Michigan environmental roundup: Lawmakers tackle moose hunts, water shutoffs


A new study in Muskegon Lake, linked to Lake Michigan just north of Grand Rapids, has found that PFAS can adhere to microplastic particles in the water. (Shutterstock image)

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.

Michigan reps say they don't want Canada to store nuclear waste near Great Lakes
Michigan Radio
“Michigan Congressional representatives have introduced a resolution to oppose storing nuclear waste near the Great Lakes,” Dustin Dwyer reports. “Two separate proposals are currently in the works. One would be for low and intermediate level waste – things like clothing or mop heads used in nuclear facilities. The other is for spent fuel. Neither has approval from Canadian regulators.”

Traverse City will be first in the world to sort fish for passage upriver
Interlochen Public Radio
“Dams hurt native fish by blocking their access to rivers — but removing dams to let the fish through would open the way for invasive species,” Kaye LaFond reports. “A first-of-its-kind barrier designed to deal with this problem by sorting fish will be tested on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. If it’s successful, it could be a model for rivers all over the world.”

6 Ways the Detroit Zoo is Embracing Sustainability
Hour Detroit
“This year, the zoo plans to start running completely on renewable energy generated in Michigan. These changes are part of the Detroit Zoo’s Greenprint plan to protect animals and nature by becoming a sustainable facility,” Chloe Alverson reports.  From reusable bottles to sustainable eats and solar energy, “each project keeps the momentum moving towards sustainability and reducing the zoo’s carbon footprint.”

ACLU asks Whitmer to declare water shutoffs a “health emergency”
Michigan Radio
Civil rights groups, including the ACLU and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, “are calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare a “health emergency” in Detroit that would block water service shutoffs for unpaid bills,” Rick Pluta reports. “One of the group’s proposed solutions is making ability-to-pay an element of determining water bills. Whitmer says her administration takes the request and the problem seriously.”

Fishtown shanties flee rising waters in Leland
The Detroit News
“The Village Cheese Shanty has been plagued by rising water levels from the Leland River and water pushed from the near-record water levels of Lake Michigan. So faced with the inevitable temporary move away from the river, Kareck hosted a soiree for about 50 people in the fall,” John L. Russell reports. “With all the Swiss amiss, the brie free and the goat cheese gone, Kareck's shanty was lifted off its foundation Friday and placed in the nearby marina parking lot as part of an effort to preserve the shanties. “

Should a moose hunt be allowed on Isle Royale National Park? Some Michigan lawmakers think so
“In one of Michigan’s most remote locations, a steadily increasing moose population is putting extra pressure on the trees that make up the bulk of their diet — and some lawmakers think a lottery hunt could help bring balance to the ecosystem,” Lauren Gibbons reports. “The House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony Tuesday on a resolution supporting a limited moose hunt on Isle Royale National Park, and are expected to vote on it at their next meeting.”

On the largest freshwater island in the world, Lake Huron’s Native Americans warn of the fragility of water
Chicago Tribune
“Once abundant fisheries have been plundered by waves of invasive species, including invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which can tolerate warmer waters. According to the climate panel, global warming threatens to alter the habitat of many other species, forcing them to migrate to other areas,” Tony Briscoe reports. “For First Nation tribes, this could mean the end of some fish species and severe reductions in the wildlife they hunt for food.” 

Chemical Hitchhikers: Great Lakes microplastics may increase risk of PFAS contaminants in food web
Great Lakes Now
Tiny bits of plastic have been making big news lately for turning up just about everywhere – in our drinking water, food and even in the air we breathe. They are called microplastics, and researchers are only beginning to glimpse their health effects,” Sharon Oosthoek reports. “A new study in Muskegon Lake, linked to Lake Michigan just north of Grand Rapids, has found that a group of chemicals known as PFAS can stick to microplastic particles in the water. Since fish routinely ingest microplastics, this increases the likelihood that PFAS will make its way into the bodies of fish-eating creatures – including us.”

Shiawassee solar farm project still has 250 job openings starting at $15 an hour
“Michigan’s largest solar farm, Ranger Power’s Assembly Solar Project is under construction, bringing more than 300 jobs to the area.” Whitney Bryan reports. “The solar project brings jobs, tax revenue, and investment to Shiawassee County. The project will generate a $3.2 million increase in household earnings … with approximately $16 million being spent in Shiawassee County.”

Rescued bald eagle that had lead poisoning to be released in U.P.
“A bald eagle that suffered from lead poisoning is ready to be released back into the wild,” Justine Lofton reports. Blood tests had “indicated the bird was suffering from lead poisoning with lead levels exceeding the test’s upper limit and more than three times what is considered toxic, which is usually fatal. Chelation therapy began immediately to remove the lead from the blood.”

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Kevin Grand
Tue, 01/21/2020 - 7:41am

Of course you have a right to water.

Feel free to throw a bucket into the Detroit River and take away as much water as you want.

Now, if you want someone else to bring it into your home and the waste taken out, that will cost you.

Instead of these publicity hounds looking to see who can give away the most stuff, their focus should be on what the higher ups within GLWA are giving themselves when they think no one is looking.

Curiously, a VERY under-reported story.


Moose in Michigan
Wed, 01/22/2020 - 9:31am

Should a moose hunt be allowed on Isle Royale National Park? Some Michigan lawmakers think so.
I say NO. Transfer some to other parts of Michigan and if the population increases, then consider a hunt. Why are the moose restricted to an island??

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 2:34pm

There are moose in the UP, in the eastern end in the Newberry area and in the central area south and west of Marquette. The moose overpopulation issue on Isle Royale is already being taken care of by the natural predator and prey relationship with the introduction of new wolves onto the island. Hunting moose, or any other animal, should NOT be allowed. MUCC is just whining because they can't hunt something, as they did regarding not being able to hunt wolves in the UP. Being the great conservationists they claim to be you'd think they would respect the natural predator-prey relationship.