Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition

Find Issues of the Environment each week on 89.1 WEMU.

Subscribe to 89.1 WEMU: Environmental News Digest by email

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Podcasts

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:30am

    In this week's installment of 'Issues of the Environment', we explore the growing benefits of salvage wood and the difference it's making right here at home.  

  • Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:09am

    Meet the Gold family from Superior Township. They've turned their land into an innovative,  self-sustaining property. 

      Overview   

    The Gold family owns and operates a farming “homestead” in Washtenaw County known as “Our Handmade Life”, where they live a self-sustaining, green life and they offer courses to the public on how they do it.

    The farm, on Vreeland Road, features a bio-intensive passive greenhouse (no fossil fuels!), the Michigan Folk School, dozens of varieties of organic produce, mushrooms, goats, and chickens.

    Jason and Julia Gold have operated “Our Handmade Life” since 2011, and both the farm and the school have expanded every year since. They are currently offering classes on chicken butchering, earth ovens, soap making, fermentation, ale brewing, and much more.

  • Wednesday, July 9, 2014 9:56am

    Boaters Can Take Responsibility for Mitigation of Environmental Harm

  • Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:33am

    Overview

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:30am

    Deer overpopulation in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County is responsible for increasing home and vehicle property damage and is threatening the area's ecological balance.

    This week, David Fair talks with Maurita Holland about the issues creating the problem and the potential solutions.

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Issues of the Environment
8:30 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: The Urbanwood Project In Ann Arbor

In this week's installment of 'Issues of the Environment', we explore the growing benefits of salvage wood and the difference it's making right here at home.  

A conversation with Jessica Simons, Director of the Urbanwood Project in Ann Arbor and a Natural Resources Specialist with the Southeast Michigan Conservation and Development Council.

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Environment
9:09 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Sustainable Living On The 'Homestead'

The Gold Family's "Homemade Farm"
Credit Jason and Julia Gold / www.ourhandmadelife.com

Meet the Gold family from Superior Township. They've turned their land into an innovative,  self-sustaining property. 

Issues of the Environment: A sustainable homestead in Washtenaw County with Jason and Julia Gold.

  Overview   

The Gold family owns and operates a farming “homestead” in Washtenaw County known as “Our Handmade Life”, where they live a self-sustaining, green life and they offer courses to the public on how they do it.

The farm, on Vreeland Road, features a bio-intensive passive greenhouse (no fossil fuels!), the Michigan Folk School, dozens of varieties of organic produce, mushrooms, goats, and chickens.

Jason and Julia Gold have operated “Our Handmade Life” since 2011, and both the farm and the school have expanded every year since. They are currently offering classes on chicken butchering, earth ovens, soap making, fermentation, ale brewing, and much more.

Read more
Issues of the Environment
9:56 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: Environmentally Responsible Boating

Credit Flickr

Boaters Can Take Responsibility for Mitigation of Environmental Harm

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Issues of the Environment
11:33 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The I-75 'Green Corridor' And The Future Of Bio-fuels

Overview

  • The I-75 Green Corridor Project began with the goal of allowing  drivers to traverse any portion of I-75--which runs from Sault Ste. Marie to Miami, Florida--making the entire trip on biofuel, either E85 and B20.

  • While ethanol fuels do significantly reduce air pollution and GHG emissions, their environmental benefit may be less impactful than originally hoped..

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Issues of the Environment
8:30 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Deer Management In Ann Arbor

Deer captured in an Ann Arbor yard
Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance

Deer overpopulation in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County is responsible for increasing home and vehicle property damage and is threatening the area's ecological balance.

This week, David Fair talks with Maurita Holland about the issues creating the problem and the potential solutions.

Read more
Issues of the Environment
8:30 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Early Success With Ann Arbor's New Food Composting Program

Food waste composting
Credit Wikipedia

Thousands have taken to the City of Ann Arbor's expanded composting program. It now allows residents to add all food scraps to their composting carts, and keeps the material out of landfills, benefiting the environment and, ultimately, the budget. WEMU's David Fair discusses the early successes of the program with Ann Arbor Solid Waste Coordinator, Tom McMurtrie 

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Environment
10:30 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Mineral Rights Leases and Gas and Oil Exploration in Scio Township

Scio Township Supervisor Spaulding Clark
Credit Courtesy Photo / sciotownship.org

   Overview

Scio Twp residents living near the intersection of Zeeb and Dexter-Ann Arbor roads have received inquiries about leasing the mineral rights on their property from Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company.

