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.
...are headed by Jim Koski, who never met a watercourse he didn't want to drain, ditch or fill. In Monday night's Saginaw News he continued his verbal war on water protection laws. ''Is every water puddle supposed to be
regulated?'' he asked. Is every public works commissioner this ignorant?
The same goes for the area's state legislators, Roger Kahn and James Stamas. These men, who normally tout local control and despise Washington, have suddenly found it convenient "to give the federal
government the power" to deal with Michigan's wetlands, as the article put it.
According to one study, between 1979 and 1998 Saginaw County lost a whopping 22.1% of its vital emergent wetlands, critical for waterfowl and the hunting the birds generate. That's 1532.7 acres. Keep it up, and the County will make a fine and sterile parking lot, draining its oil, grease and dioxins directly into Saginaw Bay -- or 'Great Lakes Bay' as local promoters want to rename their region.
Thank goodness: citizens are fighting Koski and his ilk tooth and nail. The Lone Tree Council heroically persists.
An interesting newsletter out of Wisconsin created by professionals "in the social and
natural sciences who share a common interest in promoting behaviors
that will positively impact the environment." It's definitely worth reading.
Humanity is facing "water bankruptcy" as a result of a crisis even
greater than the financial meltdown now destabilising the global
economy, two authoritative new reports show. They add that it is
already beginning to take effect, and there will be no way of bailing
the earth out of water scarcity.
International water justice activists converged at the People’s Water Forum today to affirm the human right to water and present diverse visions of existing public and community-led water management practices that protect water for people and nature, and can ensure water access for all regardless of their ability to pay.
I’ve seen others look at Michigan’s
plight and say, “oh well.” Implied but not spoken is that Michigan
brought its situation on itself. I also sense that the rest of the
country has written Michigan off.
I can’t do that, not yet.
While I haven’t given up I am
struggling to be optimistic. Michigan’s problems are broader than a
tough economy. Its leaders seem to lack a certain vision and will to
deal with the new economic and environmental realities.