1:29 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

New NWF chief to focus on education, outreach

Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of National Wildlife Federation.
Credit www.nwf.org

The National Wildlife Federation has a new president and CEO. Collin O’Mara was recently in Michigan for an environmental tour of the Detroit Area, and stopped by Current State. For a CEO, he’s fairly young at 30 years old. Current State’s Melissa Benmark asked him what environmental values he brings to this position that might be different than someone in their fifties or sixties.

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1:01 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Algae blooms on Lake Erie could worsen

Schaefer says the algae forms from farm pollution runoff from farms near the Maumee River.
Credit Flickr - NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Residents of Toledo and northwest Ohio got the go-ahead to resume drinking city water yesterday. Since Saturday, more than 400,000 residents of the area had been warned not to consume or use the water after health officials determined unsafe levels of microcystin. The potentially deadly bacteria, which was likely created by an algae bloom in Maumee Bay on the west end of Lake Erie, can cause serious liver and nerve damage.

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12:57 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Michigan farmers adjusting to climate change

Opinions vary on whether changes in agriculture driven by climate change are positive or negative.
Credit Flickr - Parker Knight

If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy.

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3:17 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Michigan farms turn waste to wattage

Green Meadow Farms milks 3,200 dairy cows. Their waste could eventually generate up to 800 kilowatts of energy.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Few sights on the American landscape are as iconic as an old-fashioned farm windmill. From the era of Civil War through today, they harnessed the wind to pump water and run machinery. Today, farmers have other means of generating power.

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12:55 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Detroit water shut-offs and Asian carp litigation

People standing before one of the largest bodies of water in the world in solidarity with the people of Detroit as they shut off water to some citizens and businesses in the city.
Credit Flickr- Light Brigading

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. 

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11:27 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Native plants promote state's environmental health

Credit www.wildtypeplants.com

MSU Grad Bill Schneider operates Wildtype Native Plant Nursury in Mason, Michigan. Current State’s Peter Whorf has been taking us there this summer to hear about Schneider’s work and expertise in the field.

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12:30 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Activist details Michigan pipeline concerns

The University of Michigan animation shows the damage that would occur if a pipeline rupture occurred near the Mackinac Bridge.
Credit Courtesy - National Wildlife Federation

Pipelines have been a hot topic in Michigan in the last few years. Very recent developments suggest the issue is intensifying. Canada’s Enbridge is part of a proposal to install about 600 miles of new, interstate natural gas pipelines, about 150 miles of which would run through Michigan. Besides arousing environmental concerns over a possible pipeline rupture, the proposal affects homeowners whose properties were not long ago disrupted by another Enbridge project.

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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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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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5:23 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Beyond beauty, Michigan plants offer environmental edge

Peter Whorf/WKAR

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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