A park in Flint offers recreational opportunity for urban residents

State looks for ways to improve outdoor equity

OUTDOOR EQUITY: For years, lack of outdoor equity has been something the DNR has been trying to find solutions for. There are projects in Detroit and Flint tackling the problem, as well as other programs such as free fishing weekends and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. By Camryn Evans. FOR PLANET DETROIT, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Here’s the scoop on Michigan pet waste removal 

PET POOP: A growing number of Michigan pet owners are hiring poop removal companies to keep their yards and lawns clean. The poop picker-uppers do need to be vigilant about on-the-job dog attacks, however. We talk to owners of businesses in Fenton, Lansing and Brownstone Township. By Samuel Blatchford. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

How Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget would allocate $437 million in state spending on housing programs in the upcoming fiscal year.

Advocates say affordable housing budget proposal falls short

AFFORDABLE GREEN HOUSING: The governor proposes spending $437 million to expand affordable, energy-efficient housing, an amount far below what some Democratic lawmakers, environmental groups and social welfare activists say is needed. We hear from nonprofit group leaders in Detroit and Grand Rapids, the Michigan Environmental Council, the governor and several national organizations. By Andrew Roth. FOR DETROIT, LANSING CITY LIMITS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

The avian flu has not harmed Michigan’s commercial turkey farms to date.

Turkey farms spared so far from avian flu

TURKEYS: While avian flu hit Michigan’s chicken farms heavily, contributing to higher egg and chicken prices, the state’s commercial turkey farms have largely been spared so far. Only one turkey farm, in Muskegon County, has been hit. Turkey farmers have ramped up biosecurity measures but worry about the impending spring bird migration to the state. We talk to the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, DNR and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Dan Netter. FOR HOLLAND, OCEANA, WKTV, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.

Polluter-pay laws could return under Democratic majority

POLLUTER PAY: During the governorship of John Engler, Michigan weakened laws intended to make polluters foot the bill for cleanup of contaminated land and water. Now there are lawmakers calling for holding the polluters financially liable rather than relying on tax money for cleanups. We hear from Clean Water Action, Ann Arbor and Royal Oak senators and the Attorney General’s Office. Andrew Roth: FOR PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

An X Shore electric boat

Electric boats expected to make a splash in Michigan this year

ELECTRIC BOATS: Amid concerns about climate change, air quality, lakeside quality of life and future supplies of fossil fuels, more Michigan boaters are switching to electric-powered vessels which are quieter and less polluting.We hear from DNR, an Elk Rapids marina owner, is thinking about installing chargers WHERE. By Jack Timothy Harrison. FOR CLARE, GLADWIN, CRAWFORD COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, BENZIE COUNTY, LEELANAU, TRAVERSE CITY, DETROIT, MARQUETTE, IRON MOUNTAIN, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY GREENVILLE, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY ALPENA, CADILLAC, PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

Double-crested cormorant numbers have grown in recent decades

Effectiveness of cormorant hunting questioned

CORMORANT HUNTING: Double-crested cormorants continue to draw attention from wildlife researchers amid strong disagreements about whether the birds – whose numbers have grown in recent decades – are harming fish populations, reducing recreational and commercial fishing opportunities and damaging natural habitats. Their consumption of threatened and endangered fish species is among the concerns. Last year, DNR said Michigan had more than 50+ sites where conflicts exist, and the birds eat tens of millions of pounds of fish in the state. Questions arise about the effectiveness of Ontario’s hunting season. By Camryn Evans. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, IRON MOUNTAIN, SAULT STE. MARIE, ALCONA, ALPENA, MONROE, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, MANISTEE, OCEANA COUNTY, BENZIE COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, LUDINGTON, MIDLAND AND ALL POINTS.

New Northwestern Michigan College degree readies students for water technology jobs

WATER TECH JOBS: A pioneering Northwestern Michigan College degree program is readying students for high-demand water technology jobs. We talk to a college trustee, the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute and the Discovery Center and Pier in Traverse City. By Anastasia Pirrami. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, CADILLAC, BENZIE COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

Toxic hotspot builds nontoxic community engagement

ROUGE RIVER: Grassroots and government efforts to clean up the heavily polluted Rouge River are continuing. The goal, according to Friends of the Rouge River, is to have the river removed from the list of toxic hotspots designated as Areas of Concern under a U.S.-Canada agreement. By Molly Wright. FOR DETROIT, PLANET DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.