Algal blooms in the Great Lakes, wolf hunting in the U.P., energy legislation: this week in environmental news

By Kary Askew Garica, MNA Intern

Every Friday, MNA gathers news related to the environment from around the state and country. Here are a few highlights from what happened this week in environmental news:

A fish flops dead on the shore, due to an increase of algae. Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Echo.

A fish flops dead on the shore, due to an increase of algae. Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Echo.

Public trust demands Great Lakes phosphorus cuts (Great Lakes Echo): A team of United States and Canadian citizens known as the International Joint Commission, or IJC, have come together to create a public trust to protect the Great Lakes from “excessive nutrient runoff.”. This has created toxic algal blooms in the lakes, adversely affecting the ecosystems and causing beach closures.

Second ballot proposal to stop gray wolf hunt in U.P. approved (Detroit Free Press): A proposal to end hunting of grey wolves in the Upper Peninsula will appear on the ballot on Nov. 5 and could possibly repeal a law passed in 2012. The proposal was pushed by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected and is among three other proposals about the wolf hunt that will also be on the ballot.

Scientists propose new classification system for invasive species (Conservation Magazine): Researchers across the globe came together to create a new classification scheme to better understand risks and threats to biodiversity on the planet. Rather than using a system that points out species who are endangered, they’re classifying invasive species by the adverse effects they impose on the communities they invade.

Obama pushes climate rules despite Dems’ midterm election concerns (Huffington Post): The Obama administration is set to reveal new emissions caps for factories throughout the nation to democrats’ dismay in energy-producing states during the midterm elections. Obama must start now with making an energy efficient nation, a major component to his campaign, otherwise new legislation won’t be enacted before his term ends.

Extensive Great Lakes ice and El Nino equals cooler Michigan summer  (Macomb Daily): Michigan’s frigid winter could continue to impact the state well into the summer. Extensive Great Lakes ice cover could mean higher lake levels, while the cold winter and an El Nino weather pattern mean cooler temperatures will likely continue. This could also delay severe spring storms.

 

 

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Legless lizards, outdoor classrooms and floods: this week in environmental news

By Sally Zimmerman, MNA Intern

Every Friday, MNA shares recent environmental news stories from around the state and country. Here’s some of what happened this week in environmental and nature news:

A legless lizard. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A legless lizard. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Legless lizard discovered near LAX (and no, it’s not a snake) (LA Times): A new species of lizard has been discovered in California. It does not have legs, and lives beneath sand dunes. Scientists discovered this legless lizard by spreading wet cardboard throughout California, and coming back months later to see if the lizards were hiding under the cardboard. There are five different legless lizards in California, and scientists are hoping to uncover even more species.

Blandford Nature Center launches program to help schools turn yards into outdoor classrooms (MLive): Blandford Nature Center introduced its new plan to turn outdoor areas into school classrooms. In Grand Rapids, West Side Christian School students experience the change as part of their educational program now involves outdoor science classes. The school is part of the year-long pilot of the program.

Colorado floods: What happens to all that water? (Mother Nature Network): Excess water from the severe flooding in Colorado is now threatening to cause flooding in Nebraska. The South Platte River in Colorado runs into Nebraska, and is carrying the majority of the water from the flood that has not already soaked into the ground. The flooding is expected to be less severe in Nebraska, but the National Weather Service issued flood warnings for southwest Nebraska.

Contaminants may cause birds to sing a different tune (Science Daily): Researchers at Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology have stated that inconsistency in songbird’s songs may be caused by contaminants in the Hudson River. This river is highly polluted as a result of years of electronics manufacturing nearby. The songbirds capture aquatic insects to feed their young. These insects are contaminated, and the birds will continue to eat these throughout their lives.

Tackling environmental issues crucial for Detroit’s success (Great Lakes Echo): The Detroit Environmental Agenda was released this summer and involves plans to improve the environment around Detroit. The agenda involves a two-year plan, as discussed by Guy Williams, president of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. This organization encourages Detroit residents to improve their quality of living and improve the environmental health of communities.

A recovering falcon, an opposed waste site and a lunar national park: this week in environmental news

By Allison Raeck, MNA Intern

Every Friday, MNA shares recent environmental news stories from around the state and country. Here’s some of what happened this week in environmental and nature news:

Image

Peregrine falcons are establishing many active nests in urban Detroit.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Peregrine falcon found injured in Detroit, being nursed back to health (Detroit Free Press): A female Peregrine falcon was discovered walking outside Cadillac Place in Detroit last Sunday, injured and unable to fly. Troopers contained the bird in a cardboard box before handing it over to a Rochester-area rehabilitation facility known as Spirit Filled Wings. The peregrine falcon has been off the endangered species list for 14 years, with some of their most active nests in urban Detroit. Though rehabilitators are unsure as to whether it will ever be able to fly, the bird is expected to survive.

Petoskey paddler set to circumnavigate fourth Great Lake (Petoskey News): Petoskey native Stephen Brede will set out on his canoe to circumnavigate Lake Ontario this week. Since 2009, Brede has circled three of the Great Lakes, paddling by day and camping by night. As an experienced camper, he has mastered a system of pitching a tent over his canoe and utilizing solar panels to charge his cell phone. Brede has yet to venture around Lake Superior, and is still considering the idea of challenging the massive lake.

Macomb county commissioners oppose Ontario nuclear waste site on Lake Huron (The Voice): The Macomb County Board of Commissioners have unanimously voted against a proposed underground nuclear waste site on Lake Huron shores. The site was initially suggested by Ontario Power Generation, and was expected to take place near the Bruce Peninsula. In addition, the board’s resolution opposes all other underground repositories proposed in the Great Lakes Basin, Canada, the United States or any First Nation property. This specific resolution is the second that the board has passed opposing the dump, with the first resolution passed in 2008.

Michigan State gets $14.1 million grant to study dioxins (mlive): A Michigan State University research team has been awarded a $14.1 million grant to investigate human health responses to environmental contaminants known as dioxins. Dioxins have been a prevalent issue in Michigan, as Dow Chemical Co. leaked them through water and air emissions through the 1970s. The chemical has been known to cause health effects such as chloracne and various reproductive issues. The Superfund Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awarded the University with the five-year grant, which the team will use to study donated human cells and tissue.

Wildlife officials remove arrow from Canada goose that drew attention in Michigan; bird is OK (The Washington Post): More than two months after it was first spotted, wildlife officials have successfully removed an arrow from an injured Canada goose in Bay City. At the time of its discovery, the Michigan DNR believed the injured goose was still healthy, and chose to leave the arrow. However, when DNR officials spotted the goose a second time while banding geese in the Bay City area, they took action. A biologist removed the arrow and bandaged the wound, releasing the bird back into the Saginaw River.

U.S. lawmakers want national park on moon (Mother Nature Network): House Representatives Donna Edwards, D-Md., and Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, have pitched the idea for the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historic Park, a national park on the surface of the moon. The park would protect artifacts left by Apollo missions from 1969 and 1972, which bill sponsors believe will be endangered with the expected growth of commercial space travel. Though the 1967 Outer Space Treaty restricts countries from claiming territory on the moon, the bill would only protect artifacts left by astronauts, not the land itself.