Chemicals Linger in Birds; Comments Sought on State Parks and Forest Roads

For Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

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1 – Chemicals that haven’t been manufactured in the U.S. for decades are still turning up in the bodies of migratory terns in the Great Lakes region. 

A new study from the University of Buffalo focused on three types of compounds known as PBDEs, PCBs and DDT. 

Scientists discovered all three kinds of chemicals in the organs of more than two dozen terns along the Niagara River and the shore of Lake Erie.

The levels of PBDEs and PCBs in the birds were high enough to potentially harm the birds’ health and affect population recovery. 

The compounds also were found in small fish that the birds eat. 

PDBEs are a class of flame retardants used in car seats, carpet padding and mattresses. They were phased out in the U.S. in 2013. 

The research was published in the journal Environment International

Abandoned tern eggs collected in Western New York by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Credit: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki / University at Buffalo

2 – Maps that could be used to expand state parks and recreation areas in the future are up for public comment. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a managed public land strategy. Under the strategy, the agency has been reviewing and revising boundaries around state forests, game and wildlife areas, parks and recreation areas.

The boundaries were mapped in 2004 and include privately owned land that would be a priority for the state to acquire in the future if it becomes available for sale.

The DNR is now seeking public comment on proposed changes to dedicated project boundaries, which include land along Saginaw Bay and the Saginaw River. 

Comments will be accepted online through Nov. 30 and at the Dec. 10 Natural Resources Commission meeting.

A final decision on dedicating project boundaries is expected at a Dec. 10 Natural Resources Commission meeting.

3 – The state also is taking comments on proposed changes to vehicle use on state forest roads. 

There are thousands of miles of state forest roads in Michigan which are open for the public to use and explore.

Proposed changes to road maps include adding roads that were previously unmapped, and the opening and closing of roads to conventional and off-road vehicles. 

You may comment online and via email until Dec. 1. 

Find maps and more information at Michigan.gov/ForestRoads.

– 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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