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 environmental issues. If you see a story we should include next time, use the hashtag #EnviroReads on Twitter or email environmental reporter Jim Malewitz at email@example.com.
Flint’s testing problems put it back in violation of Safe Drinking Water Act
“The city is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for failing to test water at enough homes with lead service lines or lead plumbing fixtures, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says,” Ron Fonger reports. “Flint officials received the violation notice in a letter Friday, Aug. 16, and a spokeswoman for the city said officials “disagree with the facts as stated in this letter" -- at least in part because the state "did not provide the city with the final approved sampling methods” until March 22.”
Rising Great Lakes water levels benefit some, but cost others
“Water levels in the Great Lakes have reached record or near-record levels this summer. While all that water has been good for the shipping industry, it has caused significant damage along the shoreline and left many residents wondering whether high water levels are the new normal,” Dan Kraker reports. “Just six years ago the shipping industry was complaining about record low water levels. In the late 1990s, Great Lakes water levels began dropping — quickly ...That downward turn lasted 15 years. But in 2014, lake levels started to rise — and fast.”
Consumers Energy proposes settlement for solar developers in Michigan
Crain’s Detroit Business
“A major backlog of commercial solar developments in Michigan could be relieved if the Michigan Public Service Commission approves a proposed settlement on contracts between Consumers Energy and 20 independent power producers,” Jay Greene reports. “Over the next four years, Consumers has proposed to contract with nearly a dozen solar development companies, including Cypress Creek Renewables and Geronimo Energy, for up to 584 megawatts of renewable power, averaging about 150 megawatts per year, according to the settlement filed with the MPSC Aug. 8.”
Non-profit trains citizen scientists to collect fish data from the Great Lakes
“A new nonprofit is training citizen scientists to collect data on fish in the Great Lakes. They think it could be a game-changer for research in the region, and even help prevent the establishment of invasive species,” Kaye LaFond reports.
Tons of boulders creating new $1 million reef in Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay
“‘Don’t get hit’ reads one of the rocks getting dumped into Saginaw Bay to create a new underwater reef. The note painted on the rock is from a student who learned about the project in school. Nearly 23,000 tons of rocks are being used to create the offshore reef in waters northeast of Bay City. The $1 million project aims to revitalize walleye and other fish populations in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay,” Anna Liz Nichols reports. “When it’s finished, the reef will cover about 3 acres and provide a rocky habitat to promote fish reproduction. Sediment covers much of the bay’s bottom, a legacy of the area’s logging and agricultural industries.”