News about environmental studies resources or events provided by the MSU Libraries. For more information visit the Environmental Studies Resources web page or contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Alexander, "Water, water everywhere in Michigan – but is it enough?" : Dry wells, western-styled debates over who has the rights to how much ground water, and a landmark water regulation tool that is starting to hiccup. That doesn't sound like a pleasant peninsula surrounded by the world's greatest collection of fresh water. But it's the reality in Michigan today, award-winning environmental reporter Jeff Alexander writes in this opening story in a two-day report on Michigan water.
Jeff Alexander, "Up or down? Which way are Great Lakes water levels headed" : Huge spring rains dumped trillions of gallons back into the Great Lakes, leading some to conclude the problem with shrinking lake levels may be behind us. Not so fast. Scientists continue to debate which way the lake levels are headed long-term - and the potential economic and environmental consequences either way.
Michigan’s two U.S. senators are calling on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to get involved in the controversy over Canadian plans for a nuclear waste storage facility to be built near Lake Huron.
Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, who oppose storing nuclear waste at the site, sent a letter to Kerry’s office Monday urging him to seek the involvement of the International Joint Commission in asking the Canadians to reconsider the plans. The IJC is a binational body created more than 100 years ago to help solve disputes between the U.S. and Canada.
For years, Ontario Power Generation has been moving through the approval process to build a deep geologic repository that would store low- to mid-level nuclear waste 2,230 feet underground and roughly three-quarters of a mile from the lake at Kincardine. Company officials claim the geology of that area is ideal for safely housing waste for thousands of years.
Others, including many U.S. officials, say putting the repository so close to the Great Lakes is dangerous.
For the full article, see Jim Lynch, "Michigan senators seek Kerry's intervention in Canadian nuclear waste storage site", Detroit News, October 21, 2013.
Whether they are beautiful or a blight on the landscape is beside the point.
Michigan’s wind farms are here, en masse. And travelers can’t miss them.
With nearly 900 commercial wind turbines dotting Michigan, especially in the Thumb where the wind is strongest and most consistent, a scenic drive can turn into a jaw-dropping experience. The Thumb alone has 618 wind turbines already operating or scheduled to go into service by next year.
For the full article, see Ellen Creager, "Michigan's new tourist attraction? Like them or not, wind turbines", Detroit Free Press, October 20, 2013.
At Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park, a rugged chain of islands in north Lake Superior, a battle is playing out that will impact the entire Park Service.
The wolves of Isle Royale have become critically isolated, forced into generations of inbreeding because the ice bridge that used to allow new animals in from the mainland has all but disappeared during winter months.
Federal officials must decide whether to get involved and attempt to save them or step aside and let nature choose their fate.
For the full article, see Louise Knott Ahern, "At stake on Isle Royale: Silence of the Wolves", Lansing State Journal, October 20, 2013.
Also see Louise Knott Ahern, "Climate change blamed for plight of wolves on Isle Royale" plus video, Detroit Free Press, October 18, 2013.
At Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, one of the oldest national parks in the U.S., operations for more than a century were built upon a predictable weather pattern.
Heavy snows would begin to fall in autumn. The snow would grow thicker through winter until it packed 25 feet deep.
In the spring, rain would replace the snow, and the snow pack would act like a giant sponge, soaking up all the water until the warm summer months would melt them all and fuel the rivers below.
But by the time current National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis was appointed superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park in 1999, things had started to change.
For the full article, see Louise Knott Ahern, "Climate change: Here and now at national parks", Lansing State Journal, October 20, 2013.
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