Tag Archives: Michigan

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.
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Ballast water is considered to be one of the biggest doorways for aquatic invasive species to enter our waterways.

The ‘Senior Citizen’ of the Great Lakes fisheries retires

R.V ChinookAfter 70 years of service, and earning the description “the Senior citizen of the Great Lakes fisheries research vessels”, the DNR’s R.V Chinook is being retired.

Research biologist at the DNR Dave Fielder spent years with the vessel. He said he’ll miss the old ship.

“Well I tend to think about the different people who have served on it, visited on it, over the years. Whole careers have been spent on this vessel. It can get pretty rough out there, it’s kinda notorious for creating seasickness, but it’s kinda like our second home.”

The new research vessel, the R.V Tanner, is expected to be constructed by April of 2016.

Fielder says the new ship is named after Dr. Howard Tanner who’s known as the, “Father of the Modern Pacific Salmon Program” .

Senate approves 3/15 GOP primary date

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Michigan’s Republican presidential primary would take place on March 15th of next year under bills that were just adopted by the state Senate. Republicans want to move the date to comply with national party rules. Michigan’s current February date is too close to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Continue reading

Recycle your Christmas Tree

The holiday season is in full swing, and for many people that means it’s time to bring a bit of the outdoors into the living room. But what can you do with your x-mas tree once the season’s over?

Marsha Gray, the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association said the answer is simple: Recycle!

“I would say probably the most common option in Michigan would be to chip those trees into mulch. But you’ll also see Christmas trees that get recycled and reused in other ways. You’ll see Christmas trees piled and dumped along the shore line. It helps to prevent beach erosion. I also know some people who have lakes where they’ll sink Christmas trees because they create a great habitat for fish.”

She said one town in Minnesota takes recycling their trees to the extreme.

“St. Paul, Minnesota heats and powers most of their downtown grid with waste wood. Trimmings, clippings, palettes, all sorts of things are put into this crazy massive grinder chipper and create this product, that is literally burned, and they use that to power their city. And during the holidays they go to that waste wood facility and end up powering their city.”

Gray said although this is an extraordinary example, everyone can do something with their tree. Turn it into mulch yourself, or simply check with your local government to see if they have a street-side pick up service.

For more information on what you can do with your tree visit here.

Pioneering Great Lakes research miles from the shore

Although Winter is well on its way, water researchers at CMU don’t plan on slowing down.

Smack dab in the center of the Lower Peninsula, miles from the shores of the Great Lakes, lies a somewhat unexpected but active participant in the restoration and protection of Michigan’s waterways. Continue reading

Muzzleloader season opens today in Michigan

One shot, one deer. The single shot deer hunting season kicked off Friday, Dec 5th.

Brent Rudolph is a deer specialist from the Michigan DNR. He said it’s important to remember the differences between hunting zones.

“Ya know we have different zones in the state that we use for a variety of different species actually. So zone 1 is upper peninsula, that’s pretty easy to identify. Zone 2 is from Muskegon over to Bay County. And we use those different areas because there’s a little different climate, there’s different habitat. And so any variety of our species there’s a need to manage a little bit differently according to those boundaries.”

There are three zones in Michigan. Zones one and two are both open until Dec 14th, while zone three affords hunters an extra week to bring home the venison.

Rudolph said zone three is open longer because there tends to be larger deer concentrations in that area.

For more information on hunting zones, or anything else season related, visit the DNR here.

Environmental groups place more pressure on Governor to monitor Straits pipeline

Environmental groups are increasing their pressure on Governor Snyder to keep the pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac safe.

This increase in concern follows the recent proclamation by the Coast Guard saying it is not prepared to handle a “heavy” oil spill in the Great Lakes.

David Holtz is the Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter. He says Michigan would be in serious trouble if the pipelines were to rupture.

“Problem is that we know the effects that tar sands has had when there’s been a spill because thats what happened along the Kalamazoo River in Marshall. What we don’t know is whether other crude oil that is currently going through the pipe what the effects of that would be, but we certainly dont want to find out.”

As of now, Enbridge says they are not pumping “heavy” oil, or tar sands, through the pipeline that runs under the Straits. But, they are not specifically barred from doing so.

Environmental groups worry this may change in the future because Enbridge has decided to expand their Alberta-Clipper pipeline. This line does export tar sands and runs from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin where the Straits pipeline begins.

Students take field trips to learn about Michigan shipwrecks


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School kids across Michigan are stepping out of the classroom and onto buses for, what for many, is their favorite time of the year, field trips.

Some that are within driving distance of Alpena are learning about a unique part of Michigan history…shipwrecks. Continue reading

Energy costs, demand expected to increase this summer

file0001691310751This past winter season impacted more than just Michigan roads.

State officials say the brutal winter and the polar vortex is also likely to impact summer energy prices. Continue reading

New Nutritional Guidelines for Michigan Public Schools.

045When classes begin this fall, Michigan public schools will be operating under new nutritional guidelines. The new guidelines focus on beverage standards and a la carte food items, such as foods from vending machines.
Continue reading

Law enforcement officials raise awareness on the human toll for crime victims

Each year law enforcement across the country set aside time to acknowledge those impacted by crime through observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme is “30 years: Restoring the Balance of Justice.”
Continue reading

Lisa Brown to be Mark Schauer’s running mate


Democrat Mark Schauer will name Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown as his running mate in his campaign for governor. An announcement is planned in Oakland County.

Lisa Brown comes from vote-rich Oakland County, fiercely contested territory for Republicans and Democrats. She’s a prodigious fundraiser. She is also a favorite of progressives. She challenged Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage in court. And she opened county offices the Saturday after a judge struck down Michigan’s ban to allow hundreds of gay and lesbian couples to get married. As a state legislator, she was a fierce defender of abortion rights.

Multiple Democratic Party sources confirmed Brown is the choice, but there is no official word from the Schauer campaign. Under the Michigan Constitution, the choice for lieutenant governor candidate will have to be ratified by a party convention following the August primary. Schauer is challenging Republican Governor Rick Snyder.