5:12 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Washtenaw County's Representatives In Lansing Do Well On Environmental Scorecard

Credit michiganlcv.org

Washtenaw County's legislative representatives continue to score highly in the Michigan League of Conservation Voters annual Environmental Scorecard.

State Senator Rebekah Warren and Representatives David Rutledge, Jeff Irwin and Adam Zemke all scored 100 percent, while Representative Gretchen Driskell received an 85 percent rating. 

Senator Warren was singled out for her support of legislation to update and increase fees for hunting and fishing licenses.

Find the complete scorecard online:

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4:23 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Detroit Treads Sandals Made From Illegally Dumped Tires Grow In Popularity Across City & Beyond

Lead in text: 
A Detroit organization that helps people in need has found a positive way to make use of illegally dumped tires in the city. Cass Community Social Services (CCSS) is the manufacturer of Detroit Treads, sandals selling for $25 a pair that are made out of tire treads.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Eric Lacy
Since 2007, CCSS has used more than 35,000 illegally dumped tires in Detroit to make mud mats and the Detroit Treads sandals, said the Rev. Faith Fowler, the organization's executive director.
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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2:13 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

'Bee-Friendly' Plants May Actually Be Harmful To Bees

Credit ecocenter.org

Just because a plant is labeled as "bee friendly" doesn't mean it is.

That's according to a new report from The Ecology Center, which partnered with the group "Friends of the Earth" to test plants sold as "bee friendly". 

About half contained neonicotinoid pesticides that can kill bees.  Ecology Center environmental health educator Melissa Sargent encourages people to talk to plant sellers "and find out do they know about the neonicotinoid pesticides? And let them know that you would prefer to buy plants that didn't have those pesticides on them."

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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.

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8:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

1st Friday Focus On The Environment: Newly Proposed Michigan Regulations On Fracking

The process for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Credit Wikipedia

1st Friday Focus on the Environment is a monthly feature on 89.1 WEMU. Michigan League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Lisa Wozniak this month looks at newly proposed state regulations for the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The guest this month is fracking expert Jaque Rose. Rose is co-founder of the activist group Friends of the AuGres Watershed.

David Fair interviews fracking expert Jaque Rose, co-founder of the activist group Friends of the AuGres Watershed.


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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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The Two-Way
9:32 am
Mon June 2, 2014

EPA Unveils New Proposal Targeting Greenhouse Gases

The EPA is proposing rules that would govern carbon dioxide gas emissions by U.S. power plants. Here, coal is transported via conveyor belt to the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant outside Point of the Rocks, Wyo., in March.
Jim Urquhart Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:52 am

New federal regulations announced Monday aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

The draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency has sparked opposition from industry groups who say the changes would be prohibitively expensive. But the proposal's backers say the rules are needed to cut carbon pollution that scientists say contributes to climate change.

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET: Proposed Rule Published

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The Green Room
7:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

When It Rains, It Pours: Local Efforts To Contain Floodwaters

Storm water spilling over high flow dam at Mary Beth Doyle Park
Barbara Lucas 89.1 WEMU

Water is life-giving, but too much, too fast is destructive. Climate change is causing more severe rainstorms, creating challenges for both homeowners and municipal governments.

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7:55 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

159 Acres In York Township To Be Preserved By Legacy Land Conservancy

Photo taken at the Creekshead Preserve.
Credit Legacy Land Conservancy

  Legacy Land Conservancy is ensuring parts of York Township remain green for future generations.

The non-profit organization has signed an agreement with Kendall Rogers Farm that will preserve 159 acres of historic farm and forest land and prevent it from being sub-divided or developed for non-farming uses.

Legacy Land Conservancy's Executive Director Susan Lackey says conservation agreements like this one help ensure the community has enough farmland to remain sustainable for generations to come.

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12:57 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Ann Arbor Food Waste Program Shows Early Success

the City of Ann Arbor is improving the environment and saving money with its expanded composting program
Credit Wikipedia

Ann Arbor's expanded compost program is proving popular with the community.

