Rebecca Williams http://michiganradio.org en After 4 years, major cleanup on the Kalamazoo River coming to a close http://michiganradio.org/post/after-4-years-major-cleanup-kalamazoo-river-coming-close <div><p>It's been four years since the Enbridge pipeline Line 6B broke, creating the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.</p></div><div>More than a million gallons of tar sands oil have been cleaned up from Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. This summer, crews are dredging areas of Morrow Lake.</div><div><p></p><p>Steve Hamilton is a professor of ecosystem ecology at the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University. He’s served as an independent scientific advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency throughout the cleanup. I talked with him for today's Environment Report.</p><p>A few years ago, right in the heart of the cleanup, an EPA official said the agency was "writing the book" on how to remove tar sands oil from the bottom of a river.</p></div><div><p>Hamilton agrees: "First, before it even got to the bottom, we learned that in the first year, it stuck to surfaces of plants and debris that made a tarry mess that largely had to be manually removed."&nbsp;</p><p>He says it was the removal of the submerged oil that made the cleanup last as long as it has.</p><p>"It is so incredibly difficult to remove submerged oil from a complex river, extending over nearly 40 miles."</p><p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:17:48 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18497 at http://michiganradio.org After 4 years, major cleanup on the Kalamazoo River coming to a close Carbon tax finds bipartisan support when funds are delegated to a specific cause http://michiganradio.org/post/carbon-tax-finds-bipartisan-support-when-funds-are-delegated-specific-cause <p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:44:13 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18462 at http://michiganradio.org Carbon tax finds bipartisan support when funds are delegated to a specific cause Researchers predict smaller algae problem in Lake Erie this year http://michiganradio.org/post/researchers-predict-smaller-algae-problem-lake-erie-year <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">The forecast is in: the green goo will be back on Lake Erie this year, but it won’t be as bad as last year. </span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">The big, ugly algal blooms happen when excess nutrients — mostly phosphorus — run off into the lake from farms and sewage treatment plants. </span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">Some of these kinds of </span><a href="http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/cyanobacterial-harmful-algal-blooms-cyanohabs" style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">algae produce toxins</a><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;"> can harm pets and make the water unsafe to drink.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-68747343-3a61-b6d4-3f75-b7528245c33b"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Rick Stumpf is an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He says they’re predicting this year’s bloom in Lake Erie will be significant, but not as bad as it has been in recent years. The blooms reached a record level in 2011.</span></span><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"></span></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:02:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18377 at http://michiganradio.org Researchers predict smaller algae problem in Lake Erie this year DEQ holding public hearings on fracking rules tonight and Wednesday http://michiganradio.org/post/deq-holding-public-hearings-fracking-rules-tonight-and-wednesday <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">State officials want to hear what you think about fracking.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 19px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; background-color: transparent;">The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality wants to update the state’s rules on hydraulic fracturing. The DEQ is</span><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 19px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; background-color: transparent;"> holding two public hearings this week on the proposed changes.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Hal Fitch is the chief of the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3306_57064---,00.html">DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals</a>. </span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“Starting about 2008, we started hearing increased public concerns. So we met with the environmental community, we met with the public in over 200 different forums and heard those concerns and formulated these rules based on what we were hearing,” he says.</span></span></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:46:11 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18375 at http://michiganradio.org DEQ holding public hearings on fracking rules tonight and Wednesday One congressman has kept us in the dark about the health risks of arsenic http://michiganradio.org/post/one-congressman-has-kept-us-dark-about-health-risks-arsenic <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arsenic occurs naturally, and Michigan is one of a handful of states with unusually high arsenic concentrations in groundwater.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arsenic was also used in insecticides for many years and it's still being used in some weed killers.</span></p><p>David Heath is a senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity, and <a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/28/15000/how-politics-derailed-epa-science-arsenic-endangering-public-health">he investigated</a> why a health assessment on arsenic from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been delayed.