For Friday, June 24, 2016[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/m2od3pocux63jkf/environment-report-mr-great-lakes-6-24-16.mp3]
1- Midland is the latest county to sign on to a renewable energy financing program.
The Lean & Green Michigan Property Assessed Clean Energy program is known as PACE for short.
The program makes businesses and nonprofits in the county eligible to add renewable energy generating items like solar panels to their buildings.
PACE deals with the high upfront costs of such projects by providing 100 percent financing at long-term, fixed rates for up to 25 years.
The money also can be used for energy efficiency and water saving improvements, and be paid back through property taxes.
Other governments to join PACE include Bay, Saginaw and Huron counties.
2 – The Roscommon area drew people from as far away as California, Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina and Florida earlier this month.
They attended Kirtland’s Warbler Weekend events on June 3 and 4.
A festival in Roscommon is meant to bring awareness to the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. Proceeds also go to support conservation programs for the songbird.
Populations of the warbler have made a comeback in recent years, but advocates say management is still needed to sustain the bird, which is selective about its nesting sites in places that include Northern Michigan.
Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord, says the visitors delivered an economic boost to the area. Leaders say continued management for warbler habitat will have lasting impacts for the birds and Northeast Michigan, bringing birders, canoeists, hikers, bikers and others to the area.
3 – Winners of a national green chemistry award include Dow AgroSciences.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently honored recipients of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
The award recognizes landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn environmental problems into business opportunities and spur innovation and economic development.
Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Midland-based Dow Chemical Co., was honored for an additive called Instinct.
The EPA says the additive reduces runoff from fertilizers, and cuts nitrous oxide emissions.
The additive retains applied nitrogen longer in the root zones of plants like corn, which increases yields for farmers.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.