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.


In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, epic floods reveal stormwater woes

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Officials in Copper Country are rushing to unclog culverts before the next round of heavy rain or melting snow again swamps homes. Some residents are calling for more dramatic action to reshape dangerous drainage systems dating back to mining boom days.

Slideshow | Michigan’s Upper Peninsula picks up pieces after epic floods

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

View photos as Copper Country recovers from this summer’s floods

Hancock nonprofit plays outsized role in Upper Peninsula flood recovery

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Few Yoopers will get insurance payouts after the floods, and homeowners have yet to get federal aid.  Nearly 500 have applied for a Portage Health Foundation program to fill in those gaps.

Michigan environment roundup: Cancer fears in Oscoda over PFAS

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Map | Here are confirmed PFAS threats to Michigan water

July 31, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Residents in a pair of Kalamazoo County townships have been told not to drink their water. They join a growing list of communities where chemical used in Air Force bases, clothing and household items is threatening waterways in Michigan.

A trade war’s brewing, Michigan. Here are five things to know

July 27, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A flood of tariffs has thrust the United States into trade tussles with Canada, China and Mexico. Three top Michigan economists offer their takes.

Flooding, bacteria prompt mass beach closures throughout U.P., Michigan

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A month after the catastrophic floods, advisories or closures remain in place at 17 beaches in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula where high levels of bacteria have been detected.

How Michiganders made Grand Traverse Bay beaches cleaner

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Beach closures are a big deal near Traverse City, which thrives on tourism. So a nonprofit made it its mission to reduce them

Michigan environment roundup: Endangered butterfly near extinct in Oakland County

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Michigan to sue 3M as toxic PFAS chemicals taint waters

July 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked Attorney General Bill Schuette to sue 3M, accusing the chemical giant of continuing to sell toxic products despite knowing dangers.

Environmentalists outraged Michigan warning about PFAS went unheeded

July 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A state bureaucrat first raised concerns about the toxic chemicals in 2012. They’re now a full-blown crisis. Did the state move too slow?

Michigan enlists ‘Shop-Vac on steroids’ to fight toxic PFAS foam

July 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan environmental regulators have hatched a novel plan to get vacuum of toxic foam bubbling up in Oscoda and other PFAS-tainted communities. Will it work? Nobody’s sure.

Map | Find PFAS threats to drinking water in Michigan

July 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A chemical used in Air Force bases, clothing and household items is threatening waterways in Michigan. Use this map to find out where.

Emails cast doubt about Michigan’s ties to Enbridge in Line 5 debate

July 11, 2018 | Craig Mauger, Jim Malewitz

As a deadline looms for Gov. Snyder to decide the future of a pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, he has touted efforts to weigh the issue transparently and independently. But his administration has given Enbridge Energy plenty of avenues to influence the debate.

‘History of failure’ highlights Line 5 risks outside Straits of Mackinac

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz, Craig Mauger

Last year, the controversial pipeline sprung two small leaks, illustrating lingering questions about a pipeline that crosses nearly 400 bodies of water in Michigan and the state’s power to oversee it. But Enbridge Energy says it’s significantly improved safety.

He told Flint to ‘relax.’ Now, Michigan is paying him to lead media training.

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz, Craig Mauger

A former Michigan spokesman who resigned because of “callous” statements about Flint was paid by a state contract to train government employees on how to communicate with media, records show.

Michigan environment roundup: Climate change to blame for U.P. flooding?

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Michigan Truth Squad: Bill Schuette talks tough on Line 5 pipeline

June 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan League of Conservation voters suggests Bill Schuette’s publicly stated concern about Enbridge Energy’s controversial 645-mile pipeline doesn’t match his actions as attorney general. Are the facts behind that argument correct?

Michigan Truth Squad: Bill Schuette’s record on pollution under fire

June 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A liberal advocacy group accuses the attorney general, a Republican candidate for governor, of trying to protect polluters. What do the facts say?

Listen: Bridge discusses Great Lakes drowning ‘epidemic’

June 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Dozens drown every year in the Great Lakes, and most Michigan beaches lack lifeguards. Hear an interview of Bridge Magazine discussing the problem.