Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz reports on the environment for Bridge. Based in Lansing, but with plans to scour both peninsulas, he is looking for stories about how public policy, climate change and other phenomena affect the state’s trove of natural resources – all while leaders tout the “Pure Michigan” brand. Jim joined Bridge in November 2017, returning to his home state after a lengthy absence. He spent four years at the Texas Tribune, where he was an investigative reporter and extensively covered energy and environmental issues. He reported on an oil boom and bust, deadly oil refineries, cross-state border squabbles, invasive zebra mussels and gaping sinkholes. His work there also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO Magazine and news outlets across the country. Before moving to Texas, Jim covered energy and the environment for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. He majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. There, he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he currently serves on the board of directors. You can reach Jim at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com or call him at 517-657-3577.


Audit: Michigan Office of the Great Lakes didn't keep track of money

August 30, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The government agency is supposed to restore wetlands, but hasn’t updated action plans for years and failed to keep tabs on grants, an audit finds.

Battle looms over laws to slow spread of invasive species in Great Lakes

August 26, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Ballast water regulations have limited the introduction of new species in the Great Lakes, but new research shows they may be spread by domestic freighters. The shipping industry claims new rules would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Michigan environment roundup: State says Flint is violating Safe Drinking Water Act

August 26, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Michigan GOP files new suit to stop independent redistricting commission

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

State Republican Party’s federal lawsuit argues the structure of the 13-member board violates its freedom of association.

All eyes on Grand Traverse Bay as deadline looms for tribal fishing decree

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A consent decree that carves out fishing rights in the Great Lakes for five Michigan tribes is set to expire next August and negotiations have yet to start with the state. The outcome could shape fisheries for decades.

Environment roundup: Michigan punts on PFAS testing at dairy farm

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Q&A: Demystifying sky-high electricity rates in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

“There is widespread discontent” with the U.P.’s biggest electricity provider: Upper Peninsula Power Co. Elise Matz, a consumer advocate, wants to help Yoopers understand what’s going on.

Michigan farm country testifies of widespread crisis as crops go unplanted

August 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

At a legislative hearing, Michigan farmers, academics and public officials predict fallout from bad weather and a trade war will be widespread and long-lasting.

Study: Asian carp could thrive in Lake Michigan, despite earlier doubts

August 12, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

 A new University of Michigan study found that voracious bighead carp could survive in wider areas of Lake Michigan than previously thought. The findings loudened calls for Congress to approve a $778 million barrier to prevent the invasive fish from jeopardizing the Great Lakes’ $7 billion commercial fishery. 

Before debates, Gretchen Whitmer urges Democrats to protect Great Lakes

July 29, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Joining fellow Democratic governors in Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Michigan’s governor urges presidential hopefuls to protect the Great Lakes by backing proposals that would improve water quality and thwart invasive species. 

It’s not just Flint: Poverty is bad for your health in Michigan, study finds

July 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs, Jim Malewitz

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer focuses on environmental justice, a new study by the University of Michigan maps ‘hot spots’ where low-income people of color are exposed to high levels of pollution.

As PFAS fears spread, Michigan ramps up testing by zapping fish

July 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

‘Welcome to the rodeo’: Bridge Magazine gets first-hand look at Michigan regulators’ efforts to learn more about toxins in ‘forever chemicals’ by killing and testing fish.

Michigan environment roundup: Lake sturgeon on the rebound

July 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Climate change could bring woe to Michigan’s lakes, farms, forests

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

More than heat, unchecked climate change could worsen crop yields, infrastructure and air pollution. Here’s what researchers say could happen in Michigan in coming decades.

Michigan environment roundup: Expect severe algae blooms on Lake Erie

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Enbridge begins geological work for Line 5 tunnel, despite Nessel lawsuit

July 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The energy giant will begin geological sampling this week in the Straits of Mackinac, two weeks after Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit to shut down the dual Line 5 pipelines while separately blocking a $500 million tunnel plan to protect them.

Lyme disease is spreading across Michigan. But why?

July 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Officials are increasingly finding disease-carrying ticks in new places across the state. Experts aren’t exactly sure why, but they have some ideas.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel files lawsuit to shut down Line 5 in Mackinac Straits

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking court order to decommission Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, citing a “continual threat of grave harm” to the Great Lakes. Separately, she’s seeking to dismiss an Enbridge lawsuit to uphold an agreement to bury the pipelines in a bedrock tunnel.

Michigan congresswoman pushes national plan to fix recycling woes

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a Michigan Democrat, co-sponsored a budget amendment that would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to draw up a plan to boost recycling nationwide. The legislation has cleared the House.

Commercial fishing is sinking fast in Michigan. Time for more regulations?

June 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Sportfishing is booming in Michigan, while fewer than two dozen commercial businesses tie their livelihoods to the Great Lakes. The industry has a rich heritage, but some say it’s time to ‘pull the plug on the horse and carriage industry.’