Environment & Science

Environment & Science
10:07 am
Sat November 30, 2013

U of M researchers say sex-starved flies live shorter lives

Drosophila melanogaster, mating couple. Male is the smaller one on top.
Sarefo/WikipediaCommons

There’s new research out of the University of Michigan that suggests that being sexually frustrated can shorten lifespans. The lifespans of male fruit flies, that is.

U of M researchers toyed with the affections of male fruit flies for their study of sex and health.

The researchers immersed male fruit flies in an environment thick with female pheromones, but with no female fruit flies to mate with.

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Environment & Science
10:39 am
Fri November 29, 2013

DNR develops video to help spot young Asian carp

Asian carp
DNR

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has developed a video to help anglers identify young Asian carp and prevent them from getting into the Great Lakes.

Asian carp are large, voracious fish that have been migrating toward the lakes from Southern rivers. The two most feared varieties are bighead and silver carp.

Officials fear that juvenile Asian carp will find their way into the bait supply if anglers confuse them with common baitfish such as gizzard shad and emerald shiners.

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Environment & Science
4:31 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Non-profit buys an island in Lake Michigan – ‘a wild, beautiful spot’ for migrating birds

St. Martin Island is part of a chain of islands that connects Michigan's Garden Peninsula to Wisconsin's Dorr Peninsula.
Mark Godfrey The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy has purchased an uninhabited island in northern Lake Michigan that provides a crucial stopover spot for migratory birds.

St. Martin Island is part of a chain that runs between Wisconsin's Door Peninsula and Michigan's Garden Peninsula.

Millions of sparrows, warblers and other birds stop on the chain to take a break and feed before continuing their migration. According to a release issued by the group today:

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Stateside
2:13 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Will new legislation stop another deadly meningitis outbreak?

cdc.gov

Congress has passed new legislation to try to prevent another deadly fungal meningitis outbreak... But, will it be enough?

*Listen to the audio above.

Environment & Science
11:52 am
Wed November 27, 2013

This is what it sounds like to be attacked by a turkey

Not the turkey of interest, but a close facsimilie.
wikimedia commons

Back in 2007, I was doing a story on CAFOs in Wood County, Ohio.

I was waiting for my interviewee to return home when I spotted a gang of turkeys appear at the edge of the woods.

I had some time to kill, so I channeled my inner Marlin Perkins, got out my "shotgun" microphone, and attempted to record some wild nature sounds. (A "shotgun" microphone does not shoot anything, it's simply a long microphone that collects sound from far away.)

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Environment & Science
6:47 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Michigan hunters plan to petition for new wolf hunt law

Gray Wolf
http://the-wolfs.webs.com/wolfspecies.htm

There could soon be dueling petition drives on opposite sides of the debate over wolf hunting in Michigan.

Next week, a coalition of Michigan hunting groups will ask the Board of State Canvassers to approve the wording of a petition for a new state law.

“The wolf hunting debate alerted us to the need for this type of decision making process,” says Drew YoungeDyke.   He’s with Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management.

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The Environment Report
10:44 am
Tue November 26, 2013

This is what it sounds like inside Michigan's largest wind farm

Kent Humm says he agreed to put a wind turbine on his land because of the environmental benefits.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The Gratiot County Wind Farm has 133 wind turbines scattered over more than 30,000 acres. It's the largest wind farm in Michigan. Each 1.6 megawatt wind turbine can generate enough power for 350 homes.

And this is what it sounds like when you stand directly beneath a wind turbine that stretches more than 450 feet into the sky with the wind blowing between 10 to 15 mph.

(Listen below - You can hear the turbine slow down - I think it's neat, but I'm a nerd.)

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Environment & Science
10:33 am
Mon November 25, 2013

At least 11 wolves killed in Michigan hunt

MDNR's tally of the number of wolves killed in the different hunting zones.
MDNR

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least 11 wolves have been killed during Michigan's wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

The state Department of Natural Resources updated the results Monday. The wolf season started on Nov. 15 and runs through December, unless 43 are killed before the end of the year.

It's the first hunt in Michigan since the wolf was placed on the endangered species list nearly 40 years ago. A total of 1,200 people are licensed to participate with firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow.

The DNR had estimated the state's wolf population at 658.

Energy
6:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Holland needs air permit for new natural gas plant

The new natural gas plant will replace the DeYoung coal plant in Holland.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The City of Holland wants to get an air permit so it can build a new natural gas-fired power plant.

People have until Wednesday to tell the state’s Department of Environmental Quality what they think of the plans.

The roughly $200 million dollar power plant would help replace the city’s 70 year old DeYoung coal plant.

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Environment & Science
8:12 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Go on an "owl prowl"

How cute is this barred owl?
Credit Michigan DNR website

The Department of Natural Resources is putting on a series of guided night time walks in different state parks and recreation areas, with the goal of trying to spot owls.

They're called "owl prowls." (Just try and say that five times, fast.)

Events are scheduled in Livingston, Wayne, Oakland, Clinton, Lenawee, Jackson and Bay Counties. You can find more information here at the DNR's website.

The events are free and the organizers suggest that you pre-register.

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Environment & Science
11:10 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Many Michigan agencies lose 2014 beach monitoring funds

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - About three dozen local health departments and other agencies that usually receive state funding to monitor beach waters for contamination won't get any next year.

The funding comes from the federal government. Michigan will get $152,000 in 2014.

But a provision inserted into a state budget bill orders the Department of Environmental Quality to spend $100,000 of that money on one project in Macomb County.

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Environment & Science
1:20 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Enbridge pipeline construction delayed

The pipeline under construction in southern Ingham County
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - Pipeline company Enbridge Energy says completion of construction of an oil pipeline in parts of Michigan will be pushed back until mid-2014.

Word of the delay in Michigan comes after Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge this week said its project to replace a stretch of oil pipeline across northern Indiana won't be completed until at least February, months later than planned, due to delays in obtaining needed permits.

Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum tells the Times Herald of Port Huron that work in Michigan's Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties was supposed to wrap up this year, but delays in environmental approvals stalled work.

The overall project is replacing Line 6B, which runs between Sarnia, Ontario to Griffith, Ind. A portion of Enbridge's existing pipeline ruptured in southwestern Michigan in 2010.

Environment & Science
5:28 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Check out how the Grand River could look in Grand Rapids with river restoration plan

A rendering of what the river restoration project could look like.
Grand Rapids Whitewater

The preliminary plan to restore the rapids to a two-mile stretch of the Grand River is out. It’s the first real look Grand Rapids has gotten at the proposed project.

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The Environment Report
9:06 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Scientists pushed to share their data sooner

A soil scientist collecting data in the field.
Scott Bauer USDA, ARS

The Environment Report for Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Some policymakers say scientists hold onto their data too long. They say by the time the information is released, it can miss the window for addressing pressing problems.

The federal government is urging scientists to share their data sooner, but good data is like gold to scientists.

It can solve a lingering puzzle, and lead to professional success. That's why some scientists are considered data hoarders. They protect the information they collect.

But in a recent survey of over 1,300 scientists, Carol Tenopir found more of a spirit of collaboration than competition.

Tenopir participates in a National Science Foundation project called DataOne. Her job is to figure out how to overcome barriers to data sharing and broaden access to information.

Though only a small percentage of scientists said they actually share their data, she was surprised to find many are eager to do so.

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Environment & Science
4:52 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Enbridge starts more dredging this week, hopes to finish most projects by December 31 deadline

The Kalamazoo River delta just north of Morrow Lake will take longer to clean up. Enbridge officials say clean up won't be done until 2014.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

This week an oil pipeline company began another project to dredge oil that remains from the 2010 Kalamazoo River spill.

Enbridge Energy spokesman Jason Manshum says the company is working near the mouth of Morrow Lake in Kalamazoo County. But they have to complete the work before ice starts to form.

“If we need to look at doing something there in 2014 we certainly will. But right now our focus is to try to get this done while we still have favorable weather conditions,” Manshum said.

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The Environment Report
1:17 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

The clock is ticking for a decision on Isle Royale's wolves

Isle Royale National Park Superindendent Phyllis Green talks with people at a public meeting in Chelsea, Michigan about the wolves on Isle Royale.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Wolves are doing fine in many parts of the Upper Midwest, so much so that people are hunting them now.

But a protected population of wolves on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior has plummeted.

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The Environment Report
9:00 am
Tue November 19, 2013

This is what a playground for kids with disabilities looks like

Haisley's new playground includes ramps for kids in wheelchairs.
Sarah Kerson Michigan Radio

Ask any kid about their favorite part of the school day and they’ll likely give you one response - recess.

But for kids with disabilities, going outside isn’t always easy.  Traditional playgrounds aren’t always safe for these kids.

Haisley Elementary in Ann Arbor just renovated its playground to specifically accommodate for students with disabilities.

The school has a large population of kids with disabilities. Most of these kids can’t talk. Many have a hard time sitting up right. Some are in wheelchairs. Some have Autism.

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Environment & Science
5:14 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Many Michiganders are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on

Utility crews work to restore electricity to tens of thousands of Michigan utility customers
DTE

Consumers Energy and DTE linemen return to work today hoping to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of Michigan utility customers left in the dark by Sunday’s windstorm.

At last report, DTE says it still has about 150,000 customers waiting to have their electricity turned back on.   Consumers Energy has more than 170,000 of its customers waiting for their power to be restored.

Last night was not a good time to be without electricity. Temperatures around the state dipped below the freezing mark.

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Environment & Science
12:03 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

2 Michigan men killed in severe storm

midwest.storm
midwest.storm

DETROIT (AP) — At least two people have been killed in a severe storm that struck much of Michigan.

Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says Ryan Allan Rickman died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening. Rand tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot he's not sure if the tree fell onto Rickman's vehicle or if the 21-year-old Leslie resident hit it.

Meanwhile, the Shiawassee County sheriff's department says 59-year-old Philip Daniel Smith of Perry was found dead and entangled in high voltage power wires after going outside late Sunday to investigate a noise.

In Detroit, Officer Dan Donakowski says a 14-year-old boy was critically injured after grabbing a downed power line while walking from a school Monday morning. A hospital spokeswoman says the boy was in critical condition.

Environment & Science
7:34 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Storms cut power to more than 450,000 in Michigan

Map of DTE Power outages in Michigan.
DTE

Storms swept across Michigan yesterday. First there were tornado watches, then a tornado warning in Newaygo County. Once the watches ended, high winds swept across the state knocking over trees and powerlines.

As of this morning, more than 450,000 homes and business are without power, according to the Associated Press:

Wind gusts were measured at 70 mph in Battle Creek and 77 mph at a buoy in Lake Michigan near South Haven. The National Weather Service reports one person was injured Sunday afternoon in Clare County by a falling tree...

DTE Energy Co. reports 245,000 customers without power, including 70,000 each in Wayne and Oakland counties. CMS Energy Corp.'s Consumers Energy unit reports more than 213,900 customers without service.

Go here for more info on DTE power outages. And here for more on Consumers Energy outages.

Tornado watches expired without any confirmed as of Monday morning, but a possible brief tornado was reported in Newaygo County. The National Weather Service will be in Newaygo County today investigating.

Meteorologist Evan Webb in Grand Rapids says a crew will be in that area Monday. He says another will be looking at an area between Kalamazoo and Lansing where storm damage was reported. Heavy rains also flooded some roadways in the state.

WWTV/WWUP-TV is reporting a partial shutdown of the Mackinac Bridge this morning.

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