CMU Invasives Project, Saginaw Solar Energy, and Michigan Fall Color

As heard Oct. 5, 2012, 9 a.m. Eastern, Friday Edition, Q-90.1 FM, Delta College …

Photo by ellenm1

 

1 – The battle against invasive species in the Great Lakes basin just received an $8 million bump.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced 21 grants totaling nearly $8 million for projects to combat invasive species in Michigan and other states in the basin.

The money, from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, includes funding for work by Central Michigan University researchers.

CMU will receive about $356,000 to assess the risks that aquatic invasive species pose to the Erie Canal Corridor.

The project will catalogue non-native species in the Mohawk-Hudson River and Lake Champlain basins.

The idea is to identify aquatic invasive species that have the potential to spread into the canal.

The work will use environmental DNA surveys, like those done to track of presence of Asian carp in the Great Lakes basin. The range of invasives, potential pathways and future survelliance needs will be explored.

The CMU work falls under the Prevention category of grants award. Money also is going to Early Detection and Control efforts.


2 – The city of Saginaw is powering up with solar energy. 

And the equipment comes from the Saginaw Bay region.

The city has installed a 20-kilowatt solar array on the roof of its Public Services Building, according to Saginaw Future.

A total of 96 panels on the array will provide about 10 percent of the building’s power.

Consumers Energy will purchase power from the panels for up to 15 years.

The panels were made using polycrystalline silicon from Hemlock Semiconductor in Saginaw County.

Saginaw City Hall also is getting a smaller, 4-kilowatt unit, which will use the Sunsteer tracking system, developed by Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw.

3 – The colors of fall are coming about a week early this year. 

High fall color has been reported in higher elevations in the Western Upper Peninsula of MIchigan.

In Northern Michigan, fall color is reported to be moderate, including for Bay City and the Thumb.

In Southern Michigan, most of the leaves aren’t changing just yet.

For much of the Midwest, color change is running about a week early, according to The Foliage Network.

The early color change is attributed in part to dry weather earlier this year.

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