Lake invasive European Frogbit.  Photo credit:
Lake invasive European Frogbit. Photo credit: Michael Butler

Lots of activity in the policy sphere in this edition of News to Us.  EPA threatens to reclaim control over wetland regulations in Michigan, Hamburg Township considers a watercraft-control ordinance and a lovely little butterfly seeks endangered status to protect remaining populations. Also read about a new aquatic plant invading lakes and how several Great Lakes cities are adapting to climate change.

EPA hearing will give public a voice in whether Michigan should retain regulation of wetlands  On December 11th, Michigan residents will be able to provide comment during a public hearing on whether or not the EPA should revoke Michigan’s authority to administer wetland regulations under the Clean Water Act.  Michigan’s administration of the regulations have been under scrutiny as inconsistent with Section 404 of the Act and less protective of wetlands.

Officials take aim at lake revelry  Conflict over public uses of Baseline Lake have Hamburg Township officials considering options.  Residents around the lake are complaining of loud and inappropriate behavior on the public lake. On November 19th there will be a public hearing on the issue and the potential for a local watercraft-control ordinance.

Cities adapting to changing climate, but more changes coming  The work of HRWC partner, the Graham Sustainability Institute, was highlighted in a story on how cities are adapting to a changing climate.  Ann Arbor is one of several cities in the Great Lakes that are part of the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities program helping support cities considering how to adapt to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns.

Michigan cracks down on frogbit crowding out state lakes  A new non-native aquatic plant is invading lakes and other slow moving waters in southeast Michigan. Several confirmed reports have the species taking hold in areas of the lower Huron River watershed near the outlet to Lake Erie. The Michigan DNR is looking for citizen help to identify new locations of this nuisance weed.  The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network has information on the species and how to report sightings.

STATE: U.S. considers endangered classification for butterfly found prominently in Michigan  One of our watershed residents the Poweshiek skipperling, has seen dramatic population declines in recent years. This little butterfly lives in the remaining prairie fens in the watershed with known occurrences in Livingston, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. If classified as endangered a recovery plan for the species will be developed.