Skin Cancer, and Energy, from the Sun

For July 18, 2014


If you’re going to be spending time in the sun, protect yourself with sunglasses, sunscreen, and take a break in the shade.

Your eyes and skin need protection while swimming, hiking, boating or fishing. The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Those rays will be highest around noon on a clear sunny day. UV levels also will be highest near surfaces that reflect sunlight — like water and sand.

Exposure to UV rays can cause sunburn, skin aging, eye damage and skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. An estimated 76,100 United States residents will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2014. For Michigan, the estimates are 2,830 people, according to the American Cancer Society.

July is UV Safety Month.


The sun is not all bad. It provides plenty of opportunities for clean energy generation.

bright sun pylon

Credit: Craig Chew-Moulding.

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association has announced a partnership with Localstake Marketplace of Indiana. The company has launched a renewable energy crowdfunding Web page to encourage the development of solar and renewable energy projects in Michigan.

The idea is to connect investors to Michigan projects. The new program is called the Michigan Solar Funding Platform.

Localstake will review and vet all Michigan projects that use the platform. The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association will encourage business and individual members to use the site and provide education on crowdfunding to project developers, investors, and the general public.

Right now, businesses and potential investors are being asked to sign up. Later on, nvestors will be able to research proposed renewable energy projects in the state and support those they want to see built by investing as little as $250.


— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.



Nature Preserve in Midland County, Conservation Funding for Saginaw Bay Farmers

For July 11 (on a summer schedule)


1 – A new nature preserve in Midland County will be dedicated this weekend. 

Szok preserve midland county

Via Little Forks Conservancy.

The Little Forks Conservancy will officially open the Albert and Virginia Szok Preserve to the public at a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12. Following the dedication, guests are invited to explore the property.

The 8-acre property was donated to Conservancy by the children of Albert and Virginia Szok in memory of their parents. The new preserve is located within the Pine Haven Recreation Area at the end of Maynard Road, along 1,200 feet of the Salt River.

A short hiking trail and bench will be added to the property for users to enjoy the beauty along the river’s edge.

Albert Szok was a long-time Midland Public Schools teacher, who helped develop environmental education programs for the Chippewa Nature Center and environmental education standards for the state of Michigan.

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy will help permanently protect the preserve through a conservation easement donated to them by the Szok family.

2 – Conservation funding is available for agricultural producers in the Saginaw Bay area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make $6.3 million in conservation financial assistance available to private landowners in Michigan to help improve water quality and wildlife habitat around the Great Lakes.

The financial assistance is available to farmers and agricultural producers in selected Michigan watersheds through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Farmers and landowners interested in obtaining assistance to implement conservation improvements on their land must apply before Aug. 1. The financial assistance is available to agricultural producers in the Saginaw Bay area, the Western Lake Erie Basin, and areas of Northern Michigan near the Great Lakes.

Conservation activities like planting cover crops and installing buffer strips can help improve water quality in the Great Lakes. A portion of the funding is targeted to reducing the amount of phosphorus runoff that contributes to algal blooms that damage aquatic habitat and water quality.

More information is available online from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


— Mr. Great Lakes is (usually) heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.


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