Environment

Goats chow down on invasives in West Michigan parks

Jul 7, 2015
Goats photo
Courtesy Ottawa County Parks

West Michigan parks get some help from roaming goats to keep invasive plants under control.


Satellite image of Great Lakes
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr Creative Commons

Our Great Lakes Month in Review for June looks at reducing phosphorous runoff into Lake Erie and a Wisconsin town that wants to draw drinking water from Lake Michigan.


Algae is usually a nuisance. The green slime is unsightly and can cause water quality problems. But one Michigan company is harnessing algae’s potential benefits, including treating wastewater. Current State talks to CEO of Algal Scientific Geoff Horst.


Picture of the book cover
Oxford University Press

Current State's Scott Pohl talks to Paul Thompson about his new book From Field to Fork, which deals with the ethics surrounding the American food system.


Kirk Heinze talks with Mark Lichtenstein of the National Recycling Coalition about local, national and global recycling efforts.

Michigan maps out 30-year water plan

Jun 17, 2015

Current State talks with Jon Allan of the Department of Environmental Quality about the plan to protect one of the state’s most treasured natural resources.

www.cleanwateraction.org/mi

In the second half of his presidency, Barack Obama has been flexing his muscles on environmental regulations. The president has proposed regulations that would significantly cut carbon emissions, one of the main contributors to climate change. But the administration isn’t just worried about air pollution and climate change, they’ve also been thinking about water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a rule that would limit pollution into streams and wetlands that are upstream of major waterways.

MSU wild plant expert: eat this, not that

Jun 10, 2015
http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Even the most casual cable TV viewers have, on occasion, been led to ask themselves "How long could I survive in the wild without food? What could I eat?" Peter Carrington will offer those kind of insights tomorrow at Michigan State University’s Beal Botanical Garden. He's the assistant curator of the Beal Garden, where he is the edible and toxic plant specialist. He’s also been an assistant instructor in the MSU plant biology department. His free, 40-minute session is called "Weeds you can eat, and NOT."

MI landowners partner with feds on wetland restorations

Jun 9, 2015
April Van Buren/WKAR

The state of Michigan used to be rich in wetlands. The receding glaciers that carved out the Great Lakes also left smaller depressions across the landscape which would fill in with water and become important habitats for all kinds of birds, amphibians, and other animals. But after Europeans began to colonize the region, those areas were drained for agriculture or development. Today, we learn about a program that’s helping private landowners restore some of that habitat, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

April Van Buren/WKAR

If you’re planning your summer vacation, you’re probably going to be booking a hotel or summer cottage soon. And so will some of the winged visitors to the Horticultural Demonstration Gardens here on the MSU campus. But, lucky for them, the bees at MSU’s “bee hotels” won’t be needing reservations.

Wikimedia commons

Many Michigan farmers are wrapping up their spring planting this month.  But this season, there’s a cloud hanging overhead...and it’s not bringing nourishing rain.  It is, however, all about water.   Last week, the U-S Environmental Protection Agency issued its final rule on what it calls the “Waters of the United States.”  The action expands the EPA’s jurisdiction over more waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.   The agency says the action is necessary to keep the nation’s waters clean.

MI oil exec counters concerns about fracking

Jun 2, 2015
Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last week on Current State, we heard from the leader of a Michigan petition effort that's aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in the state. Fracking, as it’s called, pumps a combination of water and chemicals into underground rock where natural gas and oil are trapped. The process crushes the rock surrounding the deposits and frees them. The growth of hydraulic fracturing is credited for making the United States the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.

Flickr - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

The conversation around climate change often focuses on how it will disrupt human life. Scientists warn that food shortages, flooding in coastal cities, and deadly heatwaves are just a few of the potentially devastating consequences of a warming planet. But humans aren’t the only ones at risk. Even small changes in temperature could drastically alter the native habitats of plants and animals across the globe, including here in Michigan.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Officials say there are some 2,800 vacant, under-utilized and contaminated brownfield sites in Mid-Michigan. Some are the legacy of a wave of automotive plant and parts supplier closures spanning three decades. Others are former gas stations, garages and dry cleaning shops that contain an array of environmental pollutants. These idle sites are a threat to public health and a barrier to economic development. Now, a new federal grant will be put towards remediation.

Courtesy Harris Nature Center

From Celandine Poppy to Jack-In-The-Pulpit, Michigan wildflowers are in full bloom this time of year. Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. you can look and learn all about Michigan blossoms in a class at Meridian Township’s Harris Nature Center.

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