For Friday, Feb. 8, 2019
1 – A statewide group says a reorganization by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is good news for Michigan’s environment.
Under changes announced this week, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be replaced by a new agency called the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). This new department will include a new Office of Energy and Climate Change and bring back the Office of the Great Lakes from the Department of Natural Resources.
The Michigan Environmental Council says it hopes the reorganization will return Michigan to a leadership position in protecting the health of its residents and the environment.
Gov. Whitmer also is eliminating environmental rules review and permit oversight committees that were created by the legislature last year. A Michigan Environmental Council director says the removal of these committees puts control of Michigan’s environmental protections back into the hands of elected officials who can be held accountable by voters.
The new governor also is creating an Office of Energy and Climate Change and pledging to keep Michigan committed to the Paris Climate Agreement.
2 – The Nature Conservancy is seeking nominations for its 2019 Saginaw Bay Agricultural Conservation Awards.
The program recognizes businesses and people who have made significant contributions to agricultural conservation in the watershed.
Last year, Steve Tait of Caseville was honored with The Conservancy’s first-ever Conservation Impact Award for his work planting cover crops and using no-till practices to reduce sediment from entering local waterways and the Great Lakes.
An awards dinner will take place on Dec. 10 in Bay City.
To make a nomination or learn more, visit nature.org/sagbayawards. The deadline for nominations is June 21.