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Posts from — February 2012

Protecting the Great Lakes Symposium

On Friday, February 24th, leading experts on the Great Lakes were convened to present at a symposium titled Protecting the Great Lakes from Diversion, Pollution, Climate Change, Catastrophes, and Invasive Species. The symposium was sponsored by the Seventh Circuit Bar Association Foundation and the audience was dominated by judges and lawyers who’s courtrooms are seeing more and more cases regarding the Great Lakes.

The esteemed Great Lakes faculty included, but was not limited to, Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the USEPA Administrator on Great Lakes; David Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative; Joel Brammeier, President and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes; David Naftzger, Executive Director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors; Gail Krantzberg, Civil Engineering Professor at McMaster University; and Henry Henderson, Director of the National Resource Defense Council’s Midwest Program.

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February 29, 2012   Comments Off

The World Needs a Regional Leader in Water Stewardship

Last month, the Chinese government released its “Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change”. The report highlights the projected impacts of climate change that threaten the economic growth of the world’s second biggest economy.1

Water is at the heart of China’s challenges ahead. Projections show that most of the annual rain will fall more intensely over shorter periods of time and will be followed by longer periods of drought. Floods and droughts are the greatest threats to China’s agricultural productivity.

Much of China already suffers from low water availability per capita due to highly modified hydrologic systems and increasing variability in rainfall patterns. As a result, the country is finding it more and more difficult to grow enough food for its people, 1.34 billion strong.

The report clearly states, as a plea for increased climate mitigation efforts, “Without effective measures in response, by the later part of the 21st century, climate change could still constitute a threat to our country’s food security.”1

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February 9, 2012   Comments Off

Keeping the Lakes Great

Check out this article by Ellen S. Alberding, The Chicago Tribune

Well before Asian carp made the evening news, scientists warned of the threat the fish posed to Lake Michigan.

Biologists worried that the voracious creatures — brought to the U.S. as a means to enhance fish farming along the lower Mississippi River in the early 1970s — could escape from their ponds if floods breached the barriers holding them in place.

Sure enough, years later, the carp escaped and found the Mississippi River a paradise of ample food, ideal conditions for reproducing and few natural predators. At 100 pounds, they were big eaters and prolific breeders and they expanded their territory by moving north.

Now, Asian carp have moved up the Illinois River and are knocking at the door of Lake Michigan.

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February 1, 2012   1 Comment