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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Isle Royale sits roughly 20 miles east of mainland Minnesota and 55 miles west of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, yet the island in Lake Superior belongs to Michigan. But why?” writes Emma Dill. “...The answer...can be traced to faulty maps, ‘copper fever’ and the dispute over a strip of land in northern Ohio, but first we first have to ask why the island belongs to the United States at all. Isle Royale is, in fact, closer to Canada than either Minnesota or Michigan.”
Lansing State Journal
“The insects are making their way across the East Coast, feasting on the insides of trees, carpeting infested forests in sticky secretions and threatening multi-million dollar agriculture and forestry industries. They are hundreds of miles away, but with their tendency to lay eggs on vehicles, that doesn't matter,” Carol Thompson reports. “The question isn't if the spotted lanternfly will get to Michigan. It's when.”
“A push to dredge part of a 23-mile stretch of the Grand River between Eastmanville Township and Grand Rapids is drawing scrutiny in Ottawa County, with some residents and elected officials questioning the project’s environmental impact and maintenance costs,” Brian McVicar reports. “The project is being led by Dan Hibma, a West Michigan developer and husband of former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. He wants to make the Grand River accessible to power boaters looking to travel from Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan, a move that supporters say will boost tourism and could eventually generate an estimated annual economic impact of up to $5.7 million.”
“More than a hundred farms in Southeast Michigan may be contributing to Lake Erie pollution, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Environmental Law & Policy Center. Fertilizer in farm runoff is a common pollutant and contributed to a toxic algae bloom that forced Toledo, Ohio, officials to shut off about 500,000 residents’ water for three days in 2014,” Michael Gerstein reports. “But while environmentalists argue for more oversight at the largely unregulated small and midsize farms that produce it, the report may also highlight just how much is unknown about farm pollution, in general. There is little oversight and scant regulation nationwide on small and midsize farm fertilizer use — a major contributor to toxic algal blooms in both fresh and saltwater across the globe.”
“If you’re a raptor that needs to cross the Great Lakes, the Straits of Mackinac are the path. Mackinaw City is like a raptor migration funnel,” Kaye LaFond reports. “...Last year, the Straits of Mackinac broke a world record for raptor migration. Five-thousand three-hundred and sixty red-tailed hawks flew over on a single day in spring.”