Blackouts, One Water Gathering and Beach Walks

For Friday, June 3, 2022

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1 – Coming this Summer: Spiking Electricity Bills Plus Blackouts. 

That’s a recent headline from Inside Climate News

Black Marble – City Lights 2012. Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video

The outlet reports that the national average price for household electricity is on track to rise 4 percent this year compared to 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

That would be the largest percentage increase since 2008, spurred by a rise in the cost of natural gas used to fuel power plants. 

There’s also an increase in electricity demand due to hot weather and a post-pandemic growth in economic activity. 

The report does not mention Michigan, but says some power grid operators are warning about blackouts and brownouts this summer. 

MISO, which operates the grid for areas including Michigan, says it’s possible electricity demand in the state could outpace supply this summer. In that case, emergency resources and energy imports would be needed to maintain system reliability. 

2 – An international One Water Gathering conference is set for this month in Alpena.

The event is June 17 and 18 at Alpena Community College. 

Organizers from an initiative called Lake Huron Forever say the conference will bring together  professionals and partners from both sides of the lake to explore solutions, share best practices and celebrate a sustainable future for the water body. 

Sponsors include the state’s environmental agency and the Bay City-based Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network. 

The organization’s steering committee includes another Bay City-area sponsor, the Bay Area Community Foundation. 

3 – A state Coastal Management Program is hosting community “Beach Walks” in multiple communities this summer along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Officials say the Beach Walks will bring scientists into communities to discuss coastal processes, Great Lakes water levels and coastal hazards.  

The goal is to increase knowledge and promote community resilience, defined as the ability “to understand and use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.”

Information also will be available on grant funding.

Officials say Michigan’s coastal communities are on the front lines when it comes to seasonal, fluctuating Great Lakes water levels impacted by climate change.

The dates and locations of the Beach Walks include June 27 in Port Austin and June 28 in Alpena. 

For more info, see Michigan.gov/CoastalManagement.

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

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