Beach Slobs, Urban Gardens and Solar Legislation

For Friday, Nov. 22, 2019


1 – Great Lakes beaches may be too cold for swimming. But results from this year’s Adopt-a-Beach program show plenty of people used the lakes this year, and left trash behind. 

The Alliance for the Great Lakes, which organizes the Adopt-a-Beach program, has released results of 2019 cleanups. 

person holding plastic bottles and hose
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

They include: 

  • Ninety percent of litter picked up from Great Lakes beaches was plastic. 
  • More than 21,000 volunteers participated in cleanups, including in the Saginaw Bay region
  • The most common items found, besides plastic pieces, included cigarettes and filters, foam pieces, metal bottle caps, food wrappers, straws and stirrers, cigar tips, glass pieces, and other packaging. 
  • There also were close to 1,100 cleanup events held this year, taking in close to 54,000 pounds of trash. 

You can find out more and sign up for future events at


2 – The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy recently received some national exposure. 

The nonprofit’s work was featured in an article by U.S. News and World Report. 

An article called “The Not-So-Secret Gardens of Saginaw” reports on the conservancy’s new mission to tackle urban blight by planting gardens. 

The article notes that Saginaw’s population has dipped from almost 100,000 to less than 50,000 since 1960, which left behind thousands of blighted homes and vacant properties. 

But now, hundreds of those lots have been cleared of debris and are brimming with natural wildflowers thanks to a project by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy. 

U.S. News and World Report says the Saginaw nonprofit may be the first land conservancy in the country to focus on renovating urban land rather than preserving more remote, rural spaces. 


3  – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters is applauding legislation signed into law recently by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

beach sun hand clap
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The bills remove barriers for Michiganders who want to install rooftop solar panels and generate their own electricity. 

The bills signed into law were HB 4465, HB 4069 and SB 47. 

A spokesman for the league says the new laws fix a confusing patchwork of local tax structures for rooftop solar.

You find out more about the new laws online at


– 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

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