Algae blooms, planting beaches, and sky glow: this week in environmental news

Each Friday, MNA highlights environmental news stories from around the state and country. Read on for this week’s news stories:

Climate change aids toxic algae, group says (The Columbus Dispatch): According to a new report, spring rainstorms made more powerful by climate change will wash more fertilizers off farms and grow even bigger toxic-algae blooms in Lake Erie. More frequent and stronger spring rains and hotter, drier summers have contributed to algae growth. The toxic algae can produce liver and nerve toxins that can sicken people and kill pets.

Low water is high time to plant beaches (Great Lakes Echo): Ecologists are urging waterfront property owners to plant their beaches. In addition to being attractive, native plants are home to insects and coastal birds, and help protect against erosion from waves. Planting natives can also impede phragmites, which degrades wetland quality and drives wildlife away. Property owners can work with environmental organizations to obtain permits and learn about identifying native and nonnative plants.

Artificial sky glow could disrupt wildlife cycles (Conservation Magazine): A new study suggests that artificial “sky glow” produced when light from cities and roads bounces off the atmosphere back to earth could disrupt wildlife cycles. The study found the urban organisms experience more hours per night in which the sky is as bright as it would be with a full moon. Nocturnal species could increase their time hunting for food, while their prey may spend more time on the run.

EPA American Wetlands Month Book Display (University of Michigan Library): May is American Wetlands Month and the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Science Library is celebrating with an exhibit of books relating to the ecology, wildlife, and conservation of America’s wetlands. Those with MLibrary borrowing privileges may check out the books, and anyone is welcome to use the books on-site.