Lake Michigan

Courtesy of Tipton County

Infrastructure like hospitals, power plants, and roads are at more of a risk for flooding over the next 30 years than residential homes. That makes cities' most basic and critical operations less functional during a flood.

Courtesy of Collin Czilli

A state environmental agency said U.S. Steel violated its permit when it released excess iron into a Lake Michigan waterway last month, causing it to turn a rusty color. That’s according to a report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management this week.

Debra Shore/Twitter

President Joe Biden has chosen a new administrator to oversee Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency — which covers Indiana and other Great Lakes states. Debra Shore will replace Kurt Thiede who was appointed during the Trump administration.

Tyler Lake/WTIU

The U.S. Steel plant in Portage has had another spill into a Lake Michigan waterway — the second one in less than two weeks. A sheen was discovered in the Burns Waterway on Thursday.

Courtesy of Courtney Brooks and Save the Dunes

The leaders of the largest statewide environmental group and one of the oldest environmental groups both announced they’re stepping down this week.

FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU

Environmental activists, lakeshore residents, and sport fishermen in Indiana say enough is enough — the state has to do more to prevent industrial spills on Lake Michigan. That was the gist of a recent letter sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb and the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Courtesy of Collin Czilli

An unknown orange substance from the U.S. Steel plant in Portage was found leaking into a Lake Michigan tributary on Sunday evening. State and federal environmental agencies are working with U.S. Steel to investigate the cause of the leak and find out if it's harmful.

Boba Jaglicic/Unsplash

The shoreline along Lake Michigan is eroding. Today we revisit our discussion with a researcher about why it's happening and how it affects Hoosiers who live near the lakefront.

We also learn about honeybees, to find out how we can help protect these important pollinators. And we wrap up with a discussion on why some companies can't decide whether working from home will work for them.

Originally aird Aug 12, 2021.

Produced by Mariam Sobh.

Guests:

Photo Of The Week - January Kayaker

Feb 4, 2021
Chris Britton

A lone kayaker on "The Big Lake" (Lake Michigan) on a cold but calm evening is featured in WVPE's latest Photo of the Week.  Thanks to Chris Britton who captured this image on January 29th while he was at Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph.

We'd love to see what you are taking photos of.

Email Photo of the Week submissions to us at wvpe@wvpe.org.

Make sure to include your name, where you live, names of people in the photo, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken.

DAN WANSCHURA / INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO

All five of the Great Lakes closed out 2020 at lower levels than they were a year ago. But according to new projections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the upper lakes are still expected to remain high in 2021.

Since peaking in July, water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron have dropped by about a foot. But those are still 31 inches above their long-term average.

 

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project has reported a record number of drownings on Lake Michigan this year. The non-profit, which tracks Great Lakes drownings, said that 53 people have drowned in the lake as of Sept. 26.

Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Surf Rescue Project, said the uptick can be attributed to several factors, including the lack of a national water safety program and the ability to easily track drownings via news alerts.

Photo provided by Indiana DNR

The body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered from Lake Michigan near the Michigan City lighthouse pier Monday afternoon.

Meantime a search is underway for an Illinois man who fell off a boat into Lake Michigan Sunday in the Hammond area.

Swimming Advisories Extended For Parts Of Lake Michigan

Aug 17, 2020

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Weather Service has extended swimming advisories for parts of Lake Michigan as forecasters predict high waves and strong currents. The beach hazard statements were issued Sunday and now run into Tuesday evening and that officials are urging people to stay out of the water. Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana are under advisories. So are Cook and Lake counties in Illinois and Michigan's Berrien County.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

It’s been one year since a northwest Indiana steel facility’s spill into a Lake Michigan waterway — which killed about 3,000 fish and forced beaches to close temporarily. The Environmental Law & Policy Center said ArcelorMittal’s pollution violations haven’t stopped in 2020. 

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 44-year-old Indiana man has drowned in Lake Michigan while trying to save his two children. Police say four people were seen struggling in the lake about 8 p.m. Thursday at Lions Park Beach in southwestern Michigan's St. Joseph. The man's two children, ages 17 and 12, were swept away. They were rescued by a St. Joseph reserve officer. Their father was pulled from the water, but later was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was from Lakeville, Indiana, south of South Bend. A man on a surfboard was able to rescue the other two people.

 

Photo Of The Week - Sunset Coast

Jul 30, 2020
Lynn Gordon

This is the time of year when living along Lake Michigan's "sunset coast" provides stunning images. Thanks to Lynn Gordon for this photo she took earlier this month in Union Pier, Michigan.

We'd love to see what you are taking pictures of. Email them to us at wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Make sure to include your name, where you live, names of people in the photo, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken. 

Please send images in .jpg format and scale down any image that is larger than 2 mb in size.

