Image credit: TonySutton410/Flicker
Common Tern. Image credit: TonySutton410/Flicker

This edition of News to Us starts with a success story and we all like success stories.  Learn also about the islands of plastic polluting our Great Lakes.  We share a few opportunities to attend public events on flooding and fracking.   Read also a refreshing perspective on approaching river conservation by finding common ground among individual objectives.

A Tern for the Better: The Detroit River Comeback  The common tern has returned to Belle Isle after a 50 year absence.  The refuge on Belle Isle is a bright spot showing what can be when we invest in wildlife habitat even in the most urban of places. Read about the successes of our neighbors to the north.

Polluting Plastic Waste Invades Great Lakes: Pacific Garbage Patch May Have a Rival  This article brings to light a less often cited, yet major source of pollution in the Great Lakes.  Plastics in our waters have implications for birds, fish and other organisms in the food chain.  Consider finding ways to keep plastics out of our waterways like switching to reusable bags and cleaning debris and trash away from stormdrains that carry plastics directly to our waterways during rain events.

Ann Arbor kicks off $1.2M study of sewer system, footing drain program and basement sewage backups  It is the wet season again.  Spring rains rejuvenate our rivers, groundwater, forests and landscaping.  But for some households the rains can mean problems when water ends up in basements or sits on roads.  Ann Arbor is holding a public meeting to provide updates on ongoing efforts to reduce damaging flooding including an assessment of the sanitary sewer system and footing drain disconnection program.

Sunday Brunch: A tiny trickle turns into a torrent of conservation issues for Michigan  This blog from Helen Taylor, State Director of the Nature Conservancy in Michigan, shares a nice perspective on river protection.  She encourages individuals and groups to consider the “whole-system” rather than a more personal view of the river with an eye on shared goals rather than win-lose propositions—a healthy lens through which to envision the path to a healthy river serving many purposes for many interests.

University of Michigan to hold town hall on future of fracking in the state  For those interested in learning more about the practice of fracking to extract natural gas, University of Michigan is hosting a forum on the topic this evening.  As far as we are aware, there are no plans for fracking in the watershed at this time but there is very active debate on this topic at the national and state level.

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