</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Why does this health assessment matter?</strong></p><p>Heath said when the EPA first wants to determine how dangerous a toxic chemical is, they first do the science. These assessments can take a long time and the arsenic assessment has been going on for more than a decade.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"It's not until they have done the science to figure out exactly how dangerous a chemical is that they can really take action on it," Heath said. "So it really does come down to 'this is how they protect your health.'"</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A single member of Congress, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, was able to intentionally delay the EPA's health assessment for years.</span></p><p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 12:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18159 at http://michiganradio.org One congressman has kept us in the dark about the health risks of arsenic These places in Michigan are still working on getting arsenic out of their drinking water http://michiganradio.org/post/these-places-michigan-are-still-working-getting-arsenic-out-their-drinking-water <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s no way to tell if arsenic is in your water without testing it. Arsenic has no taste and no smell.</span></p><p>Certain parts of Michigan have higher than average levels of arsenic in groundwater. That’s especially true in the Thumb region and a few other counties in southeast Michigan. And that can be a problem if you’re on a private well.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18173 at http://michiganradio.org These places in Michigan are still working on getting arsenic out of their drinking water There's arsenic in Michigan's well water, but not a lot of people are talking about it http://michiganradio.org/post/theres-arsenic-michigans-well-water-not-lot-people-are-talking-about-it <p>Parts of southeast Michigan – especially in the Thumb – have higher than average levels of arsenic in the groundwater.</p><p>Arsenic can cause cancer. It’s been linked to bladder, lung and kidney cancer, and other serious health effects.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-e14e77a3-d979-2790-28f6-af073b4e125b">If you’re on city water, there’s a federal regulation that limits the amount of arsenic in it, but if you’re on a private well, it’s up to you to find out whether there’s too much arsenic in your water.</span></p><p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18169 at http://michiganradio.org There's arsenic in Michigan's well water, but not a lot of people are talking about it Michigan’s arsenic problem is among the worst in the nation. Here’s why that matters. http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-s-arsenic-problem-among-worst-nation-here-s-why-matters <p><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">If you’re on city water, your drinking water has to comply with a federal regulation that limits the amount of arsenic in it, but if you’re on a private well, the&nbsp;federal and state governments do not limit the amount of arsenic in your well.</span></p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18160 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan’s arsenic problem is among the worst in the nation. Here’s why that matters. This mom didn't know why her family was sick until she checked their water http://michiganradio.org/post/mom-didnt-know-why-her-family-was-sick-until-she-checked-their-water <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;">&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">It’s been called “the mother of all poisons.” You can't taste arsenic and you can’t smell it, which is why it’s been the poison of choice for centuries. </span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“During the Middle Ages it was called the succession powder,” says Jerome Nriagu, professor emeritus of public health at the University of Michigan.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“That’s the way people got rid of the kings and queens if they wanted to become the king or queen themselves,” he said.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Arsenic, in very high doses, can kill you.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">But arsenic is a naturally occurring element and doctors and scientists like Nriagu are working hard to understand how arsenic affects us today.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><strong>A family experiences mysterious health problems</strong></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Renee Thompson and her family were sick for three years without having any idea why. </span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“My children and my husband all became very ill after we moved into the house we had in Ortonville,” she said.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">At the time, Thompson had recently given birth to her third child, Danica.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“My son was six, and he started to have severe chest pains, while my older daughter had headaches,” Thompson said. “My husband had GI bleeding, and I had become very fatigued with headaches and skin problems.”</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c59a8473-ce97-5241-60e1-ff5a72d21c6a"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"><em>Listen to Thompson explain what her family experienced:</em></span></span></em></p><p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:55:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18124 at http://michiganradio.org This mom didn't know why her family was sick until she checked their water Tick boom continues in Michigan; here's what you need to know about Lyme disease http://michiganradio.org/post/tick-boom-continues-michigan-heres-what-you-need-know-about-lyme-disease <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 15.75pt;">Time to break out the long pants: Ti</span>ck season is back!