WVPE Honored With Another 1st Place Journalism Award

Jun 26, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/pmjatweets/photos/a.10150594631887874/10156670228412874/?type=3&theater

Congrats to former WVPE journalist, Jennifer Weingart. She was honored Thursday with a First Place award for Best News Feature by the Public Media Journalists Association.

Jennifer's report on 'Water Levels, High Winds Erode Lake Michigan Coastline' aired in December of 2019. 

Earlier this year, Jennifer and WVPE's Justin Hicks also picked up awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for their reporting work. 

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

As if shoreline erosion wasn't enough, communities and property owners on Lake Michigan are now dealing with another problem due to record high water levels - trash. Up and down the lake, large amounts of it are washing up on shore. 

Two Great Lakes Break Water Level Records In April

May 10, 2020

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Water levels at two upper Great Lakes have broken records as predicted, and they're expected to get higher in coming months. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Lakes Michigan and Huron set new water level records in April and were 13.4 inches higher than last year at this time and almost 3 inches higher than the record set in 1986.

Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Erosion along Lake Michigan is pitting neighbor against neighbor in Indiana. While some want to build barriers to protect their property along the lake, others want to block those efforts.

Rising Water Threatens The Great Lakes Shoreline Too

Apr 23, 2020
Alan Mbathi/IPB News

As sea levels rise, the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coastlines are eroding — putting homes and businesses in jeopardy. But climate change also is increasing erosion on what’s called the nation’s “third coast” — the Great Lakes shoreline. 

Rafi Wilkinson via AP

DETROIT — Officials in Michigan are warning that efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic could have a serious impact on relief and repairs during what is expected to be another tumultuous spring flooding season

South Haven Marina Closing Due To High Water Levels

Mar 21, 2020
http://south-haven.com/parks_and_recreation/marinas.php

 

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — High water levels have sunk the boating season for a southwestern Michigan marina.

The Northside Municipal Marina in South Haven is closing this year due to an electrical system compromised by rising water.

Officials say anyone coming in contact with the water could be shocked or electrocuted.

Upgrades planned for the summer are expected to cost $300,000. Harbor master and assistant city manager Kate Hosier says the city is working to accommodate longtime slip holders.

FILE PHOTO: Nick Janzen/IPB News

Legislation that secures the public’s right to access Lake Michigan beaches in front of private property is back on the table. Lawmakers snuck in language from a bill that failed earlier this session. Both houses agreed to send it to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk on Wednesday. 

Shoreline Erosion On Lake Michigan

Mar 10, 2020
Timeless Aerial Photography LLC.

Many communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline are in crisis. High water levels and strong storms this winter contributed to shoreline erosion that is threatening private homes and vital infrastructure, and eating away at the beaches.

How much of this erosion is natural, and how much have man-made structures contributed? And how are the most impacted communities handling the challenge?

Produced by Maggie Gelon.

Guests:

Paul Labovitz
Superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Park

http://ogdendunes.in.gov/visitor-information

OGDEN DUNES, Ind.  — An Indiana community along Lake Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit over its battle with shoreline erosion.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Uncertainty over Curtis Hill’s future as attorney general. Calls for greater accountability of virtual charter schools. And a fix to Indiana’s welfare eligibility laws.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Curtis Hill Disciplinary Update

Holcomb: Calculate Damage On Lake Michigan Shoreline

Feb 20, 2020
https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor is telling state agencies to calculate the damage along the Lake Michigan shoreline that’s been caused by high water ahead of possibly seeking federal assistance.

The order announced Thursday comes as several lakeshore communities have already declared local beach erosion emergencies.

State officials have declined to declare a state emergency, but Gov. Eric Holcomb said he wanted a new review after viewing the shoreline by helicopter on Sunday.

Congressman Upton Visits District to Talk Lake Levels.

Feb 20, 2020
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Congressman Fred Upton visited the shoreline in his southwest Michigan district Thursday to talk about lake levels and erosion.

Republican congressman Fred Upton was in St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and South Haven to look at the state of the marinas to see the impact high water may have on boating, fishing and recreation.

“The fishing industry, the recreation industry, I mean, this is almost a $10 billion industry for the Great Lakes.”

Group Works To Protect Michigan Lighthouse

Feb 18, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/pointbetsielighthouse/photos/a.2335061936710426/2382052652011354/?type=3&theater

FRANKFORT, Mich. (AP) — An organization responsible for maintaining a historic Michigan lighthouse hopes that improving the site's shoreline protection system will minimize damage from Lake Michigan's high water levels.

High water is causing problems for properties all along Michigan's shoreline, including the Point Betsie Lighthouse on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan.

A crack in the cement barrier intended to prevent erosion in front of the lighthouse is a high priority.

Pages