Mich Enviro Report: SBCI Meeting, State Parks Gold Medal & Green Infrastructure

As heard Nov. 25, 2011, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM


Local and state environmental officials are planning a meeting in Bay City about Saginaw Bay issues.

Cladophora algae. Via wisc.edu

The regional meeting of the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative is set for Monday, Nov. 28, at the Bay County Fairgrounds Canteen Building. It is set to run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

On the agenda is an update on treatment projects conducted this year in Bay and Huron counties for phragmites, an invasive reed.

Also scheduled is a report on efforts to delist the bay for impairments related to beach closings and unwanted algae.

The Saginaw River and Bay were listed as a federal Area of Concern in the late 1980s.

But recent research indicates that beach closings due to bacteria have actually decreased in and around the bay.

State officials also say muck that has fouled shorelines along the bay is not an appropriate indicator of excessive algae.


Michigan State Parks are the best in the nation.

State parks and recreation areas, like one in Bay County’s Bangor Township, recently received a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Park Association.

Michigan beat out three other states for the top honor: North Carolina, Florida and Missouri. The news was highlighted in a recent dispatch from Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Grayling.

The gold medal recognizes the Michigan park system for long-range planning, resource management, and agency recognition.

In its application, the state Department of Natural Resources touted innovation, such as a lower-priced Recreation Passport now available when people renew their vehicle registrations. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently appointed a blue-ribbon panel to guide the state parks system into the future.


A new report examines efforts by U.S. cities to combat stormwater-related pollution with green infrastructure.

That includes one area in Michigan.

The report is timely because the Environmental Protection Agency is considering changes to its stormwater management requirements.

And you may also have noticed that the U.S. has seen many extreme weather events in recent months. Such events, and even a little rain in the Bay City and Saginaw area area, can result in sewage overflows into the Saginaw River.

Among the 14 cities listed in the report is the Detroit Metro Area and Rouge River Watershed. The peer-reviewed report comes from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report says the 14 cities have improved their ability to manage stormwater and reduce runoff pollution, saved money and beautified their landscapes in the process.

How? With green infrastructure, which stops runoff pollution  by capturing rainwater and either storing it for future use or letting it filter back into the ground. Examples include green roofs, street trees, increased green space, rain barrels, rain gardens, and permeable pavement.

The report is called Rooftops to Rivers II.

For more information, see nrdc.org/rooftops


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