Michigan Environment Watch


Environment roundup: Michigan punts on PFAS testing at dairy farm

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Q&A: Demystifying sky-high electricity rates in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

August 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

“There is widespread discontent” with the U.P.’s biggest electricity provider: Upper Peninsula Power Co. Elise Matz, a consumer advocate, wants to help Yoopers understand what’s going on.

Michigan farm country testifies of widespread crisis as crops go unplanted

August 13, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

At a legislative hearing, Michigan farmers, academics and public officials predict fallout from bad weather and a trade war will be widespread and long-lasting.

Study: Asian carp could thrive in Lake Michigan, despite earlier doubts

August 12, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

 A new University of Michigan study found that voracious bighead carp could survive in wider areas of Lake Michigan than previously thought. The findings loudened calls for Congress to approve a $778 million barrier to prevent the invasive fish from jeopardizing the Great Lakes’ $7 billion commercial fishery. 

Before debates, Gretchen Whitmer urges Democrats to protect Great Lakes

July 29, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Joining fellow Democratic governors in Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Michigan’s governor urges presidential hopefuls to protect the Great Lakes by backing proposals that would improve water quality and thwart invasive species. 

It’s not just Flint: Poverty is bad for your health in Michigan, study finds

July 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs, Jim Malewitz

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer focuses on environmental justice, a new study by the University of Michigan maps ‘hot spots’ where low-income people of color are exposed to high levels of pollution.

As PFAS fears spread, Michigan ramps up testing by zapping fish

July 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

‘Welcome to the rodeo’: Bridge Magazine gets first-hand look at Michigan regulators’ efforts to learn more about toxins in ‘forever chemicals’ by killing and testing fish.

Michigan environment roundup: Lake sturgeon on the rebound

July 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Think it’s hot now? Michigan’s 90° days could quadruple in 20 years

July 16, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

Climate change could bring sweltering, dangerous summers to the Midwest, a new report warns, with 34 days per year above 90° if nothing is done. Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor and Monroe would be the hottest.

Climate change could bring woe to Michigan’s lakes, farms, forests

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

More than heat, unchecked climate change could worsen crop yields, infrastructure and air pollution. Here’s what researchers say could happen in Michigan in coming decades.

Michigan environment roundup: Expect severe algae blooms on Lake Erie

July 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Invasive plants choke Michigan waters. So why can anyone order them online?

July 11, 2019 | Alexandra Schmidt

Residents can order invasive plants through specialty websites, even though they are illegal in Michigan. Is there a better way to protect the state’s fish, waters and tourism industry? 

Enbridge begins geological work for Line 5 tunnel, despite Nessel lawsuit

July 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The energy giant will begin geological sampling this week in the Straits of Mackinac, two weeks after Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit to shut down the dual Line 5 pipelines while separately blocking a $500 million tunnel plan to protect them.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel files lawsuit to shut down Line 5 in Mackinac Straits

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking court order to decommission Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, citing a “continual threat of grave harm” to the Great Lakes. Separately, she’s seeking to dismiss an Enbridge lawsuit to uphold an agreement to bury the pipelines in a bedrock tunnel.

Michigan congresswoman pushes national plan to fix recycling woes

June 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a Michigan Democrat, co-sponsored a budget amendment that would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to draw up a plan to boost recycling nationwide. The legislation has cleared the House.

Commercial fishing is sinking fast in Michigan. Time for more regulations?

June 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Sportfishing is booming in Michigan, while fewer than two dozen commercial businesses tie their livelihoods to the Great Lakes. The industry has a rich heritage, but some say it’s time to ‘pull the plug on the horse and carriage industry.’

Invasive mussels challenge commercial whitefish fishing in the Great Lakes

June 24, 2019 | Kurt Williams

The spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels in the Great Lakes has wreaked havoc on Great Lakes food chains.  They may be behind a startling decline in whitefish, the most valuable stock for fishermen.

Surging Great Lakes threaten Michigan’s beloved Fishtown

June 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Heavy rains are taking a toll on the collection of fishing shanties in the Leelanau Peninsula, eroding some buildings and flooding others. That’s accelerating a fundraising effort to preserve the buildings.

Michigan environment roundup: Asian carp move closer to the Great Lakes

June 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Report: Tug dragged 6-ton anchor for days after denting Line 5 pipeline

June 5, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says new federal report detailing anchor strike shows ‘all of the enforcement mechanisms in the world won’t prevent a tragedy.’