Environment

Environment
1:19 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

After 80 years U of M plant finally blooms

The American Agave plant in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens has bloomed at the University of Michigan.
Credit Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Two weeks ago, we made quite a stink over a corpse flower that attracted long lines of visitors to Michigan State University. The Indonesian plant blooms infrequently and unpredictably.

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Environment
5:29 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Michigan lures anglers for bass

Michigan's environment contributes to a strong supply of healthy bass, says Mary Tate Bremigan.
Credit Flickr - Patrick Lewis

Fishing in Michigan is big business. The state DNR estimates that anglers spent $2.4 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011. Besides Michigan’s Great Lakes and rivers, our inland lakes attract considerable fishing as well. In fact, six Michigan lakes were recently included in a national fishing magazine’s “100 Best Bass Lakes of 2014” list.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Beyond beauty, Michigan plants offer environmental edge

Peter Whorf/WKAR

Part I

Part II

Bill Schneider has operated Wildtype Native Plant Nursery in Mason for the past 17 years. As a true native Michigander, Schneider has degrees from both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. He moved to northern California in the 1980’s where he further developed in his growing interest in native plants.

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Environment
11:50 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Environmentalist responds to criminal probe of Lansing oil spill

Powers says that the oil spills have most likely been caused by one entity.
Credit Flickr - Jay-P

Last Thursday, an oil spill was discovered in the Grand River near Old Town in Lansing. As crews continue to clean it up, city officials are planning their next moves. Yesterday, Lansing mayor Virg Bernero held a news conference to give an update on the spill.

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Environment
11:34 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Expert: Michigan mosquitoes 3x normal numbers this year

Credit Wiki Commons

If you live in Michigan it seems like every summer is a time to complain about the mosquitoes being really bad this year, but how bad are they, really?

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Environment
2:24 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Effort underway to build coastal Great Lakes trail

The Great Lakes Coastal Trail is designed to span 7000 miles of Lake Michigan's coastline.
Credit http://www.lmwt.org

Throughout the Great Lakes region there are many wonderful biking, hiking and kayaking trails. Imagine if all these pathways were connected into a giant international trekking system, a Great Lakes Coastal Trail.

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Environment
12:53 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Michigan environmentalist champions reforesting with old growth trees

The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive travels country by country to archive the genetics of old growth trees.
Credit http://www.ancienttreearchive.org/

This weekend, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association will hold its 10th annual Michigan Energy Fair at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. There will be exhibitions and workshops on energy efficiency, alternative energy, and sustainable living practices.

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Environment
12:40 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Mayors take on Great Lakes issues

Wilson says Great Lakes oil transport is one of the many issues being discussed at the meeting.
Credit Flickr - Dennis Jarvis

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we focus on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. The group includes 114 mayors of cities throughout the Great Lakes Basin.

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Environment
1:56 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

MSU's beepalooza offers education ... bee petting?

Credit Flickr-Janet Sharp

It was inevitable that Current State caught the buzz about Beepalooza. The free bee education event is this Sunday at Michigan State University’s Horticulture Demonstration Gardens. The main question is, why do we need to be educated about bees?

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Environment
2:44 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Provenzano: heavy rain a prelude to a 'normal' summer

Credit Flickr - Rudolf Vlček

The Lansing area is expected to get a break from yesterday’s stormy weather that triggered flooding and weather warnings.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The other greenhouse gas, how farming impacts nitrous oxide levels

A new MSU study shows that using more precise measurements in fertilizer could help slow global warming.
Credit Flickr - Ken Hawkins

Most people are aware of the “sexy” greenhouse gas CO-2. Fewer know of its co-culprit nitrous oxide. The third-largest greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide is released in soil during a natural process. However, the increased use of nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture has resulted in a rise of nitrous oxide emissions.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Michigan may authorize new uses for toxic coal ash

Coal ash is the byproduct generated by coal-fired electric power plants. It's commonly mixed with concrete as a road construction filler, and it's also sometimes spread on farm fields. Some studied have linked coal ash exposure to lung cancer.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / CheshireCat@TO

One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants.

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Environment
12:40 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Does Michigan have a future in aquaculture?

Diana says history, regulations and foreign competition could be at fault for the small size of U.S. aquaculture.
Credit Flickr - Bytemarks

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production systems. But in the U.S., aquaculture remains a relatively small industry, used solely to grow aquatic plants or produce fish for stocking.

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Environment
11:30 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Drain Commissioner Lindemann on clean water challenges, opportunities

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann
Credit Stacy Hoxsey / WKAR-MSU

Pat Lindemann has served as the Drain Commissioner of Ingham County for 21 years. He's a Lansing native who’s spent his entire life in the area. As Drain Commissioner, Lindemann’s responsible for the operation of Ingham County storm drains and related issues including lake levels and soil erosion.

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Lifestyle & Recreation
2:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Finding balance in Lake Huron's fisheries

Credit Flickr - American Legacy Fishing Co.

About a decade ago, Lake Huron’s fishing game was not very abundant because of a steep decline in overall fish numbers. To see how the lake is doing now, Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with David Fielder, Fisheries Research Biologist for the Department of Natural Resources and a doctoral student at Michigan State University.

