Should tourism support environmental protection?

Capital News Service
LANSING — It’s too early to know if national and international attention on Flint’s municipal water crisis may tarnish the Great Lakes region’s image of pure water. But there is a tie between the perceived quality of water and its value, experts say. “I hope that the tourist industry gives back funding for protection and remediation,” said Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research at Michigan State University. That’s a worldwide approach “we have to do in the future,” she said. For example, there should be a tie between tourism and Peru’s challenges with sewage treatment and water reclamation at Machu Picchu.

Fourth graders will get field trips to federal parks

Capital News Service

LANSING — Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of 186 federal parks that will split the $1.1 million National Park Foundation grant to set up field trip programs.

The $4,820 grant secured last fall will get local kids educated through public parks, said Melissa O’Donnell, the interagency education specialist at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Hiawatha National Forest. The money was raised through a crowd funding campaign, supported by the tag #FindYourPark on Twitter. The foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program supports the White House youth initiative called Every Kid in a Park. The field trips give elementary school kids a chance to experience public land. National Park Service officials say parks and public lands offer kids great opportunities to get their feet wet while collecting water samples, studying wildlife in its natural habitat or exploring where history happened.

Canoeist denied Grand River shore access has no right to sue, court says

Capital News Service
LANSING — A nonprofit environmental group had the right to deny a canoeist access to its shoreline property to test for contamination in Grand River sediments near Jackson, the Court of Appeals has ruled. The three-judge panel unanimously rejected arguments by Peter Bormuth of Jackson that the Grand River Environmental Action Team — known as GREAT — had breached a fiduciary duty, meaning a duty of trust, with him. The Grand River, Michigan’s longest, flows westward for about 260 miles from its headwaters in Jackson County, through Lansing and Grand Rapids, before emptying into Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. Fifteen counties are in its watershed, including Ottawa, Montcalm, Mecosta and Kent. In March 2013, the state transferred the six-acre parcel in Blackman Township to GREAT, which intends to build a public boat launch there, according to court filings.