Category Archives: Environment

Rally calls for shutdown of Line 5 pipeline

IMG_0610Roughly 100 attended a rally held by The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Monday in in Saint Ignace to bring awareness to the dangers of the Enbridge pipeline under the straits.

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A bus service in Traverse City has added more environmentally and cost-friendly busses

BATA - New Propane Buses #1 09.26.16

“Going Green” isn’t always easy. But a transportation service is Grand Traverse County has found a way to cut down emissions and save money.

The Bay Area Transportation Authority is now using five propane fueled vehicles. Continue reading

Traverse city receives state loan for environmental clean up


Grand Traverse county has received a loan from the state to clean up contamination at an abandoned gas station in downtown Traverse City.

The $700,000 loan will be used to investigate the extent of the contamination, remove and transport contaminated soil and to install a vapor mitigation system.

Julie Lowe is a Brownfield Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She said the loan is a way to level the playing field for developers.

“The proposal is for a mixed use development. So it’s a combination of a residential condominium complex. Including retail space on the first floor and then a parking underground.”

Lowe said the new development is being funded privately and has a price tag of 31 million dollars.

Clean up work is expected to begin as early as November.

Third part of Michigan water strategy announced

The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes has released the third part of its water strategy for the state. It’s part of a 30 year strategy to ensure clean water is available across the state.

Part three of Michigan’s water plan focuses on the restoration of water quality and the protection public health.

Officials said 158 million dollars in low interest loans will be awarded to local communities to fund infrastructure projects.

Jon Allan is the director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.

“These investments help communities piece by piece make sure that we’re delivering back to the citizens clean and safe drinking water. But also clean and safe rivers, beaches, harbors, and lakes as we deal with the waste issue as well.”

Allan said communities will be reimbursed for the cost of eligible projects once they’re complete.

The state is expected to announce a fourth part of its water strategy within the next month.

Conservation projects designed to connect Saginaw residents with nature

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The Saginaw Basin Conservancy has launched several major projects in Saginaw… designed to create natural beauty and reconnect residents with nature.

The conservancy is calling these “tipping point projects.”

There are four total, including a trail system at Saginaw State University, the cleaning of 10 vacant lots across the city, the renovation of 16-acres at Celebration Square, and a newly paved trail along the city’s riverfront.

Zachary Branigan is the executive director of the Saginaw Basin Conservancy. He said they decided to launch projects in the city a few years ago…

“One thing we really wanted to do is reach out the the community. So over the past year before we started these projects we did a community engagement process. That really involved us going into the community and listening and looking for projects that made sense.”

Branigan said the conservancy is performing around 300 thousand dollars worth of work in the city. He says if all goes as planned, the projects should be completed next year.

State answers concerns about Pine River


The state is addressing recent concerns from Gratiot county residents about the Pine river

Residents living along Pine River say it appears the river has shrunk. They say green algae stretches out from the banks to the middle of the river, and vegetation growth has narrowed the river.

Aaron Parker is a Aquatic Biologists with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He said the plants may be unattractive, but they’re also harmless.

“We collected some algae samples and plant samples, and identified the plants, and tested the algae for toxicity. All of them came back with no toxins.”

Parker said, algae and increased vegetation is normal for water bodies like the Pine river. He said the river should appear more normal once we see an increase in rain.

Researchers have launched a ten-year project to keep invasives out of the Great Lakes


Researchers are currently working to develop new technology to let certain fish through a dam – and capture invasive species.

The ten-year project has just begun with researchers brainstorming new ideas for a fish passage system. Continue reading

Fall colors may be delayed because of warm weather

School is back in session and football season is underway… and that means fall is right around the corner. But a staple of the autumn season… the beautiful color show put on by Michigan’s trees, may be delayed due to warmer than normal temperatures.

Usually, the leaves start changes at the end of September… but experts say it could be mid-October before we see those vibrant fall colors this year.

Jim Keysor is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said some leaves are just now beginning to change.

“As the days get shorter we are starting to see colors in the leaves. Right now it seems like right now we’re on pace to be average or slightly later than average.”

Keysor said if evenings remain mild, we most likely won’t see fall colors peak until the second or third week of October… which is a bit later than normal.

Over 14 environmental groups from Michigan are asking the state to take another look at the Line 5 pipeline

Mackinac Bridge

Over 14 environmental groups from Michigan are asking the state to take another look at the pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge, the company who owns the pipeline beneath the Straits, has asked for a building permit from the state. The company plans to add supports to its line.Some of the current supports are farther apart than the 75-feet, required by Michigan law. Continue reading

Buyers in Michigan are refusing colored glass bottles from recycling centers


Recycling centers in Michigan say they’re not receiving money for colored glass bottles. They say those bottles may have to go to landfills.

Buyers in Michigan still accept clear glass bottles for recycling, but not colored. So that could include; beer, wine or some pop bottles.

Lindsey Walker is Recycling Outreach for Emmet County Recycling Center. Continue reading