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Environment
1:31 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Army Corps of Engineers, Asian carp and Waukesha's water troubles

Wilson discusses tensions between the Army Corps of Engineers and environmental groups over the Asian carp problem.
Credit Flickr - michiganseagrant

At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and Chicago-based journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we have more on the efforts to keep Asian carp and Waukesha, Wisconsin out of Lake Michigan.

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Environment
1:32 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Oil spill in Jackson still a mystery

Credit Flickr - Just1Snap

Hundreds of gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid made their way into the Grand River in Jackson last weekend.  Environmental crews have gathered there to clean it up while officials investigate.

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Environment
1:30 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

BWL falcons expecting

Baby falcons are on the way at the Board of Water and Light's Eckert electric generating plant.
Credit http://www.lbwl.com/falcon.aspx

There are many expecting parents around Mid-Michigan, but few will produce offspring as rare as Eckert and Viper’s. The peregrine falcons are waiting for three little ones to hatch, after nesting at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert electric generating plant.

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Environment
1:28 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

DEQ fracking proposals could go further, says environmental advocate

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality proposed new rules  in late April to regulate hydraulic fracking in Michigan. The new regulations focus on monitoring high-volume fracking operations for water quality and supplying more information to the public.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones

Bratton says Wild Ones programs are educational: they explain the importance of different soils, plants, and landscape design. These programs are open to the public at the Fenner Nature Center.
Credit courtesy of wildoneslansing.org

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones, a national organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices and environmental education.

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Environment
1:00 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Gov. Snyder on invasive species, pet coke and pipelines

Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.  

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we’re focusing on the Council of Great Lakes Governors summit, which took place in Chicago this past weekend. Wilson had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Governor Rick Snyder.

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Environment
2:01 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Volunteers guard Michigan's spawning sturgeon

"Sturgeon for Tomorrow" will be guarding the banks of the Black River from poachers to ensure that lake sturgeon will be able to spawn.
Credit Flickr - USFWSmidwest

From now through early June, some volunteers will be standing guard over the Black River in Northern Michigan. They’ll be on the banks of the river making sure that the lake sturgeon, a rare and threatened species in the state, are able to leave their homes in Black Lake and successfully spawn in the Black River. Why do the fish need guarding?

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Environment
12:12 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Advocate responds to bolstered Michigan recycling plan

Gov. Snyder hopes to increase the amount of recycling done in Michigan.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Earlier this month Gov. Snyder released a plan to increase recycling in the State of Michigan. At 15 percent, the state has one of the worst residential recycling rates in the nation.

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Environment
12:12 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Fungus threatens Michigan's bat population

White nose syndrome has been detected in bats in 25 states.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Since 2006, a deadly bat fungus called white nose syndrome has spread its way throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, decimating bat populations. This April, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the disease has been detected in Michigan.

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Environment
1:56 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

MSU students work to make clean water more accessible in developing world

MSU Engineering students (L to R) Grant Golasa, Scott Oldham, and Shenli Pei with their recently developed water purification device. The mechanism includes a small, battery powered mercury bulb and switch. Its light neutralizes impurities.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

Earlier this year, Current State welcomed John Barrie from the Appropriate Technology Collaborative to Studio S. He explained that the collaborative  creates new technologies to improve the quality of life in developing countries worldwide. The organization also collaborates with universities. This year, a team of Michigan State Engineering students worked to build a water purification system for low income countries.

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Environment
1:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Disclosure stirs Lake Huron nuclear waste worries

Lake Huron borders the Canadian province of Ontario and is the second-largest of the Great Lakes in terms of surface area.
Credit Flickr - jpwbee

Ongoing concern over a proposed nuclear waste site very near Lake Huron took a new twist recently. A Canadian government review panel is exploring the viability of a new underground storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario.

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Environment
12:42 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

MSU Museum looks at 'Turtles in Trouble'

The exhibit runs through Sept. 21 in the MSU Museum's Art-Science-Creativity Gallery.
Credit Flickr - Alexandra MacKenzie

A new exhibit at the MSU Museum focuses on the plight of turtles around the world. “Turtles in Trouble” is meant to boost awareness of the impact humans have on turtles populations worldwide.

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Environment
1:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Recent spill triggers closer look at tar sands shipping on Great Lakes

Demonstrators gather in Chicago to protest the BP oil spill in Lake Michigan.
Credit Flickr - BobboSphere

Last week, as much as 1,600 gallons of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, 20 miles from Chicago. After a week-long cleanup, authorities say they have found no further trace of spilled oil in the area. However, the political ramifications of the spill are likely to remain long after this incident. The BP refinery processes oil from tar sands found in Canada. Tar sands contain a thick petroleum that’s gaining popularity as a new energy source. New technology is making it easier to mine tar sands, but some worry that could increase the likelihood of more spills like the one last week.

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Environment
12:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

National Geographic editor on photography, climate change

National Geographic editor Dennis Dimick will be speaking at MSU on Thursday, April 3.
Credit Flickr - poptech/John Santerre

While for some media outlets photography is taking a back seat, at National Geographic it continues to be a central part of the brand. The photos featured in the magazine not only take readers around the world, but they also help tell the story of our changing environment.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Denae Friedheim is the operator of Foodshed Farm in Bath Township.
Credit Courtesy of www.miffs.org

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Michigan Food & Farming Systems, or MIFFS. It’s a statewide organization based in East Lansing that advocates for and offers assistance to new and women farmers, as well as those from underrepresented groups in Michigan’s agriculture industry.

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