Spring is almost here and unless the next two weeks are filled with freezing temps and tons of snow, this winter was EXTREMELY mild for the Land of Lincoln. And while it was nice to wear shorts in February, this mild winter is horrible for one of Illinois' most valuable resources. Here are the details...

Ice coverage across the Great Lakes is at a historically low level, according to NBC Chicago, and while that may not seem bad, the impacts of this mild winter will be felt across the Land of Lincoln.

The article from NBC Chicago mentions, "the current ice coverage on the Great Lakes as of Feb. 26, 2024 is 4.3%...The typical average ice coverage at this point in the year, as measured between 1973 and 2023, is usually around 40%, according to the agency." We are talking about a 36% change from the average, it is a shocking departure. The article mentions the impacts of this will hurt fish in the lake, the lake shoreline, water levels, and more, to read more on this story click here!

READ MORE: Does this make you WANT to Visit Illinois?

What can we do?

The honest answer to that is nothing, right? We can't sit here and force Mother Nature to have a harder winter season on the Great Lakes, we will just have to monitor the consequences as they come. I will say having lived in Chicago for years less ice build-up and warmer lake temperatures will be great for the city's tourism and people who enjoy the beaches and swimming in Lake Michigan. But the city of Chicago relies so much on the lake for water, fish, and more, that any drastic changes to Lake Michigan will be felt across the state not just in the Windy City.

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Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff

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