The Environment Report http://michiganradio.org en Birding from the sky above southeast Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/birding-sky-above-southeast-michigan <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb184e41-8258-9e1f-3582-3454e22ebf25"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Like most of us, Dea Armstrong has only seen birds from the ground. Today, she’s going to fly with them. </span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.15; background-color: transparent;">Armstrong is Ann Arbor’s city ornithologist, and watching birds from a hot air balloon is on her bucket list. I got a chance to tag along to find out what we’d see from the air.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb184e41-8258-9e1f-3582-3454e22ebf25"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“I’m so excited to see what it’ll be like to look from above and down. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to recognize the birds, of course, but it’ll be just so different,” she says.</span></span></p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:41:26 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18540 at http://michiganradio.org Birding from the sky above southeast Michigan EPA holding public hearings on Clean Power Plan http://michiganradio.org/post/epa-holding-public-hearings-clean-power-plan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to require power plants to cut their carbon pollution. This week, the EPA is <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/forms/public-hearings-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule">holding public hearings</a> about <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule">the plan </a>all around the country.</span></p><p>EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency has already gotten more than 300,000 comments.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:50:39 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18539 at http://michiganradio.org EPA holding public hearings on Clean Power Plan 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 Climate change fueling increase in pollen, allergies http://michiganradio.org/post/climate-change-fueling-increase-pollen-allergies <p></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.15; background-color: transparent;">If even hearing the word “ragweed” makes your eyes water, you might be one of the nearly 45 million Americans with seasonal allergies. Researchers say climate change is fueling the rise in allergies and asthma.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f3e036ce-44ab-0742-a91e-73e0093707be"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Jenny Fischer has been taking over-the-counter medication for allergies for a long time. Without it, she suffers cold-like symptoms: a runny nose, sneezing and congestion. An allergy pill usually made it better. But a couple of years ago, things started to get worse.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f3e036ce-44ab-0742-a91e-73e0093707be"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“I’d be out at 5:30 in the morning walking my dog, and it would just be huffing and puffing. And, you know, I couldn’t catch my breath. It's scary," she said.</span></span></p><p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:38:51 +0000 Julie Grant 18409 at http://michiganradio.org Climate change fueling increase in pollen, allergies 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 Is the hybrid hype dying down? http://michiganradio.org/post/hybrid-hype-dying-down <p></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">People may talk about wanting to be environmentally friendly but, when it comes to buying new cars, </span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">the data show they aren't spending their green on being green.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">Car buyers don’t actually end up buying hybrids and electrics even though they say it’s important to them.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0646ff47-1660-add1-ef19-861989012400" style="line-height: 1.365000057220459;"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">"Hybrids and plugins tend to be more expensive," says </span></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sonari</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17.7450008392334px; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Glinton,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17.7450008392334px; white-space: pre-wrap;">NPR’s auto reporter.</span><span style="line-height: 1.365000057220459;"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"> The advance drive market [hybrids, electric vehicles, plugin hybrids] has accounted for 3.6% of the market in the first half of 2014, a decline when compared to 3.8 % in the first half of 2013. Glinton says this market plateau is partially because shoppers are acclimating to higher gas prices. He thinks the other reason is "the novelty of these [hybrid] cars has worn off, so it's not like there's a big new electric car that people are like 'oh I gotta go out and buy that car.' "</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:55:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18285 at http://michiganradio.org Is the hybrid hype dying down? Bass getting fat on invasive fish http://michiganradio.org/post/bass-getting-fat-invasive-fish <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The bass are getting fat.</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Lake Michigan was recently recognized as one of the best places in America to fish for bass. The booming fishery is one sign of what might be a major shift of the lake’s food web.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">But that change is being driven by an increase in goby, an invasive species. And it could spell trouble for salmon— the most popular sport fish in Lake Michigan. &nbsp;</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:18:49 +0000 Peter Payette 18323 at http://michiganradio.org Bass getting fat on invasive fish 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 What should we do about the arsenic in our food? Experts say vary your diet, research ongoing http://michiganradio.org/post/what-should-we-do-about-arsenic-our-food-experts-say-vary-your-diet-research-ongoing <p>All this week, we’ve been talking about the potential for elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater in Michigan.