Huron River Watershed Council

The Huron River Watershed Council's effort to go into classrooms and teach kids about their environment has gotten a boost from the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation.  A $250,000 grant will help fund an ongoing program that promotes hands-on learning of science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Jason Frenzel is volunteer and stewardship coordinator for the Huron River Watershed Council

Jane Purslow

DDT wiped out Osprey from Southern Michigan, but a reintroduction program has resulted in over fifty breeding pairs in the region.  It is reason to celebrate, but several challenges remain. Listen for more in the September edition of WEMU’s “The Green Room”. 


Ann Arbor Northeast Alliance / www.facebook.com/A2Alliance?ref=stream

Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers proposes a 109-acre, 491 unit housing development on Ann Arbor's Northeast side. The scope of the planned development has area residents concerned about traffic congestion and harm to area wetlands. In this week's "Issues of the Environment" we explore those concerns with Lisa Dusseau. Ms. Dusseau is spokesperson for the group, "Ann Arbor Northeast Alliance".  

Wikimedia Commons

There is no record of anyone becoming infected with Lyme Disease while in Washtenaw County. Still, the number of county residents diagnosed with the ailment is on the rise.

Kingsley Rain Garden
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Rain gardens are a valuable tool in Washtenaw County's efforts to keep pollution out of the Huron River. Over two million gallons of storm water will be filtered this year by the 160 rain gardens installed by individuals that have taken a class though the county.  The program is expanding so communities across Michigan can benefit.

Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards

It's ball one in Scio Township.  A Traverse City-based oil and gas company was looking for a strike as it dug its first exploratory well in search of fossil fuel deposits, but missed the plate.  Some local lawmakers and drilling opponents now hope to get on base in Lansing.


Another summer of algae blooms in Lake Erie further points to the need for Conservationists and Agri-Business to work together. In this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment, you'll where that's happening in Michigan, and what more needs to be done.   


battery recycling
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Recycling batteries aren't always as easy as you might think. All too many end up in our landfills, and have the potential to cause serious environmental damage. In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, you'll learn the environmental issues, the barriers to better recycling and what you can do about it.  


Environmentalists planned to gather in Belleville Thursday to protest a shipment of radioactive waste being brought into Michigan.

The material was generated by a fracking operation in Pennsylvania.

It's being processed and diluted in a Belleville facility and then disposed of at a hazardous waste landfill operated by Wayne Disposal.

The protest is being organized by the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan. LuAnne Kozma is the Committee's Campaign Director.

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Last week, stores in Washtenaw County sold out of bottled water due to an influx of residents from the Toledo, Ohio area where local tap water was declared unfit to consume after toxic algae blooms infected Lake Erie.

Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A growing number of Great Lakes communities are concerned about climate change.  Ann Arbor is applying for a grant to identify what it can do to adapt to this new reality. 


A University of Michigan researcher says environmental non-profits need to do a better job of encouraging diversity among volunteers, staff and leadership.


Ann Arbor is home to one of the nation's two net-zero energy homes. Its owner is Matt Grocoff. Listen below as Michigan League of Conservation voters Executive Director Lisa Wozniak talks with Matt about sustainability and moving this area, and the nation, towards a new energy future. 


Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards

A Grassroots Organization Vows To Fight On To Prevent Oil Drilling Despite Court Loss 

 Residents of Scio Township are somewhat divided about drilling for oil in their neighborhoods.

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.  

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan's recycling rate falls well below the regional average. It stands at about 15-percent right now.   Governor Rick Snyder wants to double the rate in the next two years.  The head of the state's Department of Environmental Quality believes an Ann Arbor facility could play a role in boosting recycling across the state. 

Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards

Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards has filed suit in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, seeking to derail plans for an exploratory oil well in Scio Township.

The suit alleges the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality doesn't abide by its own permitting rules, and that the public was only involved in the process in a superficial manner. 

The MDEQ says its permitting process has a great record of prevailing in such cases. 

West Bay Exploration Company wants to drill the well.  It says the suit will delay the process, but looks forward to moving ahead with drilling.


The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says now is the time for those concerned about how the state regulates hydraulic fracturing to speak up.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is holding public hearings to get input on proposed rules regarding "fracking". 

Jack Schmitt is deputy director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  He says the rules as proposed fall far short.

Group Suing Over Scio Township Oil Drilling

Jul 16, 2014

The group Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards is taking the effort to prevent an exploratory well from being drilled in Scio Township to court.

The group would not say who it's targeting with the suit, but president Laura Robinson says the state Department of Environmental Quality failed when it issued a permit to West Bay Exploration Company. 

Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards holds an informational meeting at 7 tonight at the Scio Township hall.


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:

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.


Boaters Can Take Responsibility for Mitigation of Environmental Harm

Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A group opposed to Ann Arbor using parkland for a new train station has developed a concept to keep the Amtrak facility on Depot Street.  

  A House Bill was recently passed that reclassifies coal ash and a handful of other petroleum byproducts from hazardous waste to low-hazard materials that are suitable for “beneficial uses”.

The coal ash and byproducts will be repurposed to pave roadways and enrich farmland, but environmental watchdog organizations warn that the mercury that is trapped in the ash could eventually leach into groundwater and soil.


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."