Mich Enviro Report: Great Lakes grant $, Levin back on task & Don’t flush your drugs

From the Friday, April 8, Environment Report on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College …

1.

New funding is available for Great Lakes restoration.

Photo by Minimalist Photography / Steve Johnson

Getting a shot at it is a task for many area environmental and conservation organizations.

That’s why the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition is making funding available to help local groups in the region obtain and use funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The HOW grants program will be providing $115,000 to help jump-start projects.

The HOW program has identified five focus areas in the Great Lakes.

Those areas include spots in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay.

HOW is making the grant preparation funding available with help from a group called Freshwater Future.

A Saginaw Bay Priority Area Meeting is planned for Friday, April 15 from 9 to noon at the Sage Branch Library in Bay City.

For more information, see  freshwaterfuture.org. (or this pdf meeting announcement)

2.

A federal Great Lakes task force will continue to be led by a Michigan senator.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, will serve as co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force for the 112th Congress. The other co-chair is Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois.

According to Levin, the task force has led the way to passage of legislation to clean up contaminated sediments, fight invasive species and prevent the diversion of precious fresh water from the Great Lakes basin.

Recently, co-chair Kirk has worked with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to crack down on raw sewage dumping into the lakes.

The Great Lakes Task Force is a group that works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the Great Lakes.

Members have worked to pass programs supporting the lakes, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Levin has served as the Democratic co-chair of the task force since 1999.

3.

Don’t flush your old drugs, plan for National Take Back day.

This year’s National Take Back Initiative Drug Disposal Drive is planned for April 30th.

In Bay County, drives will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th.

People will be able to turn in old, expired and unneeded medications at …

  • the Bay County Sheriff Department
  • the Bay City Police Department
  • the Michigan State Police Post on Euclid Avenue
  • and Delta College Department of Public Safety.

The National Take Back Initiative is aimed at properly disposing of unwanted prescription and over the counter drugs, so they don’t contaminate the water supply, or end up in the hands of people who might abuse them.

Drop offs are anonymous and people who use the program will not be questioned, according to Bay County Executive Tom Hickner.

Last year, the collection day netted 54 pounds of medicine, which was transferred to an undisclosed location and incinerated.

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