From the Feb. 10, 2012, edition of the Environment Report, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays on Delta College public radio, Q 90.1 FM …
Great Lakes Czar and More
Environmental leaders from across the Saginaw Bay watershed are meeting next month at Saginaw Valley State University.
The event is the Saginaw Bay Watershed Conference, to be held Friday, March 16, at Curtiss Hall on the campus of SVSU.
Leaders will meet to hear about and discuss current and future projects planned to address water quality in the basin. That includes the delisting of the Saginaw River and Bay as a federal Area of Concern.
A keynote address is to be given by Great Lakes czar Cameron Davis, who serves as senior advisor to U.S. EPA chief Lisa Jackson.
State climatologist Jeff Andresen, a geography professor at Michigan State University, also is to discuss projected impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes.
The latest research information regarding beach muck in Saginaw Bay will be presented by federal scientist Craig Stow.
The conference is receiving government funding support through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch.
Dig It: More Money
The Saginaw River is due to receive almost $2.7 million for dredging projects.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing additional funds for navigational dredging projects.
The extra funds total $9 million, and will pay for projects in the Saginaw River, Holland Harbor, St. Joseph Harbor, Manistee Harbor and the St. Marys River.
The additional money is for projects throughout the Great Lakes basin that support economic development and job creation.
According to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, the funding also will help sustain Michigan harbors that were threatened with closure.
Fish Won’t Catch Fire
A federal study to be published by the Journal of Great Lakes Research found male walleye contain three times more flame retardant chemicals than females in the Saginaw River and Bay.
According to Great Lakes Echo, the flame retardant chemicals have been used in plastics, foams and fabrics since the 1970s. Animal tests suggest they can damage the liver, thyroid and brain.
The Echo report says male walleye use the Saginaw River for feeding and habitat, while females mostly stay out in the bay.
The river was found to have much higher levels of flame retardants than the bay. In the river, the chemicals are ingested by small fish eaten by walleye.
Researchers believe the chemicals are draining from landfills and other waste sites and sticking in the river sediment.