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.


Slideshow: In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, mining waste threatens Buffalo Reef

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

View photos from the past and present showing how waste from a closed mine is smothering key fish spawning grounds in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay.

Michigan environment roundup: Could Michigan voters decide Line 5’s fate?

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Truth Squad: Bill Schuette is falsely blamed for ignoring PFAS victims

September 17, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A Southfield Super PAC releases an irresponsible ad accusing Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette of failing to act on the behalf of victims of water contamination. In fact, he has sued on their behalf.

Michigan senator introduces bill to fund $2B in water cleanups

September 5, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

The bonding bill, sponsored by Sen. Margaret O’Brien of Kalamazoo County, differs from a plan backed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who prefers to raise needed revenue via higher fees.

Schuette goes to bat for ExxonMobil; brief calls climate change ‘unsettled science’

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Last month, the Michigan attorney general signed a court filing in support of energy giant that claims debate about global warming is still ‘raging’ among scientists. Spoiler alert: It’s not.

Climate change brings risks, opportunity to ‘Pure Michigan’

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A climate scientist sees reason for optimism as Michigan and the world grapples with a hotter, more extreme climate.

How U-M data ‘nerds’ helped Flint find homes with dangerous lead pipes

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

University of Michigan researchers developed an algorithm that has played an important role in Flint’s efforts to replace hazardous lead service lines. It could help other Michigan cities better locate older, compromised pipes.

Michigan environment roundup: Rock stacking tourists harm Tahquamenon Falls

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

In West Michigan, PFAS contamination leaves fruits and veggies to wither

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Danger to the groundwater in the town of Parchment could mean trouble to vegetable gardens, prompting some to wonder if their soil is permanently damaged.

Lake Erie’s algae bloom is growing again after paralyzing Toledo water system

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Fueled by farm runoff, harmful algal blooms continue to grow in Western Lake Erie, and climate change may make them even more intense. An expert explains the problem and how it could be addressed.

Michigan environment roundup: Recyclers scramble as China halts plastic, paper imports

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Gretchen Whitmer officially taps Garlin Gilchrist II as running mate

August 20, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Whitmer’s announcement came as Democrats and Republicans prepare for their nominating conventions — and days after GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette named Kent County Clerk and former state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons.


Floods test mettle in Michigan’s UP. Waiting for relief tests patience.

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Yoopers are doing it themselves, digging out after the worst flooding in more than a generation. But money is running out, and folks are getting tired of waiting for emergency relief assistance.

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.