Smog, or ground-level ozone, is created when chemicals from sources like vehicle exhaust react in the presence of sunlight.
Many cities in Michigan and other Great Lakes states have experienced elevated levels of ground-level ozone this week, according to Great Lakes Echo.
Such elevated levels of ozone are unhealthy for children, older adults and people who existing lung or asthma conditions.
Ozone Action Days were declared for several areas in Michigan this week, including Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Ludington.
When it’s hot outside, you should avoid driving if you can, and car pool. You also can put off mowing the lawn for a while. As well, people should avoid prolonged, strenuous work or exercise when air pollution is elevated.
Problems with ozone are due to subside this weekend, with more moderate temperature in the 70s.
You can find local air quality data and forecasts online at Michigan.gov/deq.
You also can stay cool under the shade of a tree.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking funding for trees to replace those damaged by invasive species.
A juice company called Odwalla is sponsoring a Plant a Tree program across the country. Michigan is vying for up to $100,000 to plant new trees at state parks.
To help, all you have to do is vote at the Odwalla website. Every vote equals $1 for planting trees in state parks.
The address is odwalla.com/plantatree. So far this year, votes have supported the planting of more than 12,000 trees in Michigan.
Last year, state employees helped to push Michigan into the top spot for the second year in a row, capturing more than $45,000 worth of free trees.
As of Thursday (June 9), Michigan is the top spot in the country for free tree money.
Federal money is available to Michigan landowners and agricultural producers in the Saginaw Bay watershed as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
According to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the funding will be available to Michigan landowners and agricultural producers through existing conservation programs. A sign-up for financial assistance runs until July 1. Up to $5.6 million is available.
Landowners can receive technical and financial assistance to implement conservation activities on their land that conserve soil, water, air and wildlife resources.
Assistance in the Saginaw Bay watershed will be targeted to address non-point source pollution and grassland bird habitat.
A four-county area in the Saginaw Bay region also will have funding available to address feral swine, or wild hogs.
Photo via Duncan Harris