What happens when saving the few – in this case, a small number of plants or animals in a species at high risk of extinction – may harm the many – here, members of more common species? That’s a real problem as conservation experts and public land agencies wrestle with how to allocate scarce funds for habitat protection. A new study by scientists from the Nature Conservancy’s Michigan chapter and three universities says tradeoffs are necessary, based on their research of about 35 species of native migratory fish – some extremely rare, some extremely common — in the 1,833 largest tributaries of the Great Lakes.
Sept. 7, 2018 – Week 1
To: CNS Editors
From: Dave Poulson
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CNS member news organizations are encouraged to continue using still-timely feature stories from our summer Michigan environmental packages.
Food poisoning linked to a controversial herb supplement recently sickened four Michigan residents. They are the latest of 39 reports of poisoning linked to kratom, a Southeast Asian herb that proponents claim can fight depression, pain, anxiety and opioid addiction but that federal and state authorities consider a health risk. Efforts to regulate the substance are underway.
Local school districts in October can administer an additional set of student tests to assess student performance beyond the annual M-STEP exams. Officials say the new tests can help measure growth through the year, rather than simply getting the results after it’s too late.
While health agencies statewide investigate the link between contaminated drinking water and a firefighting foam, use of the substance remains legal. The chemical, known as PFAS, is linked to contamination at Gerald R. Ford International Airport and Camp Grayling. Firefighters say alternative foams aren’t as effective.
When U.S. Rep. John Conyers resigned amid scandal last December, he’d served almost 53 years. The winner of this November’s election to fill the rest of his term will serve one of the shortest tenures in history through Dec. 31. Meanwhile, residents of the predominantly African-American and Democratic Detroit district will have lacked U.S. House representation for 11 months. In contrast, Gov. Snyder left a Republican-leaning suburban district without a representative for only four months.
Mercury levels remain high in the lakes, rivers and fish of the Western U.P. despite a substantial drop in airborne mercury emissions over the past 30 years, according to scientists from Michigan Technological University and the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s a “geographic enigma” with serious health implications.
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Mercury levels remain high in Western U.P .lakes, rivers and fish despite a substantial decline in airborne mercury emissions over the past 30 years, according to a new study from Michigan Tech and the EPA. That poses health risks. The U.P.’s extensive – and growing – wetlands play a major role in the problem as forested and wetland environments are returning as large northern tracts are converted to state and federal forests and wetland ditching is reduced.