Huron River at Hudson Mills Metropar
Huron River at Hudson Mills Metropark

Read the latest edition of our bi-weekly roundup of headlines that have caught our eye.

This edition, we cover an opportunity for White Lake residents to participate in a visioning process for parks and recreation; several updates on the redevelopment of properties in Ann Arbor that impact the river; the announcement of a new director for Huron-Clinton Metroparks;  a disappointing new federal ruling on stormwater; and a local look at what it means to have the hottest year on record.

White Lake to Hold Community Visioning Session  If you are a White Lake resident, consider attending tonight’s community visioning session to help define the future of parks and recreation in the township. Participation in events like this is one of simplest and most influential ways of shaping the community you live in.  There is a survey available for those that want to give input but are unable to attend the visioning session

DTE Energy calling cleanup of riverfront MichCon site in Ann Arbor a huge success  Most of the cleanup work along the river below Argo is now completed.  There will be some additional riparian plantings in the spring and there is another contamination spot on the site that will require cleanup based on the ultimate use of the 14 acre property.  This area has great potential for smart riverfront development in Ann Arbor and can contribute to the vision the RiverUp! project sets forth.

Ann Arbor continuing to pursue greenway vision for 721 N. Main and 415 W. Washington sites  Plans for a couple of sites owned by the City of Ann Arbor will be redeveloped as part of a broader greenway vision for Allen Creek.  Allen Creek is a highly developed and impaired tributary of the Huron River.  In addition to having open space in this area to enjoy, the greenspace will provide some stormwater treatment in an area that is highly impacted by stormwater runoff.

Ex-Oakland County water commissioner now Metroparks director  The Huron-Clinton Metroparks system is of huge importance to residents of southeast Michigan with nearly 25,000 acres in 13 parks, many of which preserve natural lands along the Huron River. The Metroparks are a vital partner in the Huron River Water Trail and Riverup! projects.  We would like to congratulate John on his new post.

Court Holds for First Time That EPA Cannot Regulate Stormwater as a Pollutant under the Clean Water Act  This court decision may at first seem narrowly related to EPA’s ability to develop flow-based pollution limits (i.e. TMDLs). However, depending on how the precedent is read, it could be interpreted broadly to suggest that EPA does not have the authority to regulate stormwater at all unless it is directly regulating pollutants in the stormwater. For those involved with stormwater management, this decision could impact post-construction control regulations. This is not a good decision for those working to seeking to reduce runoff from impervious surfaces.

2012: One Hot Year  As the new year arrives, you may have been seeing many headlines looking back over the past year.  There has been a lot of buzz around the latest weather data.  2012 was the hottest year on record in the United States.  What does this look like in Michigan?  Listen to an interview with State Climatologist Jeff Andressen to find out.

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