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What's New
Michigan tax ruling could power wind energy projects
Great Lakes Echo (1/25)
A recent personal property tax ruling that will cost Michigan counties millions of dollars in revenue could prove vital for utility companies and energy manufacturers around the state.

Council of Canadians, environmental groups push Great Lakes protection
Great Lakes Echo (4/8)
Environmental groups across the province of Ontario are calling for adoption of key legislation that was introduced last February to protect and improve the health of the Great Lakes.

Speakers endorse separation of Chicago waterway from Great Lakes to stop Asian Carp
Petoskey News-Review (1/24)
Dozens of speakers, from U.S. senators to sport fishermen, participated in a public meeting in Traverse City, Mich. — the fifth of nine gatherings the Corps of Engineers is hosting with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to explain their new report and get feedback. The Corps has been impressed by the overwhelming support for physical separation, although the first meeting in Chicago also featured impassioned pleas not to shut down waterways used by freight barges and tour boats.

Cities, Ontario tackle Great Lakes resiliency to climate change together
The Daily Press (1/20)
Mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative launched the Municipal Adaptation and Resiliency Service to help municipalities accelerate local adaptation to climate change in the Great Lakes region.

Illinois Coastal Management grants to benefit local environment projects
WFLD-TV - Chicago, IL (10/13)
Local environmental education projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline and in the Millennium Reserve-Calumet region have been awarded $730,000 of federal funds, Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn announced Saturday.

First Friday focus on the environment: the Farm Bill
WEMU (10/4)
Senator Debbie Stabenow joins David Fair and Lisa Wozniak as our guest on the 1st Friday Focus on the Environment on WEMU 89.1 FM. Our topic? The Farm Bill, stalled in the House even before the government shut down.

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Overview
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: April 23, 2014
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