Michigan environment roundup: Cherry farmers brace for killer bacteria

Michigan farmers are working to contain bacterial canker, a devastating tree disease that affects sweet cherry orchards around the country.

Bridge Magazine is committed to sharing the best environmental journalism in and around Michigan, an effort called #EnviroReads.

In Bridge’s Michigan Environment Watch, we share a roundup of recent stories on the Great Lakes or other issues. If you see a story we should include next time, use the hashtag #EnviroReads on Twitter or email Environmental Reporter Jim Malewitz at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com.

Killer viruses could help Michigan cherry farmers

Michigan Radio

“Bacterial canker is a devastating tree disease that affects sweet cherry orchards around the country. There is currently no good way to treat it, but some Michigan scientists are trying to harness bacteria-killing viruses to control it,” Kaye LaFond reports.

Millions of gallons of sewage dumped into Rouge River


“You may not know it, but as a state we regularly dump partially treated sewage into our streams, rivers and lakes. In fact, it’s so commonplace — you likely didn’t hear about the 2-plus million gallons dumped into various parts of the lower and middle Rouge River in late February, or the more than 6 million dumped less than two weeks ago during a major water event,” Matthew Smith reports. “Sewage has been a regular addition to Michigan waters dating back decades, and while improvements are being made, the practice will likely continue until 2025. That’s when the state requires most municipalities controlling what’s known as a “combined sewer systems” to have a solution to the problem.”

DNR: State's evidence for 2016 wolf kill overstated

Detroit News

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is now admitting it misled a federal agency into killing three endangered gray wolves in 2016, following a Detroit News investigation that raised questions about the shoot,” John Barnes reports. “The department has confirmed it exaggerated a wolf sighting into a dangerously close encounter while persuading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to approve shooting three of an Upper Peninsula pack’s six known adults in 2016.”

PFAS pollution already costing Michigan communities millions of dollars


“Michigan residents are already paying to address the state’s PFAS contamination even as officials work to get a handle on the depth of the problem,” Paula Gardner reports. “The price tag to municipalities so far: Millions, with no end in sight as more contaminated locations are identified while debate continues over setting enforceable health and cleanup standards.”

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