michigan energy and environment

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This week on Points North, we look at animals and the threats they face. Great Lakes piping plovers were on the verge of extinction in the 1980s, but recently they’ve been making a comeback. Still, their slow recovery is hindered by absent-minded beach walkers, high water levels and racoons.

 


Ballard Marine Construction

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s ready to go to court to force Enbridge to shut down a pipeline, Line 5, that moves oil and gas on a route that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. That’s if the energy company and the state don’t reach a deal by the end of June.

But Nessel says it also sets a deadline for negotiations on the future of the pipeline.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, elderly drivers in Grand Traverse County get in car accidents at a higher rate than most other Michigan counties. We explore the challenges of giving up the keys.

 


Courtesty of Theresa Schurman

Last year, two people were shot and killed in Michigan while deer hunting. One of the victims, Justin Beutel, was hunting on family property near Torch Lake. 

It was Nov. 15, opening day of firearm deer hunting season, when another hunter shot Beutel from about 50 yards away. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated the case. 

“We would classify it as an accident at this point,” says Lt. Jim Gorno, a DNR conservation officer.

Credit Coreene Smith

  Michigan recycling programs have been struggling since China stopped taking U.S. plastic materials last year.

 

But Emmet County recycles their products in-house, so they haven't been affected as much.

Jim Malewitz, the environmental reporter for Bridge Magazine, has been following their program. He says Emmet County pays to haul materials to its own recycling center, then collects revenue from recycled products. 

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a renewable energy company wants to build a wind farm in a forested part of the Upper Peninsula, but there’s resistance. Plus, the last coal plant providing electricity in the U.P. shuts down.


Taylor Wizner

In the first episode of Points North, a teen parenting program called "Generations Ahead" in Grand Traverse County expands to include dads. It helps parents day-to-day and encourages them to stay in school. Plus, we look at new harvest limits for lake trout fishers in Grand Traverse Bay and visit a wood baseball bat craftsman in the middle of his busy season. 


Larry Martin puts another arrow on his bow string at FPS Archery shop in Cadillac.
Dan Wanschura

 

Deer hunting is declining in Michigan. In the late 1990’s, almost 800,000 people were hunting deer in the state. Twenty years later, that number has dropped by around 25 percent.

A new ban on deer baiting is likely to further that trend. 

But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the ban is necessary for the long-term health of the state’s deer herd.


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The bay is solid ice from Traverse City to Power Island.  This is the sixth time in 20 years that Grand Traverse Bay has frozen over, but it used to happen more often. Heather Smith with The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Center says recent winters have been more mild.

"We’re having just less ice coverage, the duration of ice coverage is declining," Smith says. "That’s kind of generally what we’re seeing across the Great Lakes region."

Smith says climate change may be to blame.

While the bay is frozen over the Watershed Center says people should stay off the ice.

Michigan Radio

An Army Corps of Engineers report says sound barriers could keep Asian carp from establishing a population in the Great Lakes.

Michigan and the Midwest are already feeling the effects of climate change, which will grow and worsen as temperatures climb throughout this century, according to a new report.

The second part of the fourth National Climate Assessment looks at impacts, risks, and mitigation efforts across the U.S. It’s the work of scientists and experts from across a variety of federal agencies. While officially released by the White House, its conclusions are sharply different from the Trump administration’s position on climate change

Over the past two years, Michiganders across the state have become aware of the chemicals known as PFAS. They first made news when elevated levels were found in more than 20 private water wells in Oscoda. Now, there are 35 known contamination sites around the state.