Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.

Articles

Michigan environment roundup: Could Michigan voters decide Line 5’s fate?

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Schuette goes to bat for ExxonMobil; brief calls climate change ‘unsettled science’

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Last month, the Michigan attorney general signed a court filing in support of energy giant that claims debate about global warming is still ‘raging’ among scientists. Spoiler alert: It’s not.

Climate change brings risks, opportunity to ‘Pure Michigan’

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A climate scientist sees reason for optimism as Michigan and the world grapples with a hotter, more extreme climate.

How U-M data ‘nerds’ helped Flint find homes with dangerous lead pipes

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

University of Michigan researchers developed an algorithm that has played an important role in Flint’s efforts to replace hazardous lead service lines. It could help other Michigan cities better locate older, compromised pipes.

How long can Great Lakes fend off thirsty world from water diversions?

September 4, 2018 | Ron Seeley

A 2008 interstate compact prevents distant dry places from siphoning off Great Lakes water. But will the agreement hold up in the face of growing demand?

Michigan environment roundup: Rock stacking tourists harm Tahquamenon Falls

September 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

In West Michigan, PFAS contamination leaves fruits and veggies to wither

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Danger to the groundwater in the town of Parchment could mean trouble to vegetable gardens, prompting some to wonder if their soil is permanently damaged.

Lake Erie’s algae bloom is growing again after paralyzing Toledo water system

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Fueled by farm runoff, harmful algal blooms continue to grow in Western Lake Erie, and climate change may make them even more intense. An expert explains the problem and how it could be addressed.

Michigan environment roundup: Recyclers scramble as China halts plastic, paper imports

August 22, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

With few friends on Great Lakes, chorus grows for cormorant kills

August 15, 2018 | Peter Payette

As fish numbers drop in Michigan’s northern waters, efforts to limit the birds have ranged from raccoon squads to slicking their eggs with oil. Now the big guns are getting involved. (with slideshow)

Floods test mettle in Michigan’s UP. Waiting for relief tests patience.

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Yoopers are doing it themselves, digging out after the worst flooding in more than a generation. But money is running out, and folks are getting tired of waiting for emergency relief assistance.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, epic floods reveal stormwater woes

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Officials in Copper Country are rushing to unclog culverts before the next round of heavy rain or melting snow again swamps homes. Some residents are calling for more dramatic action to reshape dangerous drainage systems dating back to mining boom days.

Slideshow | Michigan’s Upper Peninsula picks up pieces after epic floods

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

View photos as Copper Country recovers from this summer’s floods

Hancock nonprofit plays outsized role in Upper Peninsula flood recovery

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Few Yoopers will get insurance payouts after the floods, and homeowners have yet to get federal aid.  Nearly 500 have applied for a Portage Health Foundation program to fill in those gaps.

Michigan environment roundup: Cancer fears in Oscoda over PFAS

August 14, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Map | Here are confirmed PFAS threats to Michigan water

July 31, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Residents in a pair of Kalamazoo County townships have been told not to drink their water. They join a growing list of communities where chemical used in Air Force bases, clothing and household items is threatening waterways in Michigan.

Flooding, bacteria prompt mass beach closures throughout U.P., Michigan

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A month after the catastrophic floods, advisories or closures remain in place at 17 beaches in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula where high levels of bacteria have been detected.

How Michiganders made Grand Traverse Bay beaches cleaner

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Beach closures are a big deal near Traverse City, which thrives on tourism. So a nonprofit made it its mission to reduce them

Michigan environment roundup: Endangered butterfly near extinct in Oakland County

July 24, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Michigan to sue 3M as toxic PFAS chemicals taint waters

July 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked Attorney General Bill Schuette to sue 3M, accusing the chemical giant of continuing to sell toxic products despite knowing dangers.

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