</p><p>The past couple of years we've had a tick boom along the west side of the state and it's happening again this year.</p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:.2in;margin-left:0in; line-height:15.75pt"><o:p></o:p></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0.2in; line-height: 15.75pt;">Erik Foster is the medical entomologist with the Michigan Department of Community Health. He says reported Lyme disease cases rose 60% last year – from 98 in 2012 to 165 in 2013.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p><p>He says it’s not clear yet whether we're going to see anything as dramatic as that this year, but so far this year is looking like another banner year for ticks.</p><p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:18:34 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17875 at http://michiganradio.org Tick boom continues in Michigan; here's what you need to know about Lyme disease What would you do if killer lampreys invaded your town? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-would-you-do-if-killer-lampreys-invaded-your-town <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Would you:</span></p><p>A) run away screaming</p><p>B) attack them with golf clubs, weed whackers and curling irons, or</p><p>C) haplessly fall victim to them as you enjoy a quiet afternoon of fishing with your dog?</p><p>The residents of a fictional Michigan town do all of the above in <a href="http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/blood-lake">"Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys"</a> airing this week on Animal Planet. It's by the same people who brought us "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2724064/">Sharknado</a>."</p><p>Watch the trailer below:</p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="275" id="dit-video-embed" scrolling="no" src="http://snagplayer.video.dp.discovery.com/861210/snag-it-player.htm?auto=no" width="550"></iframe></p><p>Really, it was only a matter of time. With its toothy suction cup for a face and razor sharp tongue, the sea lamprey was a horror movie villain just waiting to shine.</p><p></p><p> Thu, 29 May 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17790 at http://michiganradio.org What would you do if killer lampreys invaded your town? Beekeepers report honey bee losses down, but problem remains http://michiganradio.org/post/beekeepers-report-honey-bee-losses-down-problem-remains <p>You can thank a bee for about one of every three bites of food we eat.</p><p>Jeff Pettis is the research leader for the Bee Research Lab with the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.</p><p>“Most of the nutritious stuff in our diet is probably pollinated by some kind of animal, and most likely a bee,” he says.</p><p>Pettis just wrapped up a <a href="http://beeinformed.org/2014/05/colony-loss-2013-2014/">survey </a>of beekeepers around the country, and he found they lost just over 23% of their bee colonies this past winter.</p><p>“The previous about seven-year average has been just over 30%, so this number is a little bit better, but by no means is it a great number for numbers of colonies lost through the winter. Before we got the parasitic mite varroa, we used to lose 5-10% of the colonies in the winter. We got two parasitic mites in the 80s; the numbers jumped between 15-20% losses," he says.</p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 21:07:16 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17725 at http://michiganradio.org Beekeepers report honey bee losses down, but problem remains Piping plovers making slow, steady comeback http://michiganradio.org/post/piping-plovers-making-slow-steady-comeback <p>It’s piping plover nesting season along the dunes of the Great Lakes. The tiny birds were labeled endangered back in the mid-80s.</p><p>Since then, they’ve steadily been making a comeback. But it takes a whole lot of effort.</p><p>One of this year’s nests is in Ludington State Park. There's a female who’s chosen to rear her young in this park before.</p><p>But this time she picked an odd spot to do it. She’s right in the middle of a beach-side parking lot.</p><p>It’s hard to spot the tiny nest, which is surrounded by pavement.</p><p> Tue, 20 May 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Linda Stephan & Rebecca Williams 17665 at http://michiganradio.org Piping plovers making slow, steady comeback New permits loosen standards for two of state's biggest polluters http://michiganradio.org/post/new-permits-loosen-standards-two-states-biggest-polluters <p>This week, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued updated permits for two of Michigan’s biggest polluters.</p><p>The Severstal steel plant in Dearborn and the Marathon oil refinery in southwest Detroit are some of the biggest industrial facilities in the state.</p><p>Both have failed to comply with their state air quality permits. Marathon has had a handful of past environmental violations. Severstal's record is worse—they’ve been cited 38 times in five years for violating their state permit.</p><p>Yet the state has let both Severstal and Marathon “revise” those permits, and agreed to loosen restrictions on some types of emissions.</p><p>That process has raised some concerns about how the state regulates polluters.</p><p>Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek has looked into some of those concerns, and I spoke with her for today's Environment Report.</p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:56:06 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17618 at http://michiganradio.org New permits loosen standards for two of state's biggest polluters Lessons from a tiny, extremely destructive pest http://michiganradio.org/post/lessons-tiny-extremely-destructive-pest <p>The emerald ash borer is a little shiny green beetle that loves to feast on ash trees. The adult beetles only nibble on the leaves. It's the larvae you've got to watch out for. They munch on the inner bark of the ash tree, and mess with the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.