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community weblog - [ Environment ]

A Call to Action ....

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Syrian Hamster Gifts  Let’s see, what am I going to do today: Take wife to train station; get kids fed and dressed; put daughter on bus to school; pick up my shirts at the laundry; take son to day care; teach Biology class; teach Chemistry class; grade homework; grade quizzes; prep for laboratory sections (at some point I have to stuff some food in my face); get daughter off the bus; get oil changed; get son from daycare; stop at grocery store; cook dinner (pork tenderloin or grilled fish?); get wife from train; eat dinner; read stories; get kids in pajamas; figure out what the hell I’m teaching tomorrow; get up and do it again. Sound somewhat familiar? My schedule is crammed with things that I have to do.

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Environment  Other  

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DNR urges anglers to use caution as ice forms

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LANSING -- Inland lakes around the state have been forming ice, but the Department of Natural Resources urges anglers to continue using caution when traveling on ice. Many rivers are running high and fast with ice flows that are creating ice jams, and ice conditions on spring-fed lakes as well as areas with strong currents will not have safe ice.

Southeastern Lower Peninsula

Cold temperatures are producing ice on Lake Erie, but anglers need to use extreme caution as they start fishing near the marina and off the launch site at Metro Park. Perch fishing has been slow, but anglers did report taking some large fish in the evenings. Around Brest Bay, ice has started to form, but most anglers are only fishing close to shore because even the canals are not frozen.

High water has slowed fishing along the Huron River, as the levels and fast-moving water will cause the steelhead to retreat to the deeper holes. Once the water levels start to recede, anglers should find fair to good steelhead fishing, the DNR advised. Most of the Detroit River is open, but most anglers are avoiding it due to the strong surge of ice flows.

The water in Lake St. Clair is cloudy with unsafe ice conditions around much of the lake. The best ice is in the extreme north end of the lake, just out from the Fair Haven DNR launch site. Anglers are using jigs with minnows in 4 to 5 feet of water for perch. A few anglers were fishing off M-29 out from the Raft Restaurant for perch, but the fish were small.   more...

 



Environment  Fishing  

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Flood waters spreading in low-lying areas

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Water levels on the Grand River stabilized Wednesday although officials are predicting that flood waters will slowly spread out over larger low-lying areas as ice continues to block the river channel.

As of this morning, water levels on the Grand River in Robinson township remained at 17.8 feet, or about 4.5 feet above flood levels, after rising more than 5 inches since Sunday. Officials had been predicting that rising waters would slow Wednesday after a crest caused by rains last week passed through Ottawa County Wednesday. Flooding along the Grand River forced residents of 50 homes in the low-lying Van Lopik and Limberlost subdivisions to evacuate Tuesday.   more...

 



Environment  Other  

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Drinking water supply in Allegan is at risk due to rising river water

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One of the homes affected by the rising water.(Allegan, January 20, 2005, 5:44 p.m.) Flooding remains a big concern in Allegan County where the water levels have stabilized, but city officials don't want the ice jam causing all these problems to grow.

For now, the water in the Kalamazoo River has stopped rising. The Allegan City Dam has much to do with that, not because of the way that is blocks the water, but rather the way quick-thinking city officials have redirected the flow of the river.

Six homes and four businesses in the city of Allegan have been flooded. The culprit is an ice jam blocking the flow of the Kalamazoo River. At risk is the city's drinking water supply.   more...

 



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Reduce water woes by saving wetlands

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Our position is: Indiana needs not only to protect its remaining wetlands but also to restore more of those that have been lost.

It may seem strange to bring up the subject of wetlands at a time when much of Indiana has been inundated by water and remains either waterlogged or flooded.

But considering that an acre of wetland stores up to 1.5 million gallons of water, the loss of 4.8 million acres of Indiana's wetlands is relevant to the current condition of its rampaging rivers and streams.  more...

 



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City residents to spend own money to clean city beach

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PhotoPORT CLINTON -- Swimmers at the city beach could find a cleaner, more sandy bottom as they wade out into Lake Erie this summer.

City residents Shawn Kuzma and John Rader are donating their time and $1,000 to rent and use an excavator machine to clean glass, asphalt, rock and concrete bits out of the silt and muck in the bottom of the lake near the shore on Perry Street this spring, Kuzma said. "It kind of looks like a crap hole," Kuzma said. "We want to make it nice for people." More than 50 years ago, the beach was a dumping site for city residents, and some of the debris has never been picked up, Lakeview Park Committee member Barb Gangluff said Monday at a committee meeting.   more...

