Category Archives: Environment

There has been another sighting of a bull Elk in Mid Michigan

file2211281264306The elk was spotted earlier in the month in Isabella and Clare counties. The most recent report of an ambling elk came from Gratiot County.

Officials speculate all the sightings are the same animal, but without a photo, there is no way to be sure.

Brian Mastenbrook is the Wildlife Field Operations Manager with the DNR.

“These are wild elk, from up in Otsego and Cheboygan and it’s pretty rare for them to wander this far, they’ve done it before they’ve been to the north side of Bay City, they’ve been down around Houghton Lake, but it’s like every two or three or five years ya know one or sometimes two take off and make these long travels.”

Mastenbrook says elk are typically not a hazard to humans or other animals. He says he expects the animal to eventually make its way back up north.

CMU hosts an event aimed at educating students on social justice issues

file2371256841486It’s called Issue Day, and it holds conversations about issues like Black Lives Matter, sex trafficking, and the environment.

This year’s event will bring in speakers and organizations to talk about things like safer sex, hunger, volunteering, and more.

Lauren Lynn is the events student coordinator at the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center at CMU.

“Someone was sitting here and was like how can we provide students with education that will preempt them to then do service and then allow to have that reflection. So someone came up with the idea, they had people come in and speak and for the last 16 years we’ve been doing it that same way.”

Lynn says the goal is to inspire students to become more active citizens and help within their community.

Issue Day is scheduled to run Saturday October 15th from 9am to 1pm in the UC rotunda at CMU.

Bug experts asking residents to report sightings of invasive stink bug


The state is hoping to get more information on sightings of an invasive stink bug that can cause damage to vegetables and fruits.

The marmorated brown stink bug is an invasive species that seeks warm places in the fall. It may sneak into homes through a window, doorway, or any open passages. Continue reading

Pinconning awarded 500,000 grant to fund wastewater plant repairs

The city of Pinconning has received a grant of 500 thousand dollars to repair their wastewater treatment plant.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded the city with a ceremonial check last Friday. City officials said they will begin calculating the full cost of the project in November.

William Jasura is the city manager for Pinconning. He said the the water waste plant needs a lot of repairs.

“The wastewater treatment plant was built 20 years ago under a 40 year bond. We just had a lot of equipment wear out.”

Jasura said they will be replacing screw pumps, and ultraviolet disinfection system, digester cover and plug valves, and many more pieces of equipment. He says it means a lot to the city and the grant will help increase productivity and efficiency.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded eight other grants, totaling seven million dollars in grants to repair water infrastructure across the state.

Massasauga rattlesnake officially a threatened species

The only venomous snake species found in Michigan has been listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

State officials said over the past few decades, there has been a 40 percent decline in the massasauga rattlesnake population. The loss of snakes, they said, is directly tied to a loss of their habitat.

Dan Kennedy is the Endangered Species Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He said the massasauga is most often seen in southern Michigan

“So they’re typically found in open wetlands, like marshes and wet prairies, or low line areas of rivers and lakes. They tend to want to be away from you and are typically docile. They are not like a regular rattlesnake.”

Kennedy said the DNR and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering to develop a recovery plan for the species.

In the interest of full disclosure the DNR is an underwriter for CMU Public Radio.

Statewide conference looks to address contaminants on Great Lakes beaches.

Environmental groups and experts from around the state are gathering in Marquette this week to talk about Michigan’s beaches. The Great Lakes Beach Association Conference will highlight efforts to detect E. Coli faster, and survey beaches quicker.

Shannon Briggs is a toxicologist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

She says keeping Michigan beaches clean and safe is a priority. “Michigan has great beaches, all across our state, and most of these beaches are in places that are tucked away in smaller communities. We want to keep those beaches open and  clean because those beaches are attracting other visitors and tourism.”

Click here to link to conference webinar information.

Emmet County’s Dark Sky Park now taking reservations for event center

Starting Monday, the International Dark Sky Park in Emmet county will be accepting reservations for its new event center.

People will be able to rent the event center for private events. The facility will allow park goers to enjoy a new observatory, indoor programming space, a kitchen and – for the first time- on sight bathrooms.

Mary Stewart Adams is the program director for the Headlands Dark Sky Park in Emmet County. She said the event center is a necessity in order for the Headlands to function properly.

“Having the bathrooms as basic as it may seem is a really big thing, because we have thousands of people coming from around the world and for them not to have the facility is challenging. But still we’ve been managing with a high level of good will.”

Adams said the event center will open in June. She says construction of the facility cost seven-million dollars.

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.

Continue reading

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.