89.1 WEMU

Issues Of The Environment: Building Resilience Along The Huron River Amidst Changes In Climate

Feb 15, 2017

Average rainfall in the area is expected to increase in the years to come.  There will also be more frequent periods of drought and more severe weather events.  It is climate change, and measures of adaptation are being adopted to protect the Huron River Watershed.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Watershed planner Rebecca Esselman about the present and future of the Huron River. 


Overview

   *   With the new administration in office, it is unclear what the federal response to climate change will be.  It remains to be seen how state and local agencies will be impacted.

   *   Climate change is evident in the Huron River watershed already.  The river is warmer, rains and runoff are more intense, and rainfall is more sporadic.  The HRWC is working on strategies to mitigate the effects of these changes.  Part of this effort includes strengthening and enforcing the Natural Rivers District designation along much of the middle reaches of the river to keep riparian forests intact.

   *   Rebecca Esselman, Watershed Planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, has blogged extensively on the impact of climate change in the watershed, and she works on HRWC projects that aim to make the area more resilient.  Some of the HRWC projects include: protections for riparian vegetation to keep waters cool; habitat restoration for protection during extreme storms; dam management to reduce the impacts of fast flow on spawning fish; stonefly population monitoring; and catch-and-release recommendations during fish spawning. 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu