cleanup en Rouge Rescue seeks volunteers for annual river cleanup <p></p><p>If you ever want proof that individual actions can make a big difference in our environment, look no further than the <a href="">Rouge Rescue </a>–&nbsp;the yearly cleanup organized by the <a href="">Friends of the Rouge River</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Since 1986, the volunteers of Friends of the Rouge River have been working to protect and improve the river. Right now they're in the midst of the annual Rouge Rescue, and looking for willing helping hands.&nbsp;</p><p>Cyndi Ross, the program manager of Friends of the Rouge River, joined us.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 23:20:54 +0000 Stateside Staff 17617 at Rouge Rescue seeks volunteers for annual river cleanup Detroit program employs off-duty cops to maintain safe neighborhood <p>The Jefferson Corridor in Detroit is home to the Clean and Safe program.</p><p>The program was created in part by the organization formerly known as the Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA). JEBA&nbsp;recently merged with the East Jefferson Corridor Collaboration to form the Jefferson East Inc.</p><p>The program is aimed at reducing crime in the Jefferson Corridor by taking advantage of a special program that allows off-duty Detroit police officers to be hired during their off-hours. The officers are armed, uniformed, and use&nbsp;DPD&nbsp;squad cars, at no extra cost to taxpayers. Cops who have seniority and a clean record are eligible.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:00:52 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13755 at Detroit program employs off-duty cops to maintain safe neighborhood Radiation gone, but contamination cleanup at Harbor Shores golf course continues <p>Tonight the Environmental Protection Agency will host a public meeting in Benton Harbor. The federal agency wants to update the community on its efforts to clean up a 17 acre site that’s now part of the Harbor Shores golf course.</p><p>Nefertiti DiCosmo is the remedial project manager of the site, known as the former Aircraft Components site, for the EPA. She says they want to get public feedback and provide an update on the EPA’s work.</p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9564 at Great Lakes restoration funding survives budget cuts <p>People who are working on cleaning up the Great Lakes got some good news this week. After months of negotiations, the 2012 federal budget contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.</p><p>That money will be used to clean up pollution, deal with invasive species and restore wildlife habitat. A lot of these projects are already underway.</p><p>Jeff Skelding is the campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. He says in a time when many budgets are getting slashed, funding for Great Lakes cleanup will remain steady.</p><p>&ldquo;We have pretty much full support from both Republicans and Democrats in the Great Lakes Congressional delegation. I mean, they see the wisdom of infusing federal funding into the region, not only to clean up the Lakes which of course is very important, but the ancillary benefit we get from that is the economic benefits of investing these funds.&rdquo;</p><p>The budget also includes more than $500 million to help Great Lakes states upgrade their aging sewer systems. When it rains, the sewers often get overloaded, and raw sewage can wash up on beaches.</p><p> Thu, 22 Dec 2011 14:00:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 5508 at What it takes to get a river cleaned up (part 2) <p>Dow Chemical polluted the Tittabawassee River with dioxin. Dioxin has been linked to <a href="">several health issues</a>, including cancer. A comprehensive clean up of the river has barely begun. Dow chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state have wrestled over the cleanup for 30 years.</p><p>Michelle Hurd Riddick has spent the last 10 years of her life pushing to get the Tittabawassee River cleaned up.</p><p>When she&rsquo;s not working as a nurse, she has helped file lawsuits against Dow. She religiously attends public meetings about the clean up and follows what the EPA is doing by filing freedom of information requests. And she writes a lot of letters to state and federal officials.</p><p>Hurd Riddick is part of an environmental group called the Lone Tree Council. She talked about how she felt as we drove along the river.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;I get frustrated. I get frustrated. There are a number of citizens you know who have hung in on this issue as long as I&rsquo;ve been on this issue. But not a lot of them. They have to get on with their lives. And I understand that and I respect that.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>The Tittabawassee flows through Hurd Riddick&rsquo;s hometown of Saginaw before emptying its waters and contaminated sediment into Lake Huron.</p><p>Dow did not want to be recorded for this story.