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Environment
9:14 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Sustainable Landscaping

Residential Rain Garden in Buffalo Grass Lawn
Credit creatingsustainablelandscapes.com

In this week's installment of "Issues of the Environment,"  WEMU's David Fair talks with Drew Lathin about the environmental benefits of sustainable landscaping. Lathin is Principal Owner of Creating Sustainable Landscapes.  

  

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Environment
6:17 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Michigan's Recycling Future

Credit Wikipedia

Michigan ranks dead last among Great Lakes states when it comes to the rate of recycling. Governor Snyder Snyder is taking the first step forward to try and change Michigan's standing. 

In this week's installment of  Issues of  the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director Kerrin O'Brian about where that first step may lead. 

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Issues of the Environment
4:29 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Environmental Benefits To Passage Of Proposed Ann Arbor Area Transportation Millage

Carbon Pollution levels would improve with passage of AAATA millage proposal on May 6th
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

  

Overview

On May 6th, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township will weigh in on a ballot proposal for new 0.7 mill property tax to pay for expanded public transportation services, primarily AAATA busing.

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Issues of the Environment
11:41 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Potential Environmental Impact Of Proposed Sand Mine Near Chelsea

A Ready-Mix concrete company, McCoig Materials, is looking to open up a mine on a site north of Chelsea, between the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation areas. The area has numerous bodies of water and natural areas that could be impacted by the move. McCoig wants to operate the mine for 22 to 30 years and remove 11 million tons of sand and gravel. 

This week on 89.1 WEMU's Issues of the Environment, Dr. Lynn Walter, Professor Emerita of Geology at the University of Michigan, will discuss the environmental impacts of sand mining and the controversial operation proposed for Lyndon and Scio Townships.

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Environment
6:27 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The Impact of Road Salt in the Huron River Watershed

Mounds of road salt for use in winter
Credit Sgt. Jorge Intriago / U.S. Air National Guard Photo

    

Overview

  • The Washtenaw County Road Commission reports laying down 50% more road salt this winter than last year and using twice as much as in 2012.
  • Although thus far no ill effects from salt in Huron River watershed have been detected, road salt has a number of environmentally destructive effects impacting water, soil, wildlife, and public health, and if extreme winter weather conditions become the norm the effects could escalate.
  • Ric Lawson, Watershed Planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, implements watershed plans in Washtenaw County and monitors water quality for salt and other sediments in our waterways.

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Issues of the Environment
2:57 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Proposed Regulations To Help Remediate Pall-Gelman Dioxane Plume

State Representative Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor, (D)-53rd District
Credit http://053.housedems.com/

    

As Concerns About the Pall/Gelman Plume Linger, Rep. Jeff Irwin Pushes House Bill to Require the MDEQ to Align Contaminate Clean-up Standards with EPA Standards

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Issues of the Environment
12:33 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The Snowy Owls in Washtenaw County

  

Snowy Owls don't make it to Washtenaw County every winter. They made it this winter in greater numbers than usual. Why? Where might you see one?  In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment, David Fair seeks out answers to those questions.

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Issues of the Environment
8:42 am
Wed February 26, 2014

What are the Benefits of a Harsh Winter?

Walls of ice encrust the lower cliffs where wave spray has frozen on the rock in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
U.S. National Park Service

There has to be some good that comes from all of the snow, ice and frigid temperatures, right?  In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair explores how the environment may benefit from these conditions, come the spring and summer.

Listen to David's conversation with LimnoTech Senior Scientist, Dr. John Lenters:

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: Pharmaceuticals in Ann Arbor Water

Drinking tap water in Ann Arbor is common practice. It rates rather highly in terms of quality and taste, and most find it difficult to tell the difference between city water and bottled water. Many may not know that research shows pharmaceutical drugs are making it into the water supply.

In this week's "Issues of the Environment"  89.1 WEMU's David Fair explores the issue and what it may mean for you. The guest this week is Larry Sanford, the city of Ann Arbors' Assistant Manager of Water Treatment Services. 

