The number of environmental reporters at newspapers and other mainstream media has been decreasing rapidly in recent years, in Michigan and elsewhere. One result is a public that is less informed about the basic facts needed to understand the government and business policy choices that affect their lives. Now new alternatives -- including student journalism -- are starting to fill the gap.
Great Lakes (IL IN MI MN OH WI)
"Isle Royale in Lake Superior used to be too cold for deer ticks. But not anymore."
The US Dept. of Agriculture is providing financial support for farmers to grow the grass in four project areas in four states. The goal is to substantially increase production of the crop, and USDA estimates about 4,000 jobs will be created.
As a kid, Gary Mechanic didn’t think twice about playing along the banks of the Chicago River, just a half block from his home, despite the sewage and industrial runoff that fouled the waterway when it rained.
"Ohio's state parks will be open for oil and natural gas drilling for the first time under legislation the state Senate passed on Wednesday."
Just in time for summer, 41 new segments of the US National Recreation Trails system in AL, AR, CT, FL, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NM, OK, PA, TN, and WV, covering about 650 land and water miles in 17 states, are open for business. These are part of a much larger system of about 1,100 trails spanning 13,000 miles.
"WOODSTOCK, Ill. -- The paving industry closely is watching McHenry County as its officials consider a ban on toxic asphalt sealants commonly used on driveways."
"The Obama administration is ordering an ambitious cleanup of the Chicago River, a dramatic step toward improving an urban waterway treated for more than a century as little more than an industrialized sewage canal."
The Bureau of Reclamation report says major changes often are expected, with the magnitude varying substantially by location. The data and information provided allow you to dig into the details to some degree for the watersheds of interest to your audience.
"Federal pollution authorities have quietly stepped in to help Minnesota force a huge sugar beet processor near Renville to end its long history of fouling streams that lead to the state's most troubled river."