Posts Tagged ‘plastics’

News to Us

Florida Sea Grant agent Maia McGuire sampling for microplastics in a freshwater stream and microplastics photographed in the studio for a Florida Trend feature on Friday, July 21st, 2017.

Microplastics photographed in the studio collected from stream samples. Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License Florida Sea Grant.

This edition of News to Us provides news coverage on several major threats to freshwater including plastics, pharmaceuticals, invasive species, dioxane, and pavement sealers.

Plastics Are Forever
HRWC has been investigating the threat and impacts of plastics in the Huron River. Researchers are learning more all the time about how widespread the problem is and what the impacts are to the environment and drinking water. This radio piece dives deep on the issue with three experts.

Without Superfund cleanup, Ann Arbor still focused on court case against polluter
This month, the EPA shared its decision that the dioxane plume in the groundwater beneath Scio Township and Ann Arbor will not be declared a Superfund site.  Michigan DEQ will remain the oversight body on the issue. Ann Arbor, Scio Township, Washtenaw County, and the Huron River Watershed Council continue to pursue legal action for stronger clean-up.

Michigan GOP to invasive species: Welcome to the Great Lakes
A bill moving quickly to the Governor’s desk (House Bill 5095) will loosen restrictions on how shipping vessels manage ballast water.  Ballast water is the primary source of invasive species to the Great Lakes.  This bill weakens 2005 bipartisan legislation designed to reduce the impacts of invasives on the Great Lakes and the economic implications of those invasions. It is not too late to call Governor Snyder and request a veto.

Coal Tar Pavement Sealant Bans Discussed at Stormwater Summit
HRWC partnered with the Clinton River Watershed Council to present on the topic of toxic pavement sealers at the Oakland County Regional Stormwater Summit last month. Coal tar and other high-PAH sealants are used to maintain low traffic asphalt surfaces such as parking lots and driveways. We are looking to get more southeast Michigan communities to take action to eliminate this source of toxins in our lakes, rivers and homes.

Issues Of The Environment: Washtenaw Drug Take-Back Programs Protect Environment And Public Health
David Fair talks with Jeff Krcmarik, the Washtenaw County Environmental Program Supervisor, on the implications of pharmaceuticals in our waterways and how residents can appropriately dispose of medications to help reduce the presence of these in lakes, rivers and drinking water. Some recent articles are covering the implications of pharmaceuticals on great lakes fish.

Issues Of The Environment: Huron River And Huron River Watershed Trail Benefits Local Economy
The Huron River is one of the area’s greatest natural resources. And a new study shows it also provides an economic boon to the region. Find out how and what is still to come as WEMU’s David Fair talks with HRWC’s Elizabeth Riggs.

News to Us

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, there 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, cheap 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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