Welcome to one of the Great Lakes region's first environmental issues blogs. The North American Great Lakes contain 18% of the world's available surface freshwater and are a source of beauty, spiritual renewal and livelihood. Keep track of Great Lakes news and comment or disagree politely to frequent posts.
"Building on the legacy of Governor William G. Milliken, Michigan's land protection laws remain a national model,"
Scripps said. "These protections have played a vital role in the great strides Michigan has made in preserving our
wetlands and any change has the potential to put our water at risk. I take great pride in being a responsible steward
of our waters and preserving this law will ensure our natural resources can be enjoyed for generations to come."
Thanks to Gitte Laasby, who continues to do some of the most thorough and important environmental reporting in the Great Lakes region: For several years, benzene-laden groundwater has been seeping into Lake
Michigan from an old tank farm at U.S. Steel Gary Works.
The company plans to install a $1.4 million system that would treat the
benzene starting in August or September. Officials will present the
plan to the public at a meeting on Tuesday in Gary.
Former Gov. William Milliken did Michigan a service when he signed this
state's wetlands protections into law 30 years ago. He is still doing
right by his home state in insisting those protections should stay in
In addition to wilderness protection for part of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the public lands bill Congress approved the other day contains all kinds of goodies. It's going to take a while to read it and determine whether there's anything else for the Great Lakes region, but there are these:
* Over 1,100 miles of 86 new Wild and Scenic Rivers in eight states;
* Creation of the National Landscape Conservation System containing areas of archaeological and cultural significance;
* The Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act, which will authorize the
establishment of an integrated system of coastal and ocean observations
for the nation's coasts, oceans and Great Lakes;
* The Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Act, which will authorize funding
for a program to protect important coastal and estuarine areas that
have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical,
aesthetic, or watershed protection values, and that are threatened by
conversion to other uses.
A committee coordinated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission has come up with a statement of both hope and concern about wind turbine siting in and around the Lake. For the first time in the region some serious environmental impact issues, particularly related to fish and wildlife, are being expressed.
Stoddard put his career and reputation at stake in the late 1960s
when confronting the Reserve Mining Co. in Silver Bay, Minn., on Lake
Superior. Mining officials and some Minnesota politicians tried to
suppress a report by the Minnesota natural resources agency that found
the company was dumping up to 67,000 tons of taconite tailings daily
Stoddard was so confident in the report, and in
the danger of dumping these asbestos-type fibers into Superior, that he
leaked the report to the press. Federal courts eventually ruled against
Reserve Mining, fined it more than $1 million and forced it to dump its
wastes at on-land disposal sites.