Your monthly News to Us is here with a handful of headlines including articles on the expansion of the Iron Belle Trail, at-home water conservation strategies, the latest on the Waters of the United States rule, and local efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation.

Southeast Michigan’s parks work to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all residents
New efforts across Southeast Michigan aim to improve outdoor recreation opportunities for marginalized communities and communities of color. Organizations, such as the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and Detroit Outdoors, are working to eliminate cost barriers to outdoor access, implement programs with more cultural competency, and improve inclusion of marginalized people into program planning and staffing.

Lower Huron Metropark, pictured above, will soon be connected to Belleville via the Iron Belle Trail thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Photo credit: Huron-Clinton Metroparks

New Iron Belle Trail extension will help connect Belleville with Lower Huron Metropark
Municipalities and recreation groups are collaborating with the Huron-Clinton Metroparks to connect the Lower Huron Metropark with Belleville and the Washtenaw County border via the Iron Belle Trail. The Iron Belle aims to connect Ironwood to Detroit’s Belle Isle by way of non-motorized trails. Funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Belleville connector project will begin construction in 2022.

Reducing your household’s water use can save money and help fight climate change
Small, at-home actions to reduce water use can both cut water bills by $170 annually and conserve water. This piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer touches on a handful of strategies to help cut back on water usage, including fixing leaks, installing low-flow faucets, adopting native plant landscapes, upgrading appliances, and using high-efficiency sprinklers. Get even more details from HRWC’s tips for saving water, energy and money!

Was that wild weather caused by climate change? Scientists can now say ‘yes’ with confidence
The newly-released report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms that human-driven greenhouse gas emissions have triggered more extreme and frequent weather. The report underscores that continued climate changes will result in increased global instability and more severe natural disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding, and extreme-heat events. Get HRWC’s take on the IPCC report’s warnings that are relevant for the Huron River.

Court tosses Trump water pollution rule but still weighing restoration of Obama rule
A district court judge in Arizona recently overturned a Trump-era revision to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that stripped ephemeral water bodies, such as wetlands, creeks, and streams, of Clean Water Act protections. The court’s action comes amidst efforts by the Biden administration to revise the rule and create a “durable definition” of WOTUS.