Michigan environment roundup: Rock stacking tourists harm Tahquamenon Falls

Stacked rocks at Tahquamenon Falls State Park (Screenshot of Michigan Natural Resources video)

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.

Rock-stacking tourists are damaging environment at Michigan's Tahquamenon Falls


“Tahquamenon Falls State Park is asking people to stop stacking rocks along the river, saying it is damaging the environment, particularly for the insects who call the river home,” Tanda Gmiter reports. “The bottom of the fast-flowing Tahquamenon River is filled with lots of flat sandstone rocks. It seems many people can't resist the urge to stack them like elaborate Jenga towers, leaving their "artwork" for other tourists to admire.”

A federal lawsuit over reservation boundaries pits tribe against its Northern Michigan neighbors

Michigan Radio

“Some of Northern Michigan's top vacation destinations are at the heart of a lawsuit filed by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians,” Michigan Radio’s Stateside reports. “The tribe argues that a treaty signed in 1855 set the boundaries of a reservation that would cover 337 square miles in what is now Emmet and Charlevoix counties. That would include popular vacation spots like Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and parts of Charlevoix.”

Detroit incinerator seeks odor fix as neighbors raise stink

Detroit News

“Amid promises to be a better neighbor, a controversial incinerator just beyond downtown is being accused by the state of having ‘insufficient’ control measures to limit its foul odors,” Nicquel Terry and Christine Ferretti report. “The state Attorney General's Office submitted a notice this summer to Detroit Renewable Energy on Russell Street informing the plant of a state determination that it needs upgrades before the facility can be released from a 2014 consent judgment.”

Algae Bloom in Lake Superior Raises Worries on Climate Change and Tourism

The New York Times

“In 19 years of piloting his boat around Lake Superior, Jody Estain had never observed the water change as it has this summer. The lake has been unusually balmy and cloudy, with thick mats of algae blanketing the shoreline,” Christine Hauser reports. “Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes with more than 2,700 miles of shoreline, is the latest body of water to come under increased scrutiny by scientists after the appearance this summer of the largest mass of green, oozing algae ever detected on the lake.”

"You've gotta do it yourself": Grand Traverse Tribe collects sonar images of Line 5

Michigan Radio

“Frustrated by what they say is inadequate information provided to them by Enbridge, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians sent their own tribal research vessel to the Straits of Mackinac on Thursday to take sonar imagery of the company’s Line 5 pipelines,” Kaye LaFond reports. “The vessel and side-scan sonar equipment are normally used to map the lake bottom and help the Tribe assess things like fish habitat. The sonar provides three-dimensional images of underwater terrain. This is the first time the Tribe has used sonar to get images of Line 5.”


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