WXPR The Stream Water in Wisconsin's Northwoods and Michigan's Upper Peninsula serves as the basis of life and health. With countless lakes, rivers, springs, and aquifers, water is also linked with the very identity of this region. As a service to our listeners, WXPR is pleased to announce the creation of a new reporting position with a specific focus: water.
WXPR The Stream

WXPR The Stream

From WXPR

Water in Wisconsin's Northwoods and Michigan's Upper Peninsula serves as the basis of life and health. With countless lakes, rivers, springs, and aquifers, water is also linked with the very identity of this region. As a service to our listeners, WXPR is pleased to announce the creation of a new reporting position with a specific focus: water.

Most Recent Episodes

Continued Record High Water Levels Force Cooperation Among Great Lakes Leaders

Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron are on pace to set all-time records for high water levels in February. Lake Superior is 15 inches above normal, while Michigan and Huron are more than three feet above average. That's sent Great Lakes states into action, scrambling for solutions as water stays high. "From the Corps' perspective, we're focusing on what's happening right now. Right now, it's just been unbelievably wet across the Great Lakes Basin, leading to these record high levels," said Keith

Continued Record High Water Levels Force Cooperation Among Great Lakes Leaders

Glaciers Don't Lie: Climate Change And Our Visit To A Shrinking New Zealand Glacier

Note: WXPR's Ben Meyer celebrated his honeymoon in New Zealand this month with his wife, Erika. This week's edition of The Stream is inspired by their visit to one of New Zealand's mountain glaciers. Every day the weather cooperates, a helicopter delivers hikers onto Fox Glacier in the mountains of New Zealand's South Island. Guides lead groups wearing boots and crampons across the ice sheet, which sparkles white on the surface and bright blue in its many crevasses and ice arches. A hike on the

Glaciers Don't Lie: Climate Change And Our Visit To A Shrinking New Zealand Glacier

Wisconsin Ranks First In Environmental Protection Funding Cuts From 2008 To 2018

Wisconsin is the home of its own conservation hall of fame, the home of the founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, and the home of John Muir. It was the first state in America to ban DDT. "Wisconsin has had such a long tradition in the conservation area and protecting the environment," said Susan Hedman, the former Great Lakes Region Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. Hedman says Wisconsin used to a leader in the field. But now, it's a leader in something else. Between 2008

Wisconsin Ranks First In Environmental Protection Funding Cuts From 2008 To 2018

Study Examines Cultural Value Of Declining Lake Ice As Eagle River Ice Castle Canceled Again

Michael Anderson uses a long bit on a drill to bust through the ice on Silver Lake in Eagle River. "That would be a good depth for an ice castle right now," Anderson says, measuring about 15 inches of ice. That's plenty for harvesting and forming into blocks for ice-castle building. But there's a problem. A deep layer of slush on Silver Lake makes it inaccessible to the machines and trucks needed to transport ice blocks. Without the ice blocks, there's no ice castle downtown, and that means

Study Examines Cultural Value Of Declining Lake Ice As Eagle River Ice Castle Canceled Again

As Land Falls Into Great Lakes, Workers, Regulators Scramble To Address Water Level 'Crisis'

It's not difficult for Norm Pestka to picture what used to be here. After all, the land that's now underwater was dry just a few months ago. "It's been fine here for years. They lost 45 feet in one storm. The beach was out there, literally," Pestka said, motioning to a patch of Lake Superior now submerged. Pestka is standing on private land just outside Ontonagon in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Lake Superior stretches out before him. It's mostly open water, save for some ice, snow, and floating

As Land Falls Into Great Lakes, Workers, Regulators Scramble To Address Water Level 'Crisis'

A Block On Private Piers? Group Fights To Reverse Sweeping Supreme Court Decision On State Flowages

The waters of the Biron Flowage are no more than ten feet from the porch of Mike Spranger's second home. "This is the reason we bought it," he said. "The water is right there." The 1,500-square-foot house is just ten minutes from Spranger's main residence in Wisconsin Rapids. He and his wife bought it in 2015, mainly as a refuge for their four grandchildren, who took to the water immediately. "I tied some floatation devices, like tubes and things like that, off from the end of the pier. They

A Block On Private Piers? Group Fights To Reverse Sweeping Supreme Court Decision On State Flowages

Northwoods Lakes Without Winter Ice? Full-Lake Study Peers Into Potential Future

An amphibious vehicle called an Argo has eight wheels, two treads, floats on water, and can go just about anywhere. Has Noah Lottig found a place it can't access? "Not yet. We've tried. We have not found a place where this will not go yet," said Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction. A fifteen-minute ride on the Argo allows Lottig and two graduate students to access an undeveloped, frozen bog near Sparkling Lake in Vilas County. Lottig has been

Northwoods Lakes Without Winter Ice? Full-Lake Study Peers Into Potential Future

After Almost Two Months, Rhinelander Still Hasn't Posted PFAS Testing Results On City Website

Nearly two months ago, the DNR recommended the City of Rhinelander make full PFAS testing results available on the city's website. As of Thursday afternoon, those testing results still weren't posted for the public to see. In a Nov. 19 letter to Rhinelander City Administrator Daniel Guild, Steven Elmore, the program director of the DNR's Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater, wrote the DNR recommended Rhinelander post "all PFAS results on the city website as soon as reasonably practicable."

After Almost Two Months, Rhinelander Still Hasn't Posted PFAS Testing Results On City Website

Science, Art Combine To Show Waters Of Different Lakes Produce Strikingly Different Dye Results

For Northwoods artists Mary Burns and Debbie Jircik, creating art is sometimes more than putting paint on canvas or throwing clay to be fired. Instead, it's pulling on waterproof boots, slogging into Northwoods bogs, and collecting large pails of water. "We didn't see anyone doing any of this kind of work, where they were actually going out in the field, collecting water from bogs and lakes, and comparing how...that affects those dyes," Burns said. Burns is from Mercer, and Jircik is from Eagle

Science, Art Combine To Show Waters Of Different Lakes Produce Strikingly Different Dye Results

Does Your Community Water System Test For PFAS? Probably Not, Finds WXPR Investigation

Gary Laguna's keyring jingles often as he sorts through the right key to the right door. He has to open them in a variety of places as the lead water operator in Hurley, Pence, and Iron Belt, three communities in Iron County. With 18 years of experience, Laguna is in charge of ensuring a reliable flow of water to customers' faucets and doing near-constant water quality testing. While he plays a critical role in water customers' lives, Laguna says many people don't have a clear understanding of

Does Your Community Water System Test For PFAS? Probably Not, Finds WXPR Investigation

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