Category Archives: Natural Resources

Snyder signs legislation updating Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Act

Governor Rick Snyder and Representative Sheldon Neeley celebrate the signing of the water legislation at Grace Emmanuel Church in Flint. Photo Credit: Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder and Representative Sheldon Neeley celebrate the signing of the water legislation at Grace Emmanuel Church in Flint.
Photo Credit: Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bipartisan bill Friday that will require public water supply systems to tell customers about elevated lead levels. The law would require notification within three days of discovering lead levels are above the federal action level. Notification is already required – but the three-day rule is new. Governor Rick Snyder said the bill is an important first step.
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Studies support site near Lake Huron for burial of nuclear waste

file00099675879An announcement this week from the Canadian company Ontario Power Generation says the best location to bury nuclear waste is about a mile from Lake Huron. That’s the result of recent studies.

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The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was renewed for another five years earlier this week

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The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was renewed for another five years. Congress will have have to approve spending every year to keep the program funded.

The initiative allows projects throughout the state to help reduce pollution, battle invasive species and monitor fisheries. Continue reading

Michigan DNR assists in fire fighting efforts in southeastern states

DSC_0150Extreme drought conditions in the southeastern states has led to a series of wildfires across four states.

The state Department of Natural Resources has dispatched several teams to assist in fighting the fires.

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An Isabella County community has exceeded its crowdfunding goal to renovate a local park

Timber Town 2.0

All systems are ‘go’ for a new play place in Mt. Pleasant.

The group supporting the project has surpassed their goal of 50-thousand dollars for construction of a new playscape.

The crowdfunding success triggers state matching funds to the tune of 50-thousand.

Molli Ferency is with the city of Mount Pleasant. She said local kids helped design Timber Town 2.0.

“After the 22 years, the naturally aging structural challenges, we need to rebuild the playground, so we have an enhanced design that was created with input for many of the local kids.”

Fernecy said the total cost of the project is close to 400-thousand dollars. The crowdfuding campaign helped raise the last 100-thousand needed.

“In order to create that enhanced design, we needed close to 400-thousand dollars, and the city has contributed close to 243-thousand dollars of that total amount. So come this spring, we will be building that new design based on the kids, based on those ideas they gave us.”

Ferency said construction of the project will begin in May, and should be completed within five days with volunteer help.

Officials say the hunting season brings in more than two-billion dollars for the state’s economy

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The orange army will be out in full swing this week.

They’re not only keeping the deer population in check – but adding more than two-billion dollars to the state’s economy.

Ashley Autenrieth is a Deer Program Biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Gaylord. Continue reading

Trees can help reduce air pollution researchers say

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One environmental group has found a way to help reduce the air pollution across the globe. Their solution is putting nature back into the environment.


A new survey shows planting trees can help reduce air pollution and extreme heat during summer.

Robert McDonald is the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, which conducted the survey. He said there are two issues the study focuses on.

“One is how trees cool the air and they do that by shading pavement, and asphalt preventing it from getting the sun’s energy. And then the reports focuses on particulate matter, which globally the most damaging type of air pollution. So when we burn gasoline and other fossil fuels there are little particles that float around in the air.”

McDonald said particulate matter pollution contributes to strokes, heart attacks, asthma and other diseases. It kills some three million people a year. He said trees help by serving as a giant filter, and cool surrounding areas by up to four degrees.

State takes public comment on Nestle Water’s request for more groundwater withdrawals

Lake Anne with Sun Reflecting
The state is taking public comment on a request by Nestle Waters to withdraw additional groundwater in Osceola county. Concerns have already popped up about local rivers and wells. Nestle says the move will bring jobs to the area.


The company says it needs the increased water in order to expand. The expansion would bring some 20 new jobs to the neighboring county of Mecosta.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality say the water withdrawals could affect areas around the Muskegon River and Chippewa Creek.

Carrie Monosmith is the with the DEQ. She said the state has received close to 2,000 emails from residents.

“They are concerned about lost of water, decreased in levels in the creeks, possible impacts to their private wells, and many think Nestle shouldn’t be able to withdraw additional water for profit.”

Monosmith said right now, public comment is scheduled to close December 3rd. A decision on Nestle’s request will not be made until after a formal hearing. A date for that has not yet been set.

Several people across Michigan have been recognized for their work in educating the public on natural resources

239f757a9988330397a4131be5b0d9dbSeven educators from around Michigan were honored.

Kevin Frailey is an Education Services Manager with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says Mark Copeland of Gaylord was awarded for his work in archery.

“Outdoor education at its heart is learning outdoor skills, and one of those outdoor skills is archery and Mark Copeland has been teaching archery for many many years, he’s a certified archery instructor and he’s very involved with programs and organizations. Mark’s been teaching archery to kids to seniors to disabled to just about every kind of demographic you can think of.”

Frailey says another award was given to educator Theresa Neal, who teaches visitors of Tahquamenon Falls about the local environment.