Environment

Published February 3, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — State and federal politicians recently shared their concerns for the health of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair during the annual Waterfront Environmental Committee meeting.

“My mother used to swim in the Rouge River,” said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Roseville, speaking at the Jan. 21 meeting.

Levin said that’s why he is behind the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, because it is important for everyone to get involved. St. Clair Shores, he said, is very active in working to clean up the water.

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Published January 13, 2016

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House has long prided itself on maintaining its lovely landscaped grounds, and now it has a new reason to be proud of them.

In December, the Michigan Green Industry Association gave the Ford House its 2015 Chairman’s Award in recognition of the historic estate’s environmental efforts and beautiful landscape. It’s an award that has previously been given to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Domino Farms.

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Published January 13, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The holidays are over, and many of us have already broken in those fancy new devices Santa generously slipped into our stocking.

But what about your old gadget? The laptop, tablet or smartphone you were using had a lot of information stashed inside, and it takes more than a click or a swipe to protect that data from prying eyes once you’ve ditched the device.

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Published January 13, 2016

Despite a landmark climate agreement signed by representatives of 195 countries on Dec. 12 to try to limit the global warming temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, scientists still expect this century to get warmer over the coming decades due to the greenhouse gas emissions already in the atmosphere.

This warming trend is expected to impact people living in every corner of the globe, including Michigan. According to University of Michigan Climate Center Director Elizabeth Gibbons, the biggest changes expected in the Great Lakes region are related to precipitation.

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Published January 13, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At its Dec. 15 meeting, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a municipal contract with Simple Recycling, a company that provides curbside recycling for clothing, shoes and home goods.

The program comes with zero costs or operational responsibilities for the township or its residents, Simple Recycling representative Scott Brady said at the meeting.

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Published January 7, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A new ordinance that was scheduled to be introduced at the Jan. 11 township Board of Trustees meeting would put regulations on businesses looking to explore for gas and oil in West Bloomfield.

The ordinance would put restrictions on how businesses could go about exploring for gas and oil. The measure is designed to protect the health and safety of the township’s residents, according to Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste.

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Published January 6, 2016

PARIS — On Dec. 12, 195 countries from across the globe signed off on a pact, known as the Paris Agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and try to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Each nation made its own pledge and was left to decide to bring down emissions internally.

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Published December 23, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — A new long-term management plan aims to control invasive species, restore natural habitats and improve public access in city-owned green space.  

In 2005, voters approved a 0.3-mill, 10-year tax to acquire and preserve green space. In 2013, voters approved revising permissible use of the millage revenues to provide stewardship — including the protection, care and maintenance of green space and to improve pedestrian accessibility.

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Published December 21, 2015

SOUTHFIELD — It might look like a regular old parking lot when it’s done, but there will be a lot going on under the surface.

Construction began Dec. 17 on parking lot D at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, to install an innovative drainage system, which utilizes new green technology called energy-passive groundwater recharge products.

The school is one of the first in the nation to test the drainage system.

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Published December 2, 2015

This year’s El Niño event is one of the strongest in recorded history, and researchers believe it is increasing the likelihood of a winter that is both warmer and drier than usual.

El Niño is a periodic natural occurrence where warm water cycles around in the Pacific Ocean and reaches the surface. The increase in sea surface temperatures in turn impacts how storms and air pressure regions form and impacts global weather patterns — typically in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months.

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Published December 2, 2015

Water levels in most of the Great Lakes are expected to stay at or above the long-term average over the next six months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Water levels have rebounded after more than a decade of being at near-record lows the past two years, according to NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab hydrologist Drew Gronewald. With the exception of Lake Ontario, they are all currently seasonally above the long-term average. That average was compiled using data from 1918 through 2014.

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Published November 18, 2015

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 9 announced that it is providing $20 million in new funding for major Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects in the Clinton River Area of Concern (AOC).

Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator Cameron Davis was joined by U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak; U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township; and representatives of the grantees outside Harbor Club South Apartments near the Clinton River spillway, which connects the two congressional districts.

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Published November 16, 2015

The recent Canadian election saw the Liberal Party come to power with new ministers and officials, but the government has not yet announced plans to change its timetable for a decision on the proposed Kincardine nuclear waste site near Lake Huron.

“Essentially, we do have a new minister of the environment as of Nov. 4, and the status of the environmental assessment is that the decision is due Dec. 2,” said Lucille Jamault, communications manager from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

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Published November 11, 2015

OAKLAND COUNTY — Diane Wilks, of Rochester Hills, has been going to Independence Oaks Park in Clarkston for years. The vast natural space is special to her for more than a few reasons.

“It’s just one of my favorite places; it’s awesome. I was going through a hard time years ago, and my boyfriend at the time would take me to that park to go on walks,” said Wilks. “Later, he proposed to me there, and we’ve been married to this day.”

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