</p><p>The pest has killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan alone and tens of millions more in the states and provinces around our region.</p><p>Now researchers know a little bit more about how the emerald ash borer ate its way through the state.</p><p> Tue, 13 May 2014 19:46:43 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17572 at http://michiganradio.org Lessons from a tiny, extremely destructive pest Wolves barely hanging on, moose "on vacation" on Isle Royale http://michiganradio.org/post/wolves-barely-hanging-moose-vacation-isle-royale <p>It’s the 56<sup>th</sup> year of the study of Isle Royale’s wolves and moose. Researchers at Michigan Tech have just finished this year’s <a href="http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/sites/default/files/annual-report-pdf/wolf%20moose%20annual%20report%202014%20-%20color%20for%20web.pdf">Winter Study</a>.</p><p></p><p>Rolf Peterson is a research professor at Michigan Tech and he just spent his 44th winter on the island. I called him up to find out how the animals are doing. This year, the team counted nine wolves, up from eight last year.</p><p>“I guess I’d say they’re bumping along at the bottom, the bottom of where they’ve been for the last 56 years. So for the last three years, there have been either eight or nine animals total, and that’s as low as we’ve seen them.”</p><p> Thu, 01 May 2014 21:35:02 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17460 at http://michiganradio.org Wolves barely hanging on, moose "on vacation" on Isle Royale Michigan cities graded on air pollution http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-cities-graded-air-pollution <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The American Lung Association just released its annual report card on air quality, </span><a href="http://www.lung.org/about-us/our-impact/top-stories/state-of-the-air-2014-top-story.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">State of the Air</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>Detroit and Grand Rapids made the list of most polluted cities for their ozone levels (Detroit ranks 34th worst out of 220 cities; Grand Rapids ranks 30th).</p><p>But others made the cleanest cities list: Kalamazoo and East Lansing scored well for particle pollution. Those are very tiny specks found in smoke and exhaust.</p><p> Thu, 01 May 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17438 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan cities graded on air pollution Explore a century-old freighter, "dive" on a shipwreck at new Great Lakes museum http://michiganradio.org/post/explore-century-old-freighter-dive-shipwreck-new-great-lakes-museum <p></p><p>I thought I knew a lot about the Great Lakes,&nbsp;until I met Chris Gillcrist. He’s the kind of guy you want on your Trivial Pursuit team.</p><p>This is the kind of fact I learned from him every few minutes:</p><p>“The first millionaire in American history is John Jacob Astor. It’s a guy trading beaver pelts from the Great Lakes and sending them to Europe.”</p><p>Gillcrist is the executive director of the new <a href="http://www.inlandseas.org/museum/">National Museum of the Great Lakes</a>. It opens this Saturday, April 26, in Toledo.</p><p>There are&nbsp;a lot about shipwrecks here, sure,&nbsp;&nbsp;but Gillcrist wants you to know it’s much more than that.</p><p>“We look at it as retrofitting American history to more accurately depict how the Great Lakes impacted the nation as a whole over the past 300 years,” he says.</p><p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17306 at http://michiganradio.org Explore a century-old freighter, "dive" on a shipwreck at new Great Lakes museum Restaurants and markets running low on a popular Great Lakes fish http://michiganradio.org/post/restaurants-and-markets-running-low-popular-great-lakes-fish <p></p><p>Monahan’s Seafood Market in Ann Arbor carries soft-shell crabs from Maryland, Alaskan salmon, and Florida red snapper.</p><p>But at the moment, they’re fresh out of Great Lakes whitefish.</p><p>Bernie Fritzsch manages the fish market.</p><p></p><p>“We’re hoping to see it today, but we haven’t seen it for the last week,” he says.</p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:19:48 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17267 at http://michiganradio.org Restaurants and markets running low on a popular Great Lakes fish Biologists expect the worst for Michigan's bat population http://michiganradio.org/post/biologists-expect-worst-michigans-bat-population <p></p><p>Bats with <a href="http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/">white-nose syndrome</a> have been found in Mackinac and Dickinson counties in the Upper Peninsula and Alpena County in northern lower Michigan.</p><p>The fungal disease has killed more than six million bats in 27 states and five Canadian provinces since 2006.</p><p>Allen Kurta is a biology professor at Eastern Michigan University. He’s one of the researchers who found the infected bats. I spoke with him for today's Environment Report (you can hear him talk about white-nose syndrome above).</p><p>Kurta compares the discovery of white-nose syndrome in Michigan bats to "every member of your extended family receiving a terminal diagnosis."</p><p>“I think that this is one of the worst wildlife calamities ever in the history of North America. You’re looking at potential extinction of multiple species of bats.”</p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:05:35 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17242 at http://michiganradio.org Biologists expect the worst for Michigan's bat population