It has been a busy news month. Many exciting things happening at the global, national and state level that affects us right here in the Huron. The environment took front seat in international news this month with Pope Francis’ encyclical. Our federal government finally provided clarity on the Clean Water Act by better defining “waters of the US”. The State of Michigan has released a draft vision for water that includes a dramatic reduction in phosphorus to our waterways. And not to leave out local action, the Ann Arbor Observer provides a look at how the University of Michigan handles stormwater.
Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change. The recent papal encyclical has been making waves among Catholics and far beyond. The document is a call to action bringing a moral argument to environmental protection and climate change. A fascinating and welcome contribution to the environmental movement, if you haven’t read much about this, the article is a nice summary of the report and the implications.
Issues of The Environment: The Clean Water Rule. HRWC’s Elizabeth Riggs is interviewed about EPA’s ruling on Waters of the US, or the waters protected under the Clean Water Act. She discusses how this ruling will impact our state and watershed and why this ruling is so important.
DEQ announces 30-year vision for water. The State’s draft water strategy addresses nutrient pollution, invasive species, boating and harbors and water trails. The strategy also calls for investment in technologies that support clean water and the establishment of a fund to finance implementation of water strategy. The vision is out in draft and the DEQ is accepting comments until August 28th.
More information on Michigan’s Water Strategy and how to comment can be viewed here
Calming the waters. This editorial provides a deeper dive into the issue of phosphorus pollution, reduction goals, and how Michigan needs to do more to make meaningful progress toward those goals and make appropriate contributions to a region-wide effort to reduce problems in the Great Lakes resulting from excess phosphorus in our lakes and waterways.
Storm Over the U-M: The city and county have strict new stormwater requirements. But the university isn’t on board. Water knows no political boundaries which can create tension over responsibility for and management of this resource. When it rains on our cities and towns, it needs to be managed to avoid flooding, erosion and other stormwater related issues. This article chronicles ongoing tension around stormwater management by the University of Michigan.