Author Archives: CMU Public Radio News

Scientists are taking a deeper dive into the sometimes bewildering world of micro-plastics

0e82d91ed9e1504d9ccf7db9467c3937One year after the United States banned microbeads – the small plastic particles you might see in a face scrub – scientists are now turning their attention to microfibers – hairlike plastics in our clothing. Both types of plastic have been cluttering up oceans, rivers, and lakes. But clothing and personal care products aren’t the biggest sources of microplastics.
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Scientists say microfibers are to blame

file000340177611If you’re one of those people who stopped using microbeads because you care about the environment, we have some bad news. Microbeads are those tiny plastic bits in your toothpaste and facewash. They pollute oceans, rivers, and lakes. But scientists say there’s a new microplastic to blame – and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper. Plastics in our clothes are sending billions of microfibers into our waterways – making fish and other aquatic life sick.
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CMU students and faculty gathered Tuesday for anti-Trump rally

Photo | Central Michigan University

Photo | Central Michigan University

In cities across the country protesters have gathered to show opposition to president elect Donald Trump.

On the campus of Central Michigan University some 300 students and faculty gathered to show solidarity with the national protests. Continue reading

Challenge of getting “millennials” to vote

voted“Millennials.” Depending on who you ask, most agree the term is used to describe people born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S. While a quick google search turns up hundreds of articles talking about the challenges of getting Millennials to vote, CMU Public Radio’s Sarah Adams discovered that this election has them singing a different tune.

Third part candidates collect more money

moneyMichigan residents have contributed millions of dollars this election cycle to presidential candidates…mainly to the two from the major parties: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But third party candidates are collecting more cash this election season.

Museum seeks WWII Navy pilots

NavyPilotsThe head of the National Museum of the Great Lakes is on a quest. He’s trying to locate Navy pilots who trained on Lake Michigan during World War II — a little-known chapter of the lake’s history.

Between 1942 and 1945, thousands of pilots landed planes on the USS Wolverine and USS Sable, two aircraft carriers stationed on Lake Michigan. Among the pilots was former President George H.W. Bush. Continue reading

Sanders urges people to vote for Clinton

Sanders0215-fotoOne-time Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders urged a crowd in Kalamazoo to vote for his former rival for the Democratic nomination next week. Sanders spoke at a get out the vote rally Wednesday on the Western Michigan University campus for Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Sanders told the audience that the work of transforming the county has to continue after next week’s election:

“That in America today while the middle class shrinks, while 43-million people live in poverty, some in extreme poverty, the wealthiest people and the largest corporations have never had it so good”

Sanders’ visit is part of a flurry of campaign activity in Michigan leading up to Tuesday’s election. Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence is scheduled to be in Portage tomorrow. Hillary Clinton will appear at a get out the vote rally Friday in Detroit.

Advice for Clinton/Trump on the Great Lakes

GLT PictureAdvocates for the Great Lakes are watching the presidential election and hoping the next US president will continue to prioritize restoration across the region.

Groups from New York to Michigan to Ontario say there’s still a lot of work to be done, and they hope the next president supports them in managing invasive species, addressing climate change, and cleaning up polluted areas.

Peter Annin is co-director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for freshwater innovation at Northland College in Wisconsin. He recently brought together a group of experts representing everything from commercial to environmental interests.

Annin says many ideas came out of the summit, including the desire to start actively preserving Great Lakes ecosystems.

“Should there be more dollars invested in preservation work,” he asks, “and maybe a little bit less in restoration work?”

Many of that group’s ideas echoed recommendations from the Great Lakes Commission earlier this year.

Local groups are also weighing in. Jill Jedlicka from the Buffalo Niagara RiverKeeper says the next administration needs to work closely with community leaders.

“It’s one thing to make judgments from offices in Washington,” says Jedlicka. “But if they don’t maintain that communication and understanding from the front lines then they’re not fully informed to make decisions.”

Mark Mattson with Lake Ontario WaterKeeper in Canada hopes the next US president will be a uniting force among the states, provinces, tribes, and others with a stake in the lakes.

“There’s so many different visions and different ideas about what needs to be addressed,” he says.

Michigan National Guard works to make bases resilient to climate change

610temp.newThe Michigan National Guard and the Air National Guard will work to make its bases – and the communities near them – resilient to climate change. This comes three years after President Obama signed an Executive Order that instructs federal agencies to help state and local leaders prepare for extreme weather caused by climate change.
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EPA decides to cap Kalamazoo landfill

LANDFILL 1After years of debate, the EPA has decided to cap and consolidate hazardous waste at Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. Several residents wanted all of the waste removed from the Superfund site.

Others suggested hiring the bioremediation company BioPath Solutions – which uses microbes to neutralize toxic chemicals. Michael Berkhoff is the EPA’s remedial project manager for Allied. He says BioPath Solutions could not prove to the EPA that their product works on PCBs.

The EPA’s record of decision released Friday calls for consolidating about half the contaminated soil into a capped mound in the middle of the site. This would allow room for industrial or commercial business – which the City of Kalamazoo advocated for last year.

Once the work starts, the agency expects the 63 million dollar project will take three years to complete.