This week’s freezing temperatures have pushed the Great Lakes to near-record levels of ice coverage. Roughly 85 percent of the basin is under ice right now. If the cold weather continues, we could break the 1979 record of 94 percent. 

With these large sheets of ice preventing evaporation, it’s safe to assume this summer will see another rise in water levels. This is good news for many Great Lakes habitats and communities. Before last year’s harsh winter, water levels were on a 15-year decline that had taken its toll on commercial shipping, navigation, and nearshore wildlife.