Manistee Beach in 2014. A team of Michigan State University researchers is working with volunteers in coastal communities to track erosion in the state.

Researchers seek volunteers to document coastal erosion in Michigan

COASTAL EROSION: Although Great Lakes water levels are down, the risk of coastal erosion remains high. MSU researchers are using a National Science Foundation grant to enlist “citizen scientists” to assist in helping better understand coastal change. They’re gathering data in Marquette, Manistique, Iosco County, Chikaming Township, Manistee and South Haven. By McKoy Scribner. FOR MARQUETTE, MANISTEE, HOLLAND, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, OCEANA, BENZIE, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, MONROE, TRAVERSE CITY, LUDINGTON, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS AND ALL POINTS.

Some of the 75 wind turbines at the onshore Tuscola Bay Wind I farm in Fairgrove, Tuscola County, near Lake Huron

Offshore wind could provide double the electricity Michigan residents used in 2019

OFFSHORE WIND POWER: Offshore wind turbines in the Great Lakes could provide a large percentage of Michigan’s future electricity, a new national report says. Offshore wind could generate three-quarters of the state’s predicted electricity use for 2050 with full electrification, according to the report. The chair of the Public Service Commission says state laws might need updating to make that possible. We talk to a report co-author and the president of a company that’s developing the 1st offshore wind project in the Great Lakes, on Lake Erie. By Taylor Haelterman. FOR MONROE, ALCONA, HOLLAND, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, BENZIE, OCEANA, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

DNR offers $1 million to improve wildlife habitat

WILDLIFE GRANTS: The DNR plans to award about $1 million in wildlife habitat grants this year under a program that was sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. We talk to DNR program manager and past grant winners Lenawee Conservation District and Michigan chapter of the National Turkey Federation. Past grants went for the federation’s habitat work in Oceana, Lake, Newaygo, Barry, Muskegon, Manistee, Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, LIVINGSTON and Otsego counties. For news and outdoors pages. By Kirsten Rintelmann. FOR BLISSFIELD, MONROE, CRAWFORD COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, MANISTEE, ALCONA, LAKE COUNTY, LUDINGTON, FOWLERVILLE AND ALL POINTS.

As religious attendance in Michigan decreases, churches close

CLOSINGS: Places of worship are closing as the proportion of Americans who formally belong drops. Factors include rising costs of maintenance and increased mobility that makes it easier for worshippers to pick and choose congregations. We talk to a St. Joseph pastor from the Southwestern Baptist Association and the Michigan Conference United Church of Christ. For faith and news sections. By Sheldon Krause, FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.

In 2018 goldenrod shimmering in the summer sun reclaims what had once been a golf course in East Lansing.

Needed: wild places in urban spaces

URBAN GREEN SPACE: An abandoned golf course near the the edge of the MSU campus had been shrouded by tallgrass and sparkling goldenrod, filled with asters and milkweed that lured birds every summer, with sycamores and willows shading the shore of the Red Cedar River. Now that sanctuary is gone amidst development, and its disappearance is a reminder of the importance of urban greenspace. Commentary. By Marshall Lee Weimer. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Resin shortages add to high cost of home construction materials

RESIN SHORTAGE: The February mega-freeze in Texas disrupted production of resin, a key component of construction materials, and the resin shortage is boosting prices for new homes. The Home Builders Association of Michigan says some people are delaying projects as a result. The Michigan Manufacturers Association says its members haven’t had any major problems, and GM says it’s working with its suppliers. By Kristia Postema. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

Advancements in electric buses making green transit more accessible

ELECTRIC BUSES: More public transit systems and school districts are acquiring, or at least considering, electric buses to replace their polluting diesel fleet. Technology has improved electric buses since Traverse City’s troubled experiment with a hybrid electric 15 years ago. Federal lawmakers, including U.S. Reps. Levin and Tlaib are backing legislation to help fund the switch. We talk to Benzie Transport, MDOT and KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Clare County Transit and the Capital Area Transit Authority have received federal grants. By Chloe Traofatter. FOR BENZIE COUNTY, CLARE COUNTY, LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, TRAVERSE CITY, MANISTEE AND ALL POINTS.

Sheep graze under the shade of solar panels in Lenawee County, an example of agrivoltaics.

Crops grown under solar panels and pollinator habitats could be wave of the future

SOLAR FARMS: A new report about combining solar power and farming has advocates saying the practice could take hold in Michigan, boosting productivity of crops while also providing much-needed refuge for bees and other pollinators. We talk to an MSU expert, and an extension educator in West Olive For news and agriculture pages. By Sheldon Krause. FOR MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.