What’s in Your Water? & How Wetlands Help (Video)

As heard on Friday Edition, Jan. 27, 2012, at @9 AM Eastern. A radio transcript with video? Yes!

photo documentary coastal wetlands great lakes video capture
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Glass Half Full?

What’s in your drinking water?

If you live in this region, your tap water most likely comes from Saginaw Bay, via a water treatment plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just released a tool with information about pollutants that are released into local waterways.

The Discharge Monitoring tool allows you to search and map water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant.

Searches using the tool result in “Top Ten” lists that identify facilities and industries that are discharging the most pollution, and what water bodies are impacted.

So to answer the question, top pollutants discharged to the waters in Bay City include ammonia, chlorine and phosphorus.

You can search your city at epa.gov/pollutantdischarges.

WaterLogged Wetland

Michigan researchers are the subject of an environmental documentary.

Film crews recently followed scientists from Central Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame as part of a documentary on efforts to preserve and restore Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

Wetlands serve as a filter for pollution before it enters the Great Lakes.

They also provide breeding and migratory habitat for wildlife, and can be crucial for flood control.

About half of the historic coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes have been lost, according to CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research.

The university is leading a $10 million federal research project to protect coastal wetlands in the lakes.

CMU and other universities involved are measuring the ecosystem health of every coastal wetland in the Great Lakes basin, and searching for trends in health and water quality.

Researchers from a total of 10 universities have been collecting samples of water, vegetation, invertebrates, fish, amphibians and birds.

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