For Sept. 8, 2017[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/m5qrqpwxg55vg9x/mr-great-lakes-sept-8-2017-environment-report.mp3]
1 – While fall doesn’t officially begin until Sept. 22, Sept. 1 was the equivalent in terms of weather and water levels.
Michigan State University Extension notes that levels on Lake Huron seem to have peaked in July and August and are now following a typical seasonal decline.
This decline usually continues into October and through December, and then the lake begins a seasonal increase in January and February.
Lakes Huron and Michigan are technically one lake that’s connected by the Straits of Mackinac. The current forecast is that Lake Huron will dip by 2 inches by around Oct 1. That 2-inch decrease amounts to about 1.5 trillion gallons of water (evaporation, precipitation and runoff.)
2 – Michigan is supporting coastal initiatives throughout the state.
Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes will use a half-million dollars in federal grants for 11 projects along the coastline.
The funding supports local governments, nonprofits, and university researchers. Projects will improve beach safety, create public access, and develop tools to protect coastal habitat, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Some funds will continue support for initiatives like the Adopt-a-Beach and Clean Marina programs. Others will explore new ground with aerial photography and geospatial technology.
The projects include a master plan for the village of Sebewaing in Huron County. The plan will be crafted with public input and is intended to help manage natural and recreational Lake Huron resources that include coastal wetlands, a marina, an inland waterway, and a campground.
3 – Clean air and health advocates are pushing for expanded renewable energy and energy efficiency in Michigan.
Groups including the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Ecology Center are calling for utility companies to increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy as part of Integrated Resource Plans (IRP).
Under a new energy law that took effect in April, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy must file Integrated Resource Plans that lay out long-term plans for energy efficiency and demand response, and for building power plants and other forms of electricity generation.
The Michigan Public Service Commission is holding public comment sessions throughout the state on these plans.
One was held held this week in Livonia. Others are planned for Grand Rapids and Marquette.
Comments on the plans also are being taken online until Oct. 6 at michigan.gov/lara.