Recreation Passports Fund Improvements, Salt is Damaging Rivers and Streams

For Jan. 19, 2018

1 – Money from recreation passports is helping communities complete outdoor recreation improvements.

recreation passport logo
Credit: Michigan DNR

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 22 communities will share more than $1.4 million in grants this year. 

The funding comes from $11 annual passports that give residents vehicle entry to state parks, recreation areas and boating access sites.

The money will go to playground development and renovations, sports and fitness facility development and improvements, trail and walkway development, ski-run development, park and picnic area improvements and improved accessibility.

Townships in Oscoda and Tuscola are among those to receive funding.

In Oscoda County, $55,000 to go toward rustic campsites, a fitness trail and other renovations at Clinton Township Park.

In Tuscola County, $75,000 will go to develop a pavilion and walkway in Vassar Township.

2 – Salt from winter road maintenance, irrigation and other human activities is damaging US rivers and streams, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies.

This is according to a nationwide study by the Cary Institute of New York.

8458604034_b27e79513f_z
Credit: MTA New York

Researchers found 37 percent of the drainage area of the contiguous United States experienced a significant increase in salinity over the last 50 years. Water also is becoming more alkaline, affecting its ability to neutralize acid.

These changes in water chemistry can damage the pipes that deliver water to homes. This happened when Flint switched its primary water source to the Flint River in 2014, and the river’s high salt load caused lead to leach from water pipes.

A study co-author says long-term monitoring is vital to understanding the pressures facing the nation’s freshwaters from increased salt loading, and for guiding strategies that protect drinking water.

Strategies for managing road salt pollution include pre-wetting salt to allow it to stick to roads and using brine to prevent ice from forming on road surfaces.

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