Oil production in the north-central United States and western Canada has increased rapidly since 2010. Its transport near or through the Great Lakes region via pipelines and rail has expanded as well.
Wetlands help provide habitat, mitigate flooding and filter excess nutrients and contaminants from lakes and other water bodies. But vast stretches of wetlands around Lake Erie were drained in the past 200 years for agricultural use.
Flowing through the heart of Traverse City, Michigan—a popular destination in the Great Lakes region—is the Boardman (Ottaway) River. Formerly used to generate hydropower, the 28.6 miles of the Boardman River were fragmented by four dams: Brown Bridge, Boardman, Sabin and Union Street.
A two-year project seeking to advance understanding and awareness of the world’s largest collection of freshwater coastal sand dunes is wrapping up.