps is implemented, there is still an estimated 13% chance that Asian carp will breach the Brandon Road lock and dam and swim through the Chicago waterways to Lake Michigan. We cannot let this happen.

The Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting public comments on their recommendations here, and there’s still time to add your voice. At Freshwater Future, we believe that the best plan for preventing the spread of Asian carp is to restore the natural divide between the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes.

SPEAK OUT: Please join us in calling for the Corps to expand its recommendation and use every tool at our disposal to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Get guidance and submit comments here on our blog.


The toxic algal blooms have finally cleared out of Lake Erie’s western basin, except in a few localized spots. However, progress toward reducing the runoff pollution that fuels these annual algal blooms has been slow, and no jurisdiction around Lake Erie has policies in place that fully address the critical issues that could prevent the blooms.

Tony Maas, who works out of our Toronto office, was a guest on the Mike Nowak Show last weekend to talk about the need for stronger action to clean up the lake. You can listen to that segment here. In the meantime, we’ll keep working for better solutions, and we’ll keep you updated on opportunities to advocate for a clean, healthy Lake Erie.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.