Shoreline Permits, Film Fest, Toxic Releases

For Friday, Jan. 15, 2021


1 – The state issued 2,284 shoreline permits in Fiscal Year 2020. 

The permits were for projects to help residents protect homes and infrastructure from erosion and flooding associated with high Great Lakes water levels

Erosion along Lake Huron. Credit: Author

Officials with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy also issued hundreds more permits for “preferred alternatives,” such as moving homes and structures farther away from the shoreline.

The department organized and hosted a Michigan High Water Summit in February 2020 to coordinate flood and erosion response activities at the local, state and federal level. 

More: By the Numbers

2 – The Thunder Bay International Film Festival is going online this year, from Jan. 20-31. 

The virtual event will include online screenings and live-stream interviews, along with question and answer sessions and panel discussions with filmmakers, scientists, and ocean and Great Lakes stewards.

This is the festival’s ninth year and it’s normally held in Alpena, where the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located. 

The Thunder Bay International Film Festival is a festival of independent ocean and Great Lakes films from all over the world. 

Themes range from adventure and science to marine life and coastal cultures. Films are selected to entertain audiences and educate and inspire people to participate in environmental and stewardship efforts.

The festival is produced in partnership with the International Ocean Film Festival.

Single tickets and all-access passes are available. 

For more information see

3 – Toxic chemical releases were down in 2019, according to new figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis says total releases of tracked chemicals decreased by 9 percent between 2018 and 2019.

The report says facilities avoided releasing 89 percent of chemical-containing waste into the environment by using practices such as recycling, treatment and energy recovery.

Chemical releases in EPA Region 5, which includes Michigan, have decreased by almost 400 million pounds since 2007, the agency says. 

Releases from the electric utilities, primary metals and hazardous waste sectors decreased the most, by a total of 374 million pounds. 

For more information, see

– 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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