CMU Monitors Wetlands, DTE Boasts Largest Wind Parks, Michigan Takes On Climate Change

For Friday, April 30, 2021

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1 – Central Michigan University has received a $10 million federal grant as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

CMU will use the funding, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to monitor about 1,000 coastal wetlands over the next five years.

The work is in support of EPA’s Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, which began in 2011. 

The grant will help researchers monitor water quality in coastal wetlands as well as health and trends in plant, invertebrate, amphibian, fish and bird communities.

Federal officials say the data is vital for restoration and other management efforts.

2 – Isabella County, the location of CMU and Mount Pleasant, also is home to three new wind parks, two of which are now the largest in Michigan. 

Polaris Wind Park, Gratiot County, Michigan. Credit: DTE Energy

DTE Energy recently announced operation of the three new developments.

Isabella I and II are located in Isabella County, with a total of 136 turbines and a capacity of 383 megawatts, making them the state’s largest wind parks. 

A third park called Fairbanks Wind is located in the Upper Peninsula’s Delta County, with 21 turbines and a capacity of 72 megawatts. 

With the addition of the three new wind parks, DTE will generate about 1,760 megawatts from clean energy sources, or enough to power 670,000 homes.

The new projects are part of DTE’s MIGreenPower voluntary renewable energy program, which is among the top three voluntary renewable energy programs in the country.

To date, MIGreenPower’s 28,000 residential and 300 business customers have supported more than 100 million kilowatt hours of clean energy generation, avoiding 78,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions

3 – Speaking of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change, the state is holding a listening session in May to help shape its “MI Healthy Climate Plan.” 

The first session was held on Earth Day, April 22, and the second is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5. 

The sessions are being held to allow for public input on the plan by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach statewide carbon neutrality by 2050.

You must register for the May 5 session, which is being held at 6 p.m. on the Zoom platform. 

Go to Michigan.gov/climate for details. 

The session will begin with an overview of Whitmer’s executive order that established the Council on Climate Solutions, an explanation of how the council is structured and its role in advising the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy on development of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. 

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

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