Category Archives: Environment

November snowfall record broken in the Sault

After being bombarded by lake effect snow for nearly two weeks non-stop, meteorologists say Sault Ste Marie has broken its November snowfall record.

The record was originally set in 1989 at nearly 47 inches.

Dave Lawrence is a meteorologist from the Gaylord National Weather Service. He says this amount of snowfall is unprecedented for the Sault in this short amount of time.

“Ya know I think the only interesting thing is that they’ve seen 56.8 inches for the month and their entire season average snowfall is just over 120 inches. So that really puts it into perspective, ya know in an average season we’d see 50 inches spread out over three months instead of two weeks.”

The new record has bested the previous one by a solid 10 inches.

Preliminary testing shows contamination on highschool practice field

The St. Louis school district has sent out letters of warning to parents after preliminary testing of the high school practice football field returned a positive result for DDT contamination.

Edward Lorenz is the legal committee chairperson for the Community Action Group in St. Louis.
He says the EPA found significantly high levels of DDT.

“Where they have found contamination is on the practice field. They found DDT at 40 parts per million. So now they’re gonna do a more comprehensive sampling of the whole field and see if something has to be done.”

The amount of DDT found is 8 times higher than the allowable limit set by the EPA.

The contamination likely came from flooding of the field by the Pine River, which was originally contaminated by the Velsicol chemical company decades ago due to their chemical dumping practices.

More comprehensive testing of the practice field and the main playing field are expected in mid-December, weather permitting.

Kildee criticizes Keystone XL proposal

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted against final approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from Canada, through the Great Plains, to the Gulf of Mexico.

One Michigan congressman is happy about the outcome, because of what he says was an unfair tax break in the final proposal. Read more

Invasive crustacean coming to inland bodies of water

FleaScientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, say an invasive species is migrating to inland bodies of water in Michigan.

The Spiny Waterflea is usually found in the open water of the Great Lakes but now it can be found infesting local streams and ponds.

Steven Pothoven (Pot-hoven) is a fishery biologist at NOAA.

He says that even though the invasion can’t be stopped, it’s not the end of inland waterways or the Great Lakes.

“I think they reflect the ecosystems in the Great Lakes that are really disrupted from invasive species. They may not cause the collapse of something, but they disrupt things and they make that ecosystem less stable than it would be if they weren’t in there.”

Pothoven says waterfleas won’t outright destroy a habitat, but they make it more difficult for smaller fish to survive and thrive.

He says waterfleas throw a monkey wrench into food webs by devouring zooplankton which is the main food source for small fish.

Pothoven says the waterflea was initially introduced to the Great Lakes in the mid ‘80s by boat ballast dumping. By the late ‘80s the small crustacean could be found in every Great Lake.

Learn to protect Michigan’s waterways with Mycorps

The DEQ is giving Michigan residents a chance to help protect their state’s inland streams and lakes.

Next week Micorps is hosting it’s 10th annual Clean Water Conference. The event will include free training for participants to become volunteer water quality monitors.

Bill Dimond is an aquatic biologist at the DEQ.

He says there’s no shortage of support for Michigan water quality.

“The most important thing to me is how much people care about water quality in Michigan. Clean water is beautiful, wonderful for recreation, and also it helps financially. Clean water is valuable. So what I take away from it most is how much the people care about the water.”

The event will also feature speeches from various environmentalists for patrons to attend.

The conference is a two-day event that will be held at the Ralph A. Macmullan Center in Higgins Lake. It’s scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 27th.