Since April, city residents have been allowed to add all plate scrapings to residential composting bins for pick-up.

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1st Friday Focus On The Environment
2:08 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Protecting Private Property Gas And Oil Exploration In Washtenaw County

TexasRaiser/Wikimedia Commons

WEMU explores what can be done to protect private property from gas and oil exploration here in Washtenaw County. The discussion has been spurred by recent actions of a Traverse City oil company attempting to lease area properties, an effort to further explore gas and oil mining operations in Washtenaw County.

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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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11:54 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Earth Day Rally At U-M Focuses On Climate Change And Carbon Pollution

Credit cleanwater.org/mi

It's Earth Day, and there's a Climate Action Rally happening this afternoon on the University of Michigan campus.

Michigan Clean Water Action, Ann Arbor 350 and organizing for Action-Michigan are hosting the rally. 

Clean Water Action Campaigns Director Eric Keller says it's one of many events taking place across the state today.

"People are coming together as individuals and communities to act on climate," Keller says, "and to protect everything that the earth has to offer, and to protect the Great Lakes today."

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Michigan News
1:10 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Dry Weather Helps Michigan Floodwaters Recede

Credit Corey Seeman/flickr.com

EVART, Mich. (AP) - Floodwaters are receding along rivers in Michigan's central and western Lower Peninsula, a trend that should continue with mostly dry weather in the forecast for the next several days.

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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
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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The Green Room
8:13 am
Fri March 28, 2014

The Green Room: Chimney Swifts In Washtenaw County

Chimney Swift in flight
Credit Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

In nature, Chimney Swifts nest in large hollow trees, but when the logging of Michigan did away with those, the swifts adapted to large chimneys.  

Now, suitable chimneys are also in short supply, and Swift numbers are dwindling.  In the March installment of The Green Room​, Barbara Lucas looks at what we can do to help out.

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7:36 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Study To Help Residents Of Great Lakes Region Deal With Changing Water Levels

Donald Scavia, Director of the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute.
Credit graham.umich.edu

The University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute is launching a study to determine how best to help people in the Great Lakes region deal with changing water levels.

Institute Director Donald Scavia said two main areas of concern came out of this week's conference of the Environmental Law and Policy Center at U-of-M:  If lake levels keep dropping, how to stop that; and, how to help residents deal with changing water levels.

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8:07 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

U-M Hosting Two-Day Environmental Conference, Examines Changing Great Lakes Water Levels

Scientists and policy makers are descended on Ann Arbor Wednesday to focus the numerous challenges facing the Great Lakes.

The two-day conference is being hosted by the University of Michigan Biological Station and will focus on declining water levels and the effect of climate change on the Great Lakes.

Howard Lerner is the Executive Director of the  Environmental Law & Policy Center of Chicago, the group responsible for organizing the event.

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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



  • 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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Michigan News
6:04 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Michigan DEQ awards scrap tire cleanup grants

A scrap tire stockpile
Credit en-tek.org

  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is awarding $357,450 in grants for scrap tire cleanup projects.

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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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7:22 am
Fri March 7, 2014

1st Friday Focus On The Environment: The Threat Of Oil Pipelines

Enbridge oil pipeline that burst and spilled more than 800-thousand gallons of oil in The Kalamazoo River
Credit National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center

Water is one of the most important natural resources in Michigan. As a Great Lakes state, perhaps it's the most important. We are also spoiled with an amazing network of inland lakes, rivers and streams that enhance our quality of life in a myriad of ways. So, protecting this resource is something we think about often.  

Invasive species, pollution and water levels are some of the frequent conversations we engage in. What we discuss less frequently is vast number of oil pipelines that run through the state of Michigan near, and sometimes under our precious waterways. That's the topic in the March edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment.  

Listen Here: 

Michigan League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Lisa Wozniak and Beth Wallace, Community Outreach Coordinator at the National Wildlife Federation's great Lakes Regional Center discuss the hazards of so many oil pipelines around Michigan's waterways.

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