 



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CMS expects costly toxic cleanup at Bay Harbor

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Dangerous toxics seeping into Lake Michigan at the Bay Harbor development near Petoskey could cost CMS Energy Corp. more than $45 million to clean up.

The Jackson-based owner of Consumers Energy disclosed the liability last week in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because it was a partner in the upscale Bay Harbor development.

"CMS Energy cannot predict the ultimate cost or outcome of this matter" and the problem could "have a potentially significant adverse effect on CMS Energy's financial condition and liquidity," the filing said.   more...

 



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Lake Erie island to expand water system

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PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio (AP) — A Lake Erie resort island where 1,400 visitors came down with a gastrointestinal illness in June plans to expand its water system to all businesses on the island.

State health officials believe the illnesses on South Bass Island were caused by malfunctioning septic systems that contaminated more than 40 private wells that served some of the island's inns, wineries and bars.   more...

 



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Minnesota still losing wetlands

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Minnesota continues to lose thousands of acres of wetlands to drainage or filling, despite laws designed to achieve no net loss of those lands, according to two new state reports.

The reports, one by the Department of Natural Resources and the other by the Pollution Control Agency, support long-held suspicions by wildlife managers and conservationists that laws aren't fully protecting Minnesota's wetlands.

"Willard Munger would be rolling over in his grave,'' said Ron Nargang, state conservation director for the Nature Conservancy. A Duluth lawmaker who died in 1999, Munger championed wetlands protection and the state's landmark 1991 Wetland Conservation Act.   more...

 



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Waste released into Metro waterways

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Millions of gallons of wastewater mixed with untreated sewage were released into area waterways last week after the region was deluged by rain and melting snow.

Local treatment plants had to release the waste because they were filled to capacity, government officials said.

Treatment plant workers said residents along the waterways, particularly the Detroit River, should not have noticed the releases.

But an official for Clean Water Action, a nonprofit organization that works for clean, affordable water, said the waste could be harmful to the environment and people. more...

 



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"Smart Growth for Clean Water" Conference

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This conference, to be held in Lansing, MI on Feb. 24, 2005, is designed to provide information, tools and affordable, long-term strategies for communities to address growth pressures, comply with new federal stormwater management regulations, and protect Michigan's precious water resources, including drinking water, aquatic ecosystems and scenic coastal areas.   more...


 



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DEQ dubs stricter water standards 'difficult'

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TRAVERSE CITY - The state agency charged with protecting the Great Lakes may have doused environmentalists' plans to halt pollution of Grand Traverse Bay.
      The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told a group of local government officials and environmentalists last week it would be "very difficult" to adopt new water quality standards to protect the bay.
      "When you put it in writing and put it out in front of the regulatory environment, they are not going to like it," said Brenda Sayles, a DEQ Water Bureau supervisor. "It is going to be very controversial and very political."   more...


 



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Trees in area hurt greatly by ice storm

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Most people affected by the recent ice storm that pounded west-central Ohio have already fixed much of the damage. But nature will take much longer, possibly decades, to heal.

The Jan. 5 storm that caused multiday power outages throughout Allen and Hardin counties left a trail of tree damage on a scale area parks employees said they've never seen.

"It is the most extensive damage we have ever had in the history of the parks district. There is no doubt of that," said Kevin Haver, director and 27-year employee of the Johnny Appleseed Metroparks in Allen County. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing. In our own system, damage varies from minor branches to bringing entire mature trees to the ground.   more...

 



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SEWAGE BLENDING STIRS UP DEBATE

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Many environmentalists fear the practice of sewage blending would become more routine if a new EPA policy is enacted. (Photo by M. Vasquez) Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are considering a new policy for sewage treatment plants. Many environmentalists say if the policy is adopted, it will lead to increased water pollution and greater risk to public health. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mark Brush reports on the debate over sewage blending:   more...

The EPA on its Blending Policy

Read the NRDC's report on "The Growing Problem of Sewage Pollution" (.pdf)

A closer look at a sewage treatment plant

 



Environment  

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  • Hey great job pulling this information together. The only problem is the docume...more
    - [rant]

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Scientists say 'clean' rain runoff is polluting beach

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The more than 9 inches of snow that blanketed Milwaukee recently was not enough to cover weeds growing on Bradford Beach along Lake Michigan. And scientists say those plants are a sign of pollution.

Researchers contend they are indicative of polluted runoff, carried to the beach from sewers designed to carry "clean" rainwater to the lake.

While sewage dumping after heavy storms contributes to beach pollution, storm sewers draining directly on the beach explains elevated bacteria levels after light rains, said Sandra McLellan, a water quality expert with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Great Lakes Water Institute.   more...

 



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