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Climate change & Great Lakes restoration

Photo by Rebecca Williams

There’s an enormous project underway to clean up and protect the Great Lakes. It’s called the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. People are doing things like cleaning up toxic hot spots... restoring wetlands... and trying to keep Asian Carp out of Lake Michigan.

Melinda Koslow is with the National Wildlife Federation. She’s an author of a new report on how climate change might affect these projects. She says scientists are finding the climate in the Great Lakes region is already changing.

“We definitely are noticing warmer water temperatures. For example, Lake Superior is the fastest warming freshwater body on Earth. We’re also noticing thinning lake ice, and we have flooding events more frequently.”

Koslow says these changes will affect the people who are working to clean up the Lakes – and rebuild habitat.

“We wanted to make sure we protect those investments for the long term by thinking about integrating climate change.”

There’s a lot to protect... with $300 million of taxpayer money invested in these projects this year.

Rebecca Williams is senior editor in the newsroom, where she edits stories and helps guide news coverage.
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