All the Great Lakes states have at least one. Thanks to Earthjustice for publicizing the information.
Michigan might get one-third of the new money. Given the need for members of Congress from the seven other Great Lakes states to bring the bacon home, that is a long shot.
A misleading headline from the Muskegon, MI Chronicle: "Bill would keep wetlands protection under state control." In fact, a close reading of the bill shows it defers to the feds on important wetlands definitions and mimics federal Army Corps of Engineers nationwide permits, and at one point bars the state from exceeding federal guidelines. This is not only a loss of state control, but a decimation of the 30-year-old law.
A positive view from Michigan on what proposed Great Lakes restoration money will do.
'Permits 'R Us' Michigan DEQ water quantity program rubber stamps water withdrawal application. Even worse, the applicant admits the huge amount of water approved for withdrawal is to support future sprawl which is inconsistent with state law:
"Some people think this 85 million gallons is well beyond what we need but the reality is on a hot August day, Flint and Genesee County together can use 55 million gallons," said Wright. "We put in the extra gallons to plan for future use, for what happens over the next 30 years as we develop the economy around here."
If you like nuclear power, you'll love that more high-level waste is being stored close to Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.
...is the gist of this group message from Great Lakes coordinator Cam Davis on comments received regarding the spending plan for $475 million in proposed new spending for Great Lakes restoration.
Given that there was a short time frame for putting the plan together and for Cam to get on board and process tons of information, it's still disappointing.
A first draft by a bunch of federal agencies is not a plan; and many intelligent comments from the public were received and filed.
The message is below.
If you've ever visited Niagara Falls, you know how 150 years of commercialization of the Gorge has diminished -- but not yet ruined -- its grandeur. Development (including road construction) that would never be permitted now has lined the Gorge's shoulders.
There is now the chance of restoring a more natural look, feel and sound to a portion of the Gorge.
That can happen if 6.5 miles of the Robert Moses Parkway are removed from the New York side of the Gorge and replaced with a non-motorized greenway, as as the Niagara Heritage Partnership is arguing. A leader of the cause is Bob Baxter, who writes, "That the parkway is damaging to the fragile gorge and river ecology is not in dispute. Five and a half miles of four-lane parkway equals nearly three million square feet of rapid run-off surface. Hundreds of tons of salt are spread annually on this highway; routine herbicide applications to hinder “undesirable” vegetation contributes to this contamination introduced into an environment supporting centuries old white pine and other botanical communities unique to New York State. The NY Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation documents 231,738.75 tons of carbon emissions annually from vehicles using the gorge parkway.
"Restored natural landscapes along a parkway-free gorge rim would provide economic and environmental potential for our region. It would enlarge the Globally Significant Important Bird Area by over 300 acres, creating a green space attractive to those seeking green vacations. Visitors could select hiking experiences according to their interests: within the gorge itself, or a more casual walk along the blacktop rim path, and wonderful family or group bicycling trips that would incorporate Lewiston and Youngstown as destinations. For more experienced and ambitious cyclers, the ride would extend along the upper river to Grand Island and beyond, and would also link up with the historic Seaway Trail at Lake Ontario."
Headlines about sewage entering Great Lakes waterways and tributaries are not uncommon. But this one is. The same river receiving these wastes is proposed as the receptacle for water discharged from the proposed Waukesha, Wisconsin diversion of Great Lakes water. Blogger James Rowen has provided useful analysis.
Measuring contaminants in people is a good idea. Using that data to measure whether Great Lakes cleanup is benefiting human health is a good idea. But:
While the agency has not chosen which contaminants to look at, it will most likely focus on the usual suspects, Dearwent said. “I think in general that we could say that we’ll probably be focusing on persistent organic pollutants, so the chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, possibly dioxins and furans, possibly polybrominated diphenyl ethers and possibly some heavy metals. Those in general are usually the contaminants or classes of contaminants that we look at, either because of their burden to public health or because of their persistence in the environment and in people.”
The money will be better spent if at least some of it measures emerging contaminants in water and people. More on that soon.