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community weblog - [ Environment ]

ROUGE RESCUE: Friends of the river to take out trash

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photoBY JOEL THURTELL

Kenneth Patterson stood under the Rouge River bridge over Fenkell Road this week, pondering a car nearly buried in silt with only its mud-encrusted engine exposed. A few yards north, another old hulk, its top and interior scorched by flames, sat among trees and bushes.

Near his house, which overlooks the Rouge just north of Eliza Howell Park in Detroit, there's a gravel lane that's a favorite dumping ground for old shingles, furniture, appliances, cars, boats and even dead animals. This week, the stench of rotting flesh hung over several spots along the path.   more...

 



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Bay Harbor Lake earned Clean Marina Designation

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Bay Harbor Lake Marina has earned the distinguished honor of being named a Clean Marina by the Michigan Boating Industries Association. Currently, there are only three other designated clean marinas in the state of Michigan. It is the policy of a clean marina to protect the health of our boaters, staff, and the environment by preventing the discharge of pollutants to the water, land, and air.  Bay Harbor is honored to have received this designation.  For more information on Bay Harbor Lake Marina or to make seasonal or transient reservations, please call 231-439-2544 or visit bayharbor.com/lakemarina


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US beachgoers at risk from polluted water

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By Jim Loney

MIAMI (Reuters) - An environmental group said on Wednesday it would sue the U.S. government for failing to protect millions of beachgoers from contaminated water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has moved too slowly to update beach water quality standards and protect people from diarrhea, skin rashes, earaches, pink eye, respiratory infections and other ailments from polluted water.   more...

 



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Yellow perch fall victim to trapnets

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By STEVE POLLICK
BLADE OUTDOORS EDITOR

Thousands of dead yellow perch have been washing up on central Lake Erie beaches from Lorain to Mentor and state fisheries authorities now believe that they have traced the cause to commercial trapnet fishing vessels.

Gary Isbell, executive administrator for fish research and management for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said yesterday that initial concerns were that a suspect virus that killed tens of thousands of freshwater drum, or sheepshead, earlier this month in western Lake Erie may have been to blame.   more...

 



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Minnesota River targeted for phosphorous cleanup

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

A little machine is playing an important role in the effort to clean up the Minnesota River.

Every few minutes, the machine in a lab inside the New Ulm Wastewater Treatment Plant scoops up a few ounces from a steady stream of water that flows past it, and puts it into a holding tank.

While it's just a small fraction of the water that the plant discharges into the Minnesota River every day, tests conducted on it will tell plant supervisor Del Senst how well his facility is performing.   more...

 



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Michigan's Rouge River Returns to Health

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By DAVID RUNK

DEARBORN, Mich. May 24, 2006 (AP)— For years, the Rouge River was among the nation's dirtiest waterways, little more than a dumping ground in the shadow of the massive Ford industrial complex that turned raw iron ore into Model As and Mustangs.

Today, blue herons and fish have returned, reflecting how much the river's health has improved. Public outrage and the federal Clean Water Act helped draw money to the project, making it a model for conducting massive cleanups of filthy watersheds.  more...

 



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Metroparks acquire 28 acres that overlook river in Toledo

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By ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo Area Metroparks officials have eyed the banks of the Maumee River for years, looking for a place to turn vacant space into recreational land.

Yesterday the Metroparks board agreed to purchase 28 acres of land just south of the Anthony Wayne Bridge and east of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza with hopes of turning it into Toledo's first riverfront Metropark.   more...

 



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Course to make Great Lakes Web site

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By MARA DEUTCH

The State News

MSU students can participate soon in a new online project in which they will collect and report information on issues concerning the Great Lakes.

Beginning this fall, the Great Lakes Wiki project will allow students to do research on contaminated areas in the Great Lakes that have been identified by the U.S. and Canadian governments.   more...

 



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Dead fish can be traced to '03, says biologist

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SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

LORAIN -- The large number of dead fish washing up on Lake Erie shores could be Mother Nature's way of correcting a 2003 spike in perch and sheepshead populations, according to a biologist for the Ohio Division of Natural Resources.   more...


 



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Whitefish rally in Detroit River

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The discovery of spawning whitefish in the Detroit River is evidence of the continuing recovery of a once heavily polluted and much abused waterway, federal wildlife authorities say.

Fisheries scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service last fall verified the presence of both spawning lake whitefish and fertilized whitefish eggs, the agencies announced Friday. It is the first documented spawning of the species, a key indicator species of ecosystem health, in the river since 1916.   more...

 



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Residents, funds key to lake's health

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Edward L. Cardenas / The Detroit News

HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- Macomb County environmental advocates made a pitch Monday for more federal money to clean up Lake St. Clair, saying hard-won progress on the lake over the past few years may be thwarted without more funds.

"Lake St. Clair is lost and forgotten in the bureaucratic shuffle," Doug Martz, chairman of the Macomb Water Quality Board, said during a meeting Monday at Metro Beach Metropark in Harrison Township.

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Top scientists taking aim at Great Lakes' invasive species

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By DAN EGAN
degan@journalsentinel.com

The problem of invasive species flooding into the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway is now drawing the attention of some of America's top scientific minds.The National Academy of Sciences today will convene a committee of transportation, economic and environmental experts to explore ways to stanch the flow of unwanted creatures into the world's largest freshwater system while enhancing global trade in the region.    more...

 



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Great Lakes for sale! Michigan's Odawa Indians lead anti-Nestle fight

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by Brian McKenna
April 22, 2006

If water is the oil of the 21st century, then Michigan, smack dab in the middle of the Great Lakes, is Saudi Arabia. And after banging their straws at the Big Dipper for years, Nestle Corporation has finally succeeded in plunging into the liquid gold.

On February 28th Michigan Governor Granholm signed a bill that will, for the first time, permit a multinational corporation to scoop up given amounts of the Great Lakes and sell bottled water across the world. For the first time in history the concept of the Great Lakes as a commons for all to enjoy has been breached. And NAFTA, as we'll see, might insure a run on the Great Lakes.   more...


 



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New beach signs in English and Spanish warn swimmers to be aware of dangerous rip currents

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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Visitors to lakes Michigan and Superior this summer will notice new beach signs publicizing the dangers of rip currents—powerful currents that can develop in the Great Lakes and oceans.

Michigan Sea Grant is coordinating placement of the signs, produced in English and Spanish, in west Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The new signs are designed to increase awareness of the dangers of rip currents by describing how to recognize them and how to escape if caught in a rip current.   more...

 



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Group to evaluate cleanup of lake

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Edward L. Cardenas / The Detroit News

HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- Nearly a dozen years ago, Doug Martz strapped a toilet to an old Cadillac limo and drove around Macomb County as a "Sludgebuster" to highlight the need to clean up pollutants that were fouling Lake St. Clair and its tributaries.

His early efforts brought attention to the fact that millions of gallons of sewage were being discharged into the water, causing high bacteria counts and closing beaches to swimming.   more...

 



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