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Report Notes Success and Weakness in Great Lakes Water Management

Posted on January 19, 2017
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has released its draft Triennial Assessment of Progress (TAP) report, in which it found much to commend on the progress of Canada and the US in meeting the objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The report points to the successful meeting of deadlines on developing priorities for science and action, proposing a nearshore framework, and setting targets for Lake Erie phosphorus reduction. And the report stated, “Achievements realized in the past three years reflect robust binational public and governmental support and continuing investments in cleaning up past pollution [...]

Canada to Assist Surface Water and Ocean Topography Mission

Posted on January 16, 2017
The Canadian Space Agency awarded a $3.8M contract to Communications & Power Industries Canada (CPI) to build components for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. SWOT will survey 90 percent of the Earth's surface water, observe the fine details of the ocean's surface topography, and measure how lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and oceans are changing over time. The scientific data will contribute to improving ocean circulation models, weather and climate predictions, and the management of water as a strategic resource. SWOT supports the Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda by fostering leading-edge technologies [...]

Smart Sensors a Significant Environmental Protection Technology

Posted on January 13, 2017
IBM has released its annual 5 in 5 annual report on five innovations that will change human lives within five years. This year, they’ve focused on making the invisible visible, including in their list smart sensors that will detect environmental pollutants “at the speed of light” and allow for improved response to spills, which can aid in protecting water resources. Specifically, IBM has noted that in methane exploration “networks of sensors wirelessly connected to the cloud will provide continuous monitoring of the vast natural gas infrastructure, allowing leaks to be found in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, reducing [...]

Asian Carp Action Plan Released

Posted on January 12, 2017
Addressing the threat of Asian carp represents one of the greatest challenges to protecting the Great Lakes and adjacent aquatic ecosystems from aquatic invasive species. This week, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee’s (ACRCC) announced the release of its Fiscal Year 2017 Action Plan. The ACRCC is a bi-national group that coordinates the actions of 27 U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial, and local agencies and organizations. The 2017 Action Plan includes 60 high-priority strategic measures designed to prevent the spread of four species of invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes. Measures include actions such [...]

PEI Scientist Develops Eco-Friendly Fish Fungus Killer

Posted on January 12, 2017
The government of Prince Edward Island has announced the local creation of an environmentally friendly fish fungus killer that can help protect farmed fish from the saprolegnia fungus and affords the possibility of protecting approximately $380 million dollars in the global aquaculture industry. Dr. Subrata Chowdhury has developed an environmentally safe answer to the chemicals previously used to destroy fish-killing fungus. Fungal infections kill 160 million tonnes of fish and costs the worldwide aquaculture industry $3.8 billion each year. About 10 per cent of this damage is caused by the common saprolegnia fungus. As the Chief [...]

10,000 Tonnes of Plastic Enters the Great Lakes Yearly

Posted on December 30, 2016
Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology have used computer models to estimate the volume of plastic and microplastics entering the Great Lakes each year. Lead author on the research, Matthew Hoffman, assistant professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences, found that approximately 9887 metric tonnes of plastic pollution per year enters the Great Lakes. The researchers used census data and models from the study ocean debris to create a mathematical model for the amount of plastic entering the lakes. “This study is the first picture of the true scale of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes,” said Hoffman in [...]

Dioxin-like Chemical of Concern Mapped in Great Lakes

Posted on December 21, 2016
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have mapped the location of thousands of tons of polyhalogenated carbazoles (PHCZs), an emerging chemical of concern, in the sediment of the Great Lakes and estimated their amount. Based on soil samples from the lake bottom and core samples from beneath it, they estimate that about 3,000 tons of PHCZs lie in the sediment under lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron. But not all of it is pollution. "Because the amount of PHCZs we found is so high, and because of their location in the lakes as well as in the sediment cores we took, we believe that most of the PHCZs in these lakes is [...]

Obama Approves New Great Lakes Legislation

Posted on December 19, 2016
This week, the United States Congress and President Obama signed into law new legislation that will solidify the future of many programs that are important to the Great Lakes, known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. In a statement to the press, President Obama said, authorizes vital water projects across the country to restore watersheds, improve waterways and flood control, and improve drinking water infrastructure. The law also authorizes $170 million for communities facing drinking water emergencies, including funding for Flint, Michigan, to recover from the lead contamination in its drinking [...]

Cleantech Networking Site Launched

Posted on December 19, 2016
A group of cleantech professionals and entrepreneurs have launched, a global hub that is disrupting the way people connect to and do business in the sector. The platform aggregates the clean technology industry, helps accelerate project adoption and financing, and matches professionals to new projects and others in their field. “The global marketplace for clean technology is now over USD $1 trillion, so it was obvious that the cleantech industry would need a dedicated networking site for innovators, experts, financiers, and tech adopters. We have now provided that,” said Gray Taylor, environmental lawyer [...]

Study Shows Canada has 10 Hectares More Freshwater than Every Other Country on Earth

Posted on December 16, 2016
Researchers from McGill University have published the most complete database of lakes to date, providing a tool to scientists that assists understanding of the impact lakes have on hydrological cycles globally. The study reveals that Canada has 8,798,000 freshwater lakes—10 hectares more than every other country on Earth combined. The research, Estimating the volume and age of water stored in global lakes using a geo-statistical approach, was published in Nature Communications in December. In the abstract, the researchers described the knowledge of lake distribution, volume, and residence as crucial in understanding the interaction [...]
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