Solar Home Tour, Mountain Pine Beetle, Michigan Clean Water Corps.

For Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

audio

Oct 1 for 2 2020

1 – The Michigan Solar Home Tour is Saturday. 

This year’s event will be virtual and held online from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

But those who join the free event will be able to travel across the state to see solar owners share their experiences, according to the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. Home and building owners also can learn more about solar power. 

A different solar system at a home or business will be showcased every 15 minutes. 

The home owner or solar contractor will explain the system with photos or video and answer questions.

The tour will start with solar installations in Ypsilanti. 

More information is available under Events at glrea.org

2 – The state is taking steps to protect pine trees from a potentially devastating exotic pest called the mountain pine beetle.

Officials have put a quarantine on the movement of wood from other states. 

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the beetle is one of the most destructive forest pests in North America. Outbreaks have killed millions of pine trees in the western United States and Canada.

A closeup of the mountain pine beetle, via the National Park Service in Colorado.

The beetle hasn’t been detected in Michigan, but measures are being taken to keep the bug from being as destructive as the emerald ash borer. That bug has killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan in the last 18 years. 

The state’s new quarantine regulates the movement of pine forest products with bark that originate from impacted states including Arizona and California and Canadian provinces including Alberta and British Columbia.

Mountain pine beetles affect pine trees by laying eggs under the bark and introducing a blue stain fungus. 

3 – The Michigan Clean Water Corps is continuing. 

The Corps is a network of citizens volunteers who help the state’s environmental department by collecting and sharing water quality data with the goal of protecting streams and lakes. 

The Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes, and the Environment has awarded a new $1.7 million, five-year contract to Michigan State University.

MSU’s Extension service will work with the Huron River Watershed and Michigan Lakes and Streams Association.

State officials say the data collected by the Corps is valuable and helps assess Michigan waters. 

Items that will be developed through the contract include a new database, phone app for data collection and online mapping and GIS capabilities.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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