For Friday, Nov. 15, 2019
1 – A public meeting is planned for Thursday, Nov. 21, on a $77 million settlement between the Dow Chemical Co. and federal, state and tribal governments.
Under an agreement, Dow will settle an environmental complaint for an estimated $77 million in projects and funding to restore fish, wildlife and habitats injured when hazardous substances were released in past decades from the company’s manufacturing facility in Midland.
The agreement is subject to public comment and approval in federal court.
Natural resource trustees under the settlement, including Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, have drafted a restoration plan that describes how the settlement will be implemented.
The trustees will hold a public meeting to provide more information on the plan and answer questions at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Four Points by Sheraton Saginaw, 4960 Towne Centre Road in Saginaw.
Contaminants released from Dow’s Midland facility over many decades injured fish and wildlife and natural areas in and around the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, officials say. The new agreement will address these injuries within Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties.
The settlement provides for at least $5 million for additional projects to be solicited from the public.
2 – The next Saginaw Bay Agricultural Conservation Awards will be given out Dec. 10 in Bay City.
The Nature Conservancy will be recognizing extraordinary achievements of Saginaw Valley farmers at an awards dinner at the Doubletree hotel and conference center in downtown Bay City.
The conservancy says the farmers to be recognized work hard to protect water quality and improve soil health by keeping soil and nutrients on their fields and out of Saginaw Bay.
Seven awards will be given out to area farms, crop advisers and suppliers.
The awardees are determined by a selection committee that includes representatives from a Farmer Advisory Group, CISCO Farm Seed, Delta Institute, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Farm Bureau, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
3 – This year, a Gaylord organization reached a major milestone in river restoration, surpassing 500 miles of stream connection.
In 2019, the nonprofit Huron Pines removed barriers to reconnect more than 50 miles across seven rivers and creeks.
The projects included two dam removals, six culvert replacements and a project that used a new approach—placing boulders where Rollways Roads meets the South Branch River in Iosco County.
A culvert there was too shallow, and the water was moving too quickly, for fish to successfully move upstream. Placing boulders in the water reduced the speed and increased the depth so fish could find places to rest while swimming upstream.
Grants for the project came from the U.S. Forest Service; National Fish & Wildlife Foundation-Sustain Our Great Lakes and the Walters Family Foundation.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR (now streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes