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Toledo's water crisis ties to sprawl, green lawns and big Ag

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/04/14 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Clean water, Home landscaping, Water

National Public Radio reported this morning about the woes of Toledo, a city of 284,012 people who’ve had no drinking water for three days because of a toxin known as microcystis which comes from algea growing in Lake Erie. The algae is a by-product of synthetic fertilizer (and animal waste) from farms and from grass-filled yards where is being spread in...

Algae in Lake Erie in summer 2011<br />Algae blooms in Lake Erie<br />Toledo and the Maumee River<br />

Rivers tie cities like Cleveland and Tijuana closer

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/17/14 @ 11:00pm  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

Cleveland’s enviable geography as a water abundant place in the Great Lakes basin is on my mind as I’m driven from Tijuana’s center to its sprawling suburban area east of the city at the border between the U.S. and Baja California, Mexico. Armando Ramos, a landscape designer who dabbles in development and environmental activism, is leading me on a quick tour...

Lost highway<br />Tijuana's sprawling east over land that was to be preserved as natural area.Armored<br />The Tijuana River in the city has been buried in concrete. Efforts are underway to reconsider how to invite green back in.Finding a place for trees<br />A street tree in the busy urban Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana, Mexico.

Unseen and green: Lake Erie and our health

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/06/13 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Water

I just enjoyed a sip of Cleveland water, just like you and 2 million others who turn on the tap. It may look clear, but will I think about what’s going into my body a little longer after this morning’s session about plastics and “dead zones” in the lake? You bet.

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Deep water: Time to ponder the future of our Great Lakes

David Beach  |  09/04/13 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

Many of us in the Cleveland area do not appreciate our most intimate relationship – our relationship with Lake Erie. We drink the lake. The water flows through the cells of our bodies. Yet we seldom take time to think deeply about this relationship. The coming week, however, offers some great opportunities to ponder our amazing freshwater lives as inhabitants...

Wild and pristine<br />At its best, as in this view at Mentor Headlands State Park, Lake Erie appears clean and clear and awesome as an ocean. Place of contemplation<br />The sun sets to the northwest  over Lake Erie in the summer.Armored shoreline<br />The Lake Erie coastal zone is a dynamic place where one person's shoreline protection can undermine a neighbor's property.Off limits<br />Northeast Ohioans might have a stronger connection to Lake Erie if public access were not so limited.  Toxic algae returns<br />Algal blooms were thought to be part of Lake Erie's polluted past, but a huge outbreak of the green scum covering much of the western and central basins of the lake in October 2011 was an indication that over-enrichment of nutrients from runoff is still a problem.  (NASA satellite image)
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