New book explores a lifetime of Great Lakes resilience

RESILIENCE: A new memoir by the former director of Michigan’s Sierra Club chapter is the story of a half-century of environmental activism that included bringing a live cormorant with a deformed beak from the U.P. to a congressional hearing live cormorant to a congressional hearing as proof of the effects of toxic air pollution. Jane Elder also played an important role in creation of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshores. By Reese Carlson. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, IRON MOUNTAIN, ST. IGNACE, ALPENA, ALCONA, MONROE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, LEELANAU, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, OCEANA COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

The Huron River at Kent Lake in Oakland County. The river is under a state Do Not Eat Advisory for all fish species.

Scientists alarmed by high levels of toxic forever chemicals in fish 

TOXICS IN FISH: Every fish studied in the Rouge River and Huron River watersheds contained at least one of a family of toxic and persistent health-threatening chemicals, say researchers at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor and Indiana University. We also talk to experts at MSU and the EPA. By Ruth Thornton. FOR PLANET DETROIT, DETROIT, MONROE, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Dingell talks environmental priorities in election year

Dingell talks environmental priorities in election year

DINGELL: U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, discusses priority environmental issues facing Congress this election year, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, clean-up of contaminated waterways such as the St. Clair River and electric vehicles. Energy Secretary (ex-Gov.) Granholm was recently in Michigan promoting training standards for battery industry workers. Includes references to the St. Clair River, Deer Lake, Manistique River, Lower Menominee River, St. Marys River, Clinton River, Detroit River, Kalamazoo River, Muskegon Lake, Saginaw Bay, Torch Lake, White Lake, Rouge River and River Raisin. By Eric Freedman. FOR DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT, BAY MILLS, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, SAULT STE. MARIE, MIDLAND, MONROE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

This is a Feb. 27 tornado in Marshall

Record low Great Lakes ice jump-starts Michigan’s severe weather season

LOW ICE: Unusually low winter ice levels on the Great Lakes don’t bode well for the spring and summer weather, meteorology experts say. Stormy skies ahead. By Clara Linconhol. FOR MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, ALPENA, ALCONA, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, MONROE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, OCEANA COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

Groves of bark-stripped cedars have been discovered in the St. Ignace district of the Hiawatha National Forest. Those responsible could be charged with a felony and spend up to a year in jail, according to state law.

Desecrated cedars lead to protections under Sault tribal code

DESECRATED CEDARS: Less than 2 miles past the Mackinac Bridge are dozens of cedars stripped of bark and left to die in the Hiawatha National Forest. An elder of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians explains the cultural significance to the Anishinaabe of cedar, or giizhik, which also has important wetlands benefits.The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has written in protection for cedars in its tribal code. By Daniel Schoenherr. FOR BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, ST. IGNACE, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

East Lansing’s Environmental Stewardship Program works to weed out invasive species 

It is a brisk March day, and Azaadiika park is finally waking up for spring – birds are flitting through the trees, joggers and dog-walkers are making their way through the winding trails, and a myriad of plant life is starting its journey towards blooming for the season. But there is something there that doesn’t quite belong – a pervasive and ever-growing army of buckthorn trees, an invasive species that has long been a disruptive force in the park’s ecosystem. 

“The tree itself takes a few years to grow, but it sends little seeds, and then it sprouts little trees, and those little trees can completely cover a landscape,” says Heather Majano. “So much so, that you could actually take a weed whipper out and just weed whip tiny little buckthorn trees and not have to worry about removing any other plant because that’s all there is.” 

Three large piles of buckthorn branches line a trail in East Lansing’s Azaadiika Park on Saturday, March 9. The branch piles, which have been cut down and placed there by Stewardship Program volunteers, will serve as habitats for some of the park’s smaller animal inhabitants. Majano, who graduated from MSU with her master’s degree in forestry in 2015, has spent the majority of the past 12 years working as the coordinator for East Lansing’s Environmental Stewardship Program, an initiative focused on reducing the negative impact that invasive species have on East Lansing’s natural environments.  

The program, initially founded in 2009 by former Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mike Vasievich, devotes most of its energy towards on-the-ground conservation efforts, inviting community volunteers to meet at designated locations on the second Saturday of every month –both to learn more about the impacts of invasive species, and to help remove or repurpose as many invasive plants as possible. 

“I’ve talked to some people who are not as familiar with plant identification, and when they look out in the woods or in a field, they see green, [and think] green is beautiful.

Sunset at Addison Oaks County Park

Oakland Co. golf course on par for public park

When Beech Woods Golf Course closed in 2019, many ideas were pitched to the city of Southfield during the public input survey on how to repurpose the greenspace. Some ideas included an amphitheater and splash pad, but one common consensus persisted. In November of 2023, a partnership was approved through Oakland County’s Healthy Communities Park and Outdoor Recreation Investment Plan to redevelop the golf course into the latest Oakland County park, to be named Southfield Oaks.

Algal blooms highlight the natural beauty of Lake St. Clair and its canals

An underappreciated lake that’s great

MICHIGAN’S VENICE: Lake St. Clair is an unappreciated level and a great lake in its own right, according to a new book on its history and culture. It’s a major game fishing destination and a site where environmental remediation continues. We talk to the author of the federally-designated Area of Concern covering the Clinton River. For News and features sections. By Anna Barnes. FOR DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.