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Erie shaped over time, by friends and foes

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/08/18 @ 4:15pm  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

Because it is shallow and warm, Erie is the most biologically diverse of the Great Lakes. 15,000 years ago, the lake formed as retreating mile-high glaciers scoured the land. Only 24 feet from the hard limestone in the western basin, but shale in the east basin is more pliable and went down 210 feet. Arguably, Lake Erie’s next geological event of...

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How much plastic is in Lake Erie and who's to blame

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/17/18 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Clean water, Water

Plastic is no longer something we throw away, Dr. Sherri Mason, co-principal investigator on a landmark study that found micro plastics, pieces small enough to not see with the naked eye, in significant quantities in Lake Erie, told a Cleveland City Club audience this week.

<br />Lake Erie
Image: David Beach

We are all Lake Erie

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/02/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Climate, Water, Shaping the land

A recent exchange with a colleague about the health of Lake Erie ended in something of a stalemate. We both shared concerns about water quality and environmental degradation and how the lake, our drinking water supply, will be affected by harmful algae blooms, climate change-induced weather, and the creation of artificial reefs off the coast of Cleveland from the soil...

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)

The long view: How University Circle flood became an issue of regional concern

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/17/18 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Climate, Land, Water

Sunday's rains flooded out parts of Cleveland—cars were seen literally floating along Euclid Avenue, that is, if they could reach University Circle at all with multiple road closures causing a Monday morning ruckus. By Tuesday, the area dodged another episode as rain turned to snow. Before the next spring torrent arrives, let’s talk about what extreme weather events like this...

<br />Heavy rains mix with raw sewage in Doan Brook<br />Regime shift in hydrological systems. Image: Marina Alberti.<br />Slow and fast variables. Urban patterns have complex impacts on variables that change slowly in response to long-term processes (e.g. mitigating floods) and that constrain the response of fast variables (e.g. land cover change), generating a shift in the hydrological regime. Image Marina Alberti.

Cleveland braces against climate change with resilience plan

Marc Lefkowitz  |  10/31/17 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Climate, Land, Water

Amid disturbing reports this week that climate change has already started to erode public health after a disaster-filled autumn and studies that major branches of the animal kingdom are stressed and finding it difficult to reproduce — a mounting effort to soften the blow is starting to take shape in cities across the U.S. Extreme hurricanes and wildfires have made 2017...

<br />Drought, heat waves, deadly hurricanes and wild fires are all expected with more intensity. Cities are responding with climate resiliency plans. Image: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.
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