environment

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As environmental officials hope to soon set an enforceable limit on the level of PFAS allowed in drinking water, the state of Michigan is seeking the public’s input on the matter. According to a release, “The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division will hold this week the first of three hearings to receive public comments on proposed rules to establish maximum contaminant levels for seven per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS in drinking water.”

Water faucet photo
Public domain image / Wikimedia.org

Lake Michigan, it’s one of the planet’s largest freshwater bodies. And yet, the people who live within view of it - or farm Ottawa County’s fertile lands within a few miles of its shores - are in jeopardy of running out of drinkable groundwater.

"You look at where we are situated Ottawa County of 30-plus miles of shoreline next to Lake Michigan waters ubiquitous here we have a water problem we thought it was isolated until we started to get the results back from the study."

National Park Service seal
Wikimedia Commons

The National Park Service and a northwestern Indiana town will install sand traps along the Lake Michigan shoreline to combat beach erosion at the Indiana Dunes National Park. The federal agency was scheduled to begin working Friday with the town of Beverly Shores to fill 300 linear feet of sand traps at the national park. Officials are asking the public to steer clear of the area as heavy equipment is used to install and fill the sand traps. The park has 15 miles (24 kilometers) of shoreline. Park officials say Lake Michigan's water level remains "well above the long-term average."á

DNR logo
Michigan Department of Natural Resources / michigan.gov

Crews were expected to start removing more copper mining waste rock known as stamp sands that have built up in an Upper Peninsula waterway and threaten an important fish spawning area.

Dredging in Grand Traverse Harbor should start this week and is part of a wider strategy to help protect the spawning habitat for Lake Superior whitefish and lake trout, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.

Grand River Waterway Project logo
Grand River Waterway / grandriverwaterway.com

The Grand River Waterway Project designed to restore navigability from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven has been put on hold.

In 2017, the state of Michigan conducted a survey of the Grand River concluding 22.5 of the 40 mile stretch from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven could be buoyed for motor boat traffic. While nearly 16 miles of the proposed 22.5-mile project will remain natural, there are portions where dredging a 50-foot wide, 7-foot deep waterway are necessary at an estimated cost of just over $2 million.

Asian carp photo
flickr.com

A new study says sport fish have declined significantly in portions of the Upper Mississippi River infested with Asian carp.

The study's lead author says it's among the first to establish a solid link between the presence of invasive carp and a drop-off of native species.

It found that numbers of sport fish such as yellow perch and bluegill fell between 1994 and 2013 in three locations infested with silver carp.

Meanwhile, sport fish increased in other places farther upstream that the carp hadn't reached.

Asian carp
www.wbez.org

Michigan says it remains willing to contribute $8 million toward initial stages of a project to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger affirmed the commitment Tuesday in a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The funding would pay for preconstruction, engineering and design of a planned barrier system at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois.

EPA logo
Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

The federal government is pledging funds to help advance cleanups of two toxic waste hotspots in Michigan.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will provide $4.3 million toward a $6.6 million cleanup of the Ryerson Creek Outfall site along the shoreline of Muskegon Lake. The area is contaminated with petroleum, metals and hydrocarbon compounds.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is also providing $1 million supporting the project.

Millennium Park photo
kentcountyparks.org

Kent County parks generate more than $30 million in annual economic activity. That’s one of a number of findings revealed in an economic impact study conducted by Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business and Kent County Parks.

Zebra mussels photo
Wikimedia Commons

Three organizations say they're relying on an intergovernmental body to develop solutions to problems caused by invasive mussels in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Commission, International Joint Commission and Great Lakes Fishery Commission said Monday they're endorsing the Invasive Mussel Collaborative as the "go-to forum" to take the lead.

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