Seeking ‘Eureka!’ cries to solve environmental problems

Capital News Service
LANSING — The state’s $1 million incentive for anyone who comes up with a new and innovative solution to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great part of a trend in using cash incentives to crowdsource and solve natural resource problems.
For instance, Michigan State University recently sponsored a challenge to redesign water foundations. The winning team won $15,000. “The students are innovative and energetic and we were very excited to support student team learning and effort through problem solving,” said Professor Joan Rose, an MSU expert in water quality and public health safety. Another example: The Michigan Design Council has sponsored contests for K-12 students to develop products to better enjoy the state’s water and winter. “So far we’ve been quite successful and have had very unique and sophisticated solutions to huge problems,” said Jeff De Boer, chair of the council.

Asian carp would change fish species in Lake Erie

Capital News Service
LANSING — A new study by researchers based in Ann Arbor suggests that Asian carp would disrupt the food web and decimate native species like walleye if they invade Lake Erie. And that could blunt the economic impact anglers have on nearby communities. A second study by a Michigan State University economics researcher will compare the study’s predicted changes in fish population and the number of fishing trips taken in the region. Invasive silver and bighead carp are already abundant in nearby Great Lakes watersheds . They devour microscopic plants called phytoplankton and animals called zooplankton, the first food of popular fish like walleye and Chinook salmon.