</p><p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 16:05:48 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 2821 at What it takes to get a river cleaned up (part 2) Money for Great Lakes restoration <p>The federal budget left many groups wanting more money, but those lobbying to restore Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes are actually pretty pleased with the President and Congress.</p><p>Andy Buchsbaum co-chairs a group that&rsquo;s trying to get enough funding over five years to restore the Great Lakes. He says the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative didn&rsquo;t get all the money it wanted in the 2011 federal budget. But Buchsbaum says given the tight economic times, the $300 million they did get will keep the program on track.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The Great Lakes did remarkably well this year in the federal budget, and the people in this region will benefit from it.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>In Michigan, Buchsbaum says the money is being used to restore wetlands. It&rsquo;s also being used to get rid of toxic hot spots, such as the so-called black lagoon in the Detroit River area. And it&rsquo;s being used to prevent Asian Carp from getting into Lake Michigan.</p><p>Buchsbaum says both parties supported Great Lakes restoration because of the economic benefits, and everyone wants their children to be able to swim at the beaches and drink the water.</p><p><em>-Julie Grant for The Environment Report</em></p><p> Tue, 03 May 2011 14:53:19 +0000 Rebecca Williams 2322 at Oil lingers in Kalamazoo River (Part 1) <p>It was one of the largest oil spills in the Midwest... and <a href="">it&rsquo;s not over yet</a>.</p><p>Crews are still cleaning up from last July&rsquo;s oil spill in the Kalamazoo River. An oil pipeline owned by <a href="">Enbridge Energy Partners</a> ruptured... and spilled more than 840,000 gallons of heavy crude. The oil polluted Talmadge Creek and more than 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River.</p><p>Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say most of that oil has been sucked out of the river... and tens of thousands of cubic yards of contaminated soil have been removed.</p><p>But the work is far from done.</p><p>The <a href="">EPA</a> granted me access to one of the contaminated sites on the Kalamazoo River.&nbsp; I met with Mark Durno, the Deputy Incident Commander with the EPA. He&rsquo;s overseeing the cleanup teams.&nbsp; We stood on the bank of the river as dump trucks and loaders rumbled over a bridge out to an island in the river.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The islands were heavily contaminated, we didn&rsquo;t expect to see as much oil as we did. If you&rsquo;d shovel down into the islands you&rsquo;d see oil pool into the holes we&rsquo;d dig.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Workers scooped out contaminated soil... hauled it to a staging area and shipped it off site.</p><p>Mark Durno says the weather will dictate what happens next. He says heavy rainstorms will probably move oil around. They won&rsquo;t know how much more cleanup work they&rsquo;ll have to do until they finish their spring assessment.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Once the heavy rains recede, we&rsquo;ll do an assessment over the entire stretch of river to determine whether there are substantial amounts of submerged oil in sediments that still exist in the system.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>He says if they find a lot of oil at the bottom of the river... the crews will have to remove it.</p><p>Reports that Enbridge submitted to the EPA and the state of Michigan show the type of oil spilled in the Kalamazoo River was diluted bitumen. Bitumen is a type of oil that comes from tar sands. It&rsquo;s a very thick oil, and it has to be diluted in order to move through pipelines. Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:34:37 +0000 Rebecca Williams 2038 at Oil lingers in Kalamazoo River (Part 1) Oil spill's effect on turtles and toads <p>Crews are still out on the Kalamazoo River cleaning up oil from last summer’s spill.&nbsp; More than 840,000 gallons spilled from a ruptured pipeline owned by <a href="">Enbridge Energy Partners, LP</a>.&nbsp; Right now, crews are focusing on cleaning the contaminated soil.</p><p>It’s not clear what the long term impacts will be on wildlife.</p><p>After the spill, rescue teams collected more than 2,400 birds, mammals, fish and reptiles... and took them to a rehab center to have the oil cleaned off. Most of the animals brought into the center survived.</p><p><a href="">This week, I talked with herpetologist David Mifsud, aka "Turtle Dave."</a>&nbsp; He was hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help with the initial wildlife recovery. He says turtles made up the majority of wildlife rescued from the spill site.</p><blockquote><p>“We had some, their mouths were so tacky with the oil they could barely open their mouths. We saw some pretty devastating things.”</p></blockquote><p> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 20:45:05 +0000 Rebecca Williams 892 at Oil spill's effect on turtles and toads