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.
An eight-island archipelago on Lake Superior will be protected from
development and mining and preserved for wildlife and rare plants under
a $7 million international conservation deal to be unveiled today.
Wilson Islands, just off Rossport in Ontario waters near Nipigon Bay,
have been purchased from private owners and will become a Canadian
federal natural area under the joint deal backed by the Nature
Conservancy, government of Canada and government of Ontario.
The most powerful, anonymous, unelected and so far unaccountable governmental body in the GL restoration effort may be this bunch. Names of individuals, please, and how to reach them?
Why? Because the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force has created this, this, and this, and it's the architecture for how to spend a badly-needed $400 million plus in the next year on the Great Lakes. Many of the spending ideas in the documents make sense and should go forward; some less so. The plan the Task Force drafted is expected to remain largely intact; maybe a few citizens could join it in the future for transparency's and creativity's sake.
At the outset of his 1969-82 reign as Michigan's longest-serving
governor, Bill Milliken, of Traverse City, was criticized in some
outstate newspapers for his support of directing much of the
voter-approved Recreation Bond Issue funding to urban areas.
On Thursday, his emphasis on urban issues and numerous environmental
initiatives, including public access to water resources in Detroit and
elsewhere, were among factors cited by the Natural Resources Commission
-- chaired by Keith Charters of Traverse City -- in voting unanimously
to rename the 31-acre Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor the William
G. Milliken State Park and Harbor.
Will warnings like this break through the background noise? Maybe 5 minutes of celebrity news coverage can give way for it.
"For lack of a better phrase, the Earth becomes a bit more like Humpty
Dumpty," said report co-author Jon Foley, director of the University of
Minnesota's Institute on the Environment. "You push it, it falls over,
and it breaks. You can't put it back together again."
A subhead in a Detroit News article (near the bottom) says otherwise, but it's just one more chess move in a long and dreadful game. The bill in question will likely become part of a much larger fight over the state's budget for the year beginning Oct. 1. The News says:
Gov. Jennifer Granholm had proposed turning the wetlands protection
program over to the federal government to save the state nearly $2
million, but lawmakers balked at the plan. Bottle deposit collections
will be used to fund the wetlands program.