</p><p>The upshot of our <a href="http://michiganradio.org/topic/michigans-silent-poison">reports</a>:</p><ol><li>Arsenic levels in Michigan’s groundwater can be high.</li><li>Arsenic is bad for you.</li><li>Scientists are finding health effects at lower exposure levels.</li><li>If you’re on a well, test it for arsenic.</li><li>If the levels are high, you should consider doing something about it.</li></ol><p>This one chart published by the<a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/28/14994/lifetime-cancer-risk"> Center for Public Integrity</a> shows you why (the blue bar is arsenic):</p><p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:45:00 +0000 Mark Brush 18250 at http://michiganradio.org What should we do about the arsenic in our food? Experts say vary your diet, research ongoing 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. Here's how to test and treat your drinking water well for arsenic http://michiganradio.org/post/heres-how-test-and-treat-your-drinking-water-well-arsenic <p>In some parts of the U.S., arsenic in the groundwater is just a natural part of the geology. Michigan is one of several states where elevated levels of arsenic in ground water can be found.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This map shows the counties where these elevated levels have been found, but experts caution, elevated arsenic levels in well water can be found just about </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">anywhere&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">in Michigan:</span></p><p></p><p>There was a big push to educate people about the dangers of arsenic poisoning around a decade ago, but in some places in Michigan, people still don't know much about it.</p><p>And in some other cases, people know about it, but choose to ignore it, for one reason or another.</p><p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Mark Brush 18099 at http://michiganradio.org Here's how to test and treat your drinking water well for arsenic 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 Recycling that typical household battery is not as easy as you might think http://michiganradio.org/post/recycling-typical-household-battery-not-easy-you-might-think <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I was surprised to find out recently that you can’t recycle household batteries in Ann Arbor anymore. I used to collect them in a little steel can, but Recycle Ann Arbor stopped taking them.</span></p><p>From <a href="http://www.recycleannarbor.org/?module=Page&amp;sID=drop-off-station-whats-accepted">Recycle Ann Arbor’s website</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Alkaline household batteries do not contain hazardous materials and may be disposed of in the trash.</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Mark Brush 18156 at http://michiganradio.org Recycling that typical household battery is not as easy as you might think Help for honeybee researchers coming from Grand Valley State University http://michiganradio.org/post/help-honeybee-researchers-coming-grand-valley-state-university <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">That’s right, bees rule. At least that what my second grader thinks after she studied them at school.</span></p><p>“You wrote bees rule. Why do bees rule?” I asked.</p><p>“I think it’s neat for how they can make it into honey and that they can speak to each other by doing a dance," she answered.</p><p>She, of course, isn’t the only one who think bees rule. A lot of us think they rule. Especially when you consider that&nbsp;around one out of every three bites of food we eat is the result of a bee.</p><p>But as you’ve likely heard, bees are in trouble. Beekeepers have been experiencing losses at alarming rates — and scientists across the country are scrambling to try to stop these losses. Whether from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572">Colony Collapse Disorder</a>, or other bee stressors, the problems bees face are more complicated than it once seemed.</p><p><img alt="&lt;--break-&gt;" border="0" height="1" src="file:///C:\Users\MBrush\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif" width="1" /></p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 18:13:20 +0000 Mark Brush 18121 at http://michiganradio.org Help for honeybee researchers coming from Grand Valley State University Developers face obstacles to offshore wind farms in Great Lakes http://michiganradio.org/post/developers-face-obstacles-offshore-wind-farms-great-lakes <p>As recently as a couple of months ago, construction of a wind farm in Lake Erie, off the Ohio shoreline near Cleveland, looked promising. But now some are sounding the death knell for any wind development in the Great Lakes.&nbsp;</p><p>The Department of Energy estimates the country has an offshore wind capacity of four million megawatts. That’s four times the generating capacity of all U.S. electric power plants.</p><p>Michigan was among a handful of states working with federal agencies a few years ago to speed up the development of wind farms off the shores of the Great Lakes.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Wind energy developer Lorry Wagner says leaders started looking toward the energy sector to create more jobs. He says that’s when they realized the region’s potential for offshore wind energy.</span></p><p>“The real resource is in the lake. And the reason for that is you get about three times the energy due to the higher wind speeds and less turbulence than you do on land," he says.</p><p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:45:06 +0000 Julie Grant 18066 at http://michiganradio.org Developers face obstacles to offshore wind farms in Great Lakes Michigan entrepreneurs want the saskatoon to be the next big fruit http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-entrepreneurs-want-saskatoon-be-next-big-fruit <p>An unusual berry should be widely available at farmers markets in northern Michigan this summer. In fact, the region has become the center of saskatoon growing in the United States.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Most people who grow </span>saskatoons<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> around Traverse City were not farmers until a few years ago, but the berry could have a bright future in northern Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:22:12 +0000 Peter Payette 18033 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan entrepreneurs want the saskatoon to be the next big fruit