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Cool things seen at CSU Water Resilient Cities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/22/16 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Water

The Great Lakes region may not be known as a hot bed of extreme weather events like those that buffet the Plains or swamp the coasts. But the Midwest is girding for climate change.

Super green lane<br />Sunset Avenue, the main drag of Butler University, just got a green spruce up. Indianapolis, Indiana green streets helped pay the $3 million project which has a porous pavement bike lane and 8,000 sq ft of linear rain garden. The alternative, conventional plan would have cost $3.5 million. Image: Williams Creek Consulting.A bridge to the future<br />Michigan City, Indiana wanted to do its part to clean up Lake Michigan and making its beach safe for swimming. A massive rain garden above and new sewer underground helped. Image: Alliance for the Great Lakes (which secured a $60,000 grant for the project).<br />Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District won its Ohio Supreme Court case to charge landowners a fee for their stormwater runoff. In part by digitizing its entire service area. Here, for example, is the Super Walmart at Steelyard Commons in Cleveland. <br />Nine Mile Creek in South Euclid before the city worked with Biohabitats, Inc. on what they call a regenerative stormwater conveyance. The creek was channeled into a concrete ditch. Image: Biohabitats, Inc.<br />Nine Mile Creek in South Euclid after its regeneration (not restoration) as the firm Biohabitats prefers to call it. Image: Biohabitats, Inc.<br />Milwaukee Water Commons is a citizen led effort to explore what it means to be a water city. They hold yearly summits and are working on a 10 year vision that the community gets to vote on. Image: Milwaukee Water Commons.Scranton Flats<br />The first publicly funded part of the Towpath Trail in Cleveland includes a 2,800 square foot nature shoreline. Image: Ohio & Erie Canalway
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Lake Erie's water crisis, then and now

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/22/14 @ 11:15am  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

The Toledo water crisis may have fallen off the front page of the news, but not before a prime suspect was identified. The deadly toxin that shut off the tap for 500,000 people in August comes from algae in Lake Erie fed by fertilizer running off of big, conventional farms in Northern Ohio.

The mouth of the Cuyahoga<br />Modern environmental regulations have greatly reduced industrial pollution, but we are still a long way from healthy and sustainable water resources.Lake Erie today<br />The eastern basin of Lake Erie, at Mentor Headlands.

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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