By QING ZHANG
Capital News Service
LANSING – The number of closings or health safety advisories due to pollution at Michigan’s more than 1,200 public and nearly 500 private beaches has dropped the past three years. “Surface water quality is generally showing improvement where programs are in place to correct problems and restore water quality,” according to the 2014 Integrated Report for Water Quality and Pollution Control in Michigan by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. But taking the long view, parts of the state’s coastal environment may not be as promising as they appear. “All our nearshore waters are at risk,” said Joan Rose, the director of the Water Quality and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory at Michigan State University. “No surprise, in urban areas things are more serious.”
Rose’s lab has studied cores of sediments from the bottom of Lake St.