Issues of the Environment for 2/19/14

Issues of the Environment
10:17 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Ford and University of Michigan's car battery research seeks to be the future of battery technology

Susie Chung works in the U-M lab Thursday
Credit Joseph Xu / University of Michigan

 On this week's Issues of the Environment, Andy Drews, Technical Specialist at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, discusses Ford's partnership with the University of Michigan for car battery research and the future of car batteries and electric cars in Washtenaw County.

Listen to the extended interview here:

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Environment
2:35 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Expect More Snow And Frigid Temperatures To Come

A view of Michigan from space
Credit Space Science And Engineering Center- University of Wisconsin - Madison

Had enough of the cold and snow already? It has been the snowiest January in this area in history. Add in the polar vortex and frigid temperatures, and it's been a somewhat trying winter. Why is it happening, and will it continue to happen in winters to come? 

 This week on Issues of the Environment our guest is  Dr. Tom Kovacs, Associate Professor of Meteorology at Eastern Michigan University.  Kovaks teaches courses on the effects of climate change on weather and will discuss the consequences for our county.

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Environment
11:22 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Habitat For Humanity Stewards Energy Savings

Habitat for Humanity volunteers hard at work on a Habitat house on Hull in Ypsilanti.
Credit Courtesy / Facebook / Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley

This week the discussion centers around dispelling the myths of affordable housing. New affordable housing is often equated with being "cheaply built."  We didn't have a definitive answer on the subject, so we went looking. We found that quite opposite is true.  

Our guest this week builds affordable homes in the Metro Detroit Region; quality and efficiency is what makes them affordable. 

Rob Nissly, Housing Director for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley will discuss the connection between reigning in energy costs and homeownership for lower income residents of Washtenaw County.

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Environment
6:34 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Taking Care of Holiday Electronic Waste

Credit blakespot / Foter.com / CC BY

We're halfway through the first month of 2014, and many of the those New Year resolutions have already fallen by the wayside....

With the New Year in mind, it's really never too late to consider new resolution and perhaps some that benefit the environment.  Sometimes it's the small things. Everyone pitching in can make a difference.  Melissa Sargent of Local Motion Green at the Ecology Center is our guest this week, helping identify some of those small personal actions we can take on as  new year resolutions to help create a healthier and more sustainable environment.

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Environment
8:41 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. 

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Environment
1:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Mayor Hieftje Talks Public Transit in SE Michigan

Issues of the Environment 12/10/13
Among the most debated issues in Ann Arbor and the Southeast Michigan region, is the matter of public transportation. What should we be working towards, what should public transit of the future look like, what elements should it contain….and of course: how do we pay for it all?  These are questions debated on a regular basis at Ann Arbor City Council, and our guest this morning is in the middle of all of it. John Hieftje is the Mayor of Ann Arbor.
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Environment
8:28 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Recycle Ann Arbor

Credit Recycle Ann Arbor

This week, the conversation centers on recycling in Washtenaw County. Our guest  is Christine Chessler-Stull, Recycle Ann Arbor’s Outreach & Zero Waste Coordinator. 

We will explore a variety of recycle-centric topics and discuss some new programs Recycle Ann Arbor rolled out this year to benefit all Washtenaw County residents, not just those in Ann Arbor.

Listen to the full report: 

Issues of the Environment for 12/04/2013

Issues of the Environment  is a regular feature, heard each Wednesday at 8:20am during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU. Each week, David Fair invites an expert to join him in conversation about an environmental issue of local importance. 

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environment
6:42 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Ann Arbor's Climate Action Plan

The climate is changing. The evidence is clear. It's no longer a matter of whether we need to prepare, but instead, how we need to prepare. In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment, David Fair talks with Matt Naud. Matt is the City of Ann Arbor's Environmental  Coordinator, and has been right in the middle of the city's efforts to adopt a pro-active Climate Action Plan.

Issues of the Environment for November 27th, 2013

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Environment
9:00 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Ypsilanti's Water Street Property

WEMU's Issues of the Environment is a weekly feature and is heard each Wednesday at 8:20am, as part of Morning Edition.

In this week's installment,  WEMU's David Fair is joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti. The city has been looking to re-purpose the 38-acre water Street property since 199, and now there is it looks as though there will be development in 2014. 

The land has required some environmental remediation, and any new development will have to meet Ypsilanti's Master Plan goals. And, of course, it must ensure the health of the Huron River. Listen below as David and Teresa look at the environmental issues surrounding Ypsilanti's Water Street property. 

Issues of the Environment for 11/20/2013

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