Category Archives: Environment

Earth week events encourage “hands on” learning


This is Earth week. It’s dedicated to restoration and conservation efforts.

There are several Earth-friendly events taking place this week at Central Michigan University, including one “hands-on” event.

It’s called “Pick up the Chip”.

It’s a service project aimed at cleaning trash from around the Chippewa river, and part of the Earth-week focus to reduce pollution and teach future generations responsible ways to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Rachel Ochylski is one of the organizers.

She said, “We really wanted to show the community that you don’t have to live near an ocean to care about marine animals and conservation of their habitat, and you can make a difference here in Michigan and right here in Mount Pleasant.”

Ochylski said event organizers hope to educate people on the importance of habitat conservation and reducing pollution.

Pick up the Chip is scheduled for Friday at noon at Mt Pleasant’s Island Park.

ON THE WEB
Pick up the Chip
https://www.facebook.com/events/1391153861208674/

MSU study shows biodegrading plastic additives are ineffective

Earth Day is just around the corner and some researchers have landfills, recycling and sustainability on their mind.

Researchers at Michigan State University recently published a study on biodegradable plastics. They found some plastics marketed as biodegradable and more sustainable don’t work. Continue reading

Another million for Michigan waters

The Michigan DNR has awarded one-and-a-quarter million dollars to 7 projects through its Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.

Friends of the Shiawassee received the single largest donation, $365-thousand, for their dam removal project.

Gary Burk is the Board Director for the Friends, he says the project is important for a number of reasons.

“We were actually approached by the State as to whether we could be a local agency to help direct grant dollars and project management for the removal of that dam. There’s a number of reasons for the removal. It’s a deteriorated structure, and we’d like to restore connectivity to the river. Plus, there have been some drownings at the dam.”

For a full list of the projects that were awarded grant money from the DNR visit their website here.

USDA grants $1.4 million to protect and restore wetland and agricultural lands

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is using a $1.4 million grant from the federal government for two land easement programs in the state.

The programs focus is on keeping wetlands and agricultural lands precisely that: wetlands and agricultural lands. Continue reading

Endangered species designation slows northern trail project

BatTrail enthusiasts in northern Michigan will have to wait a bit longer for construction of a new trail from Boyne City to Charlevoix.

The project delay is the result of a recent designation of the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. Continue reading

Catch a walleye worth $100

The DNR is giving anglers a chance to help support the Michigan Walleye fishery and possibly win $100 in the process.

Soon Walleye will be making their way upstream to spawn in the Tittabawasee, and other rivers. During that time DNR fishery biologists will catch, tag and release as many adult Walleye as possible.
Continue reading

Eight communities receive last of DEQ water quality monitoring grants

aboutDEQ_480120_7The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has awarded over $300,000 in water quality grants to eight universities, local governments and nonprofit organizations across the state.

One of the grants is going to the Clinton Conservation District in Clinton County, to track E.coli contamination in the Upper Maple River using canines. Continue reading

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visits CMU for symposium

Stabenow
Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow delivered the keynote address at today’s “Great Lakes Science in Action” symposium at Central Michigan University.
Continue reading

US Fish & Wildlife Service puts long-eared northern bat on threatened list

22581

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has put the northern long-eared bat on the “threatened” species list. The agency stopped short of declaring the species in danger of extinction – even though millions have been killed by “white nose bat syndrome.” That means state officials don’t have to take drastic measures to protect habitats while researchers search for a cure.

Dan Kennedy is an endangered species specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“What we can do right now is try to minimize impacts to these bats while they’re hibernating, but as far as specifically addressing the fungus, there is no silver bullet.”

Kennedy says most of the bats in Michigan are hibernating in remote, abandoned mines in the western Upper Peninsula. There could be some restrictions on logging and tree thinning in summer months in areas where young bats are roosting.

14th annual environmental summit taking place at LSSU

Soo_Locks-Sault-Ste_Marie

Residents of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario are invited to come to Lake Superior State University for the 14th annual Environmental Summit. The free summit is designed to show residents what scientists and students from LSSU have been doing on the St. Mary’s River. It will also give residents a chance to learn how to care for the river.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27 at the Cisler Center, residents will be able to interact with local organizations to better understand the river’s ecology. One organization is the Aquatic Research Laboratory, who will be providing information on the salmon fish hatchery on the river.

Students from LSSU will also have a chance to speak on the river and showcase their research.

Dr. Sheri Glowinski is an assistant professor of Biology Sciences at Lake Superior State University. She is also the coordinator for the Michigan side of the Bi-national Public Advisory Council. Both organizations are sponsoring the event.

“(It’s important) for the community to understand the major environmental issues that are facing the St. Mary’s watershed.”

Glowinski has set up this entire event and is excited to get the public educated about the St. Mary’s river.

Following the summit is a Health and Harvest Fair, where farms and other health related organizations will be presenting on healthy eating.

Consumer’s Energy working to fix outages in NW lower Michigan

power linePower outages are affecting several northern mid-Michigan counties today.

More than 4,500 people are without power in Wexford, Missaukee, Osceola, and Clare counties.

Cadillac Schools is sending students home early due to power outages in multiple buildings.

A Consumer’s Energy spokesperson said restoration work should be completed by mid afternoon.

ON THE WEB
Consumer’s Energy outage map
http://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap

Tittabawassee river cleanup update

Tuesday night the EPA will give an update on cleanup work along the Tittabawassee River. It’s part of the at the bi-monthly Community Advisory Group meeting’s.

The current portion of the cleanup is focused on the floodplain of the river. It requires certain areas of soil to be removed and replaced.

The public is invited to the meeting and the local community group is looking to recruit new members.

The meeting is scheduled for the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Park Building in Freeland and begins at 6 PM.

Earlier this year the EPA estimated the entire cleanup would be completed in 2018.

CMU receives nearly 400K for invasive species research

European Frogbit

European Frogbit


CMU has been awarded nearly $400,000 to expand its work on controlling invasive species in Michigan, which was the second highest grant amount received among 19 other organizations.

According to the DNR, the grant aims to evaluate and expand management tools for invasive species in the Great Lakes.
Continue reading

Revived senate bill would help protect the Great Lakes from invasives

In Washington DC, a bill that would help protect the Great Lakes from invasive species has been revived by the Senate, and sent to the House for a vote.

The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, or VIDA, would set a national precedent for controlling boat ballast water that enters the U.S.

The bill was revived when Senator Gary Peters of Michigan added an amendment that would require all ships that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway to dump their ballast water prior to entry.
great_lakes
Ballast water is considered to be one of the biggest doorways for aquatic invasive species to enter our waterways.