Greening of the Great Lakes

winery photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

May is Michigan Wine Month. Dr. Kirk Heinze of MSU's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has a closer look at the impact of the wine industry on our state's economy. 

Click here for a link to Michigan's wine industry and events celebrating Michigan Wine Month!

“Right now we’re fighting the third battle of Lake Erie,” Dr. Jeffrey Reutter tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We fought the first battle during the War of 1812. The second battle was during the 1970’s. The Cuyahoga River burned in 1969, which was the bellwether moment in this country when many people became fed up with pollution and the state of our environment. The next year the U.S. EPA and NOAA were formed, and we had the first Earth Day.”


About nine months ago, Kirk Heinze interviewed two entrepreneurs and business partners, one of whom was honored as “Innovator of the Year” at the 2016 Michigan Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards ceremony.  During that interview, he learned about their Well-Connect heating/cooling system, and, after a good deal of research, he purchased it for his home.


“We care about everything that is outside of earth’s atmosphere – so the entire universe beyond the Earth,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says in describing what astrophysicists do. “And we apply the laws of physics as we come to learn them on Earth to the processes and phenomena of the universe.”


Russ White

“The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (MiEIBC) is nearly 100 businesses, large and small, engaged in advanced energy here in Michigan, and we cut across the advanced energy spectrum,” Liesl Clark tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We seek to bring together different perspectives and give all of them more weight.


City of Grand Rapids

Despite a well-earned reputation as one of America’s “greenest” cities, Grand Rapids still has much work ahead on the sustainability front, especially in the area of racial equity says Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.  


Earth Day Then and Now

Apr 21, 2017
Brooke Allen and Kirk Heinze
Russ White / WKAR-MSU

We now live in a world where it's cooler to ride your bike than get your drivers license and you risk a dirty look if you're seen carrying  a plastic shopping bag loaded with processed food. WKAR's Brooke Allen asks Kirk Heinze, Host of the Greening of the Great Lakes on MSU Today, how society has evolved environmentally  throughout the years.


One major take away from the 2017 Energy Summit in Grand Rapids is increased optimism about Michigan’s energy future.  A summit feature is recognizing the winners of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings ‘Biggest Loser’ competition—building owners and operators who achieved significant energy reduction in 2016.  The competition is organized and hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council-West Michigan Chapter.


Russ White

“Forty-seven years ago, on April 22, 1970, we celebrated the inaugural Earth Day, and the New York Times cover read:  “Millions Join Earth Day Observances Across the Nation.”  Closing in on five decades later, Earth Day is an international observance and global sustainability issues are constantly in the news,” Kirk Heinze says on Greening of the Great Lakes as he convenes his annual Earth Day panel discussion.


Russ White

Back at the helm of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources after a demanding tenure leading the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Director Keith Creagh and Kirk Heinze resumed their annual conversation on a variety of salient natural resources-related topics.  And as our conversation unfolded, I got the distinct impression he is very pleased to be back ‘home’ at the DNR.


Russ White

“Supply chain, particularly from a Michigan State perspective, means the end to end movement of product from the raw material from a mine or the ocean, through all the production processes, and to the consumer,” Professor David Closs tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “And increasingly today with the greening of the economy, we also deal with recycling and returning those products.


Russ White

The Michigan potato industry accounts for about 3,400 jobs and an approximately $550 million annual contribution to the state’s economy.  And, according to Mike Wenkel, manager of the Potato Growers of Michigan, producers are increasingly committed to wise water management and soil health to ensure the long-term vitality of the industry.


Recommendations show the way to more recycling

Apr 3, 2017

Two recent reports have major implications for increasing Michigan’s recycling rate while decreasing solid waste in our landfills.  Kirk Heinze discusses these reports, recommendations and key next steps with Kerrin O’Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition, on Greening of the Great Lakes.


Over the eight years Greening of the Great Lakes has aired, we have remained largely steadfast in our efforts to educate, not advocate.  However, controversies occasionally arise which are so fundamentally deleterious to our sustainability ethos that it is morally imperative we take a strong position.  Such is the case with the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal calling for the elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).


Jeana-Dee Allen

Michigan State University alumnus Mike Mordell is executive vice president for international operations for Universal Forest Products International, a Universal Forest Products company.  He says the lumber industry features a dynamic supply chain and that the business operates a lot like the stock market.


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