89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Matt Grocoff
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Imagine a future in which no home or business had gas furnaces, heaters or stoves.  Everything is electric.  Neighborhoods and communities running on connected micro-grids.  Everything is electric.  Net-Zero Energy expert and founding principal of Thrive Collaborative in Ann Arbor, Matt Grocoff is a strong proponent of the concept of “Beneficial Electrification.”  It is a concept that will be used in Thrive’s new “Veridian @ County Farm” housing development in Ann Arbor.  It is the subject of conversation in this week’s edition of “Issues of the Environment."


Courtesy image / Washtenaw Audubon Society

An old chimney on a city-owned property in Ann Arbor serves as a a roosting news for Chimney Swift.  The migratory birds don't relocate easily so losing the chimney at 415 W. Washington could be damaging to the local population. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Cathy Theisen from the Washtenaw Audubon Society about working with the City of Ann Arbor to advance protections.  


Courtesy Image / YouTube

Gypsy moth caterpillars have completely stripped the leaves of trees in portions of Chelsea and caused significant defoliation in portions of Ann Arbor.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about the infestation with Bob Bricault,  horticulture educator for Michigan State University Extension in Washtenaw County.  


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Last month, due to high levels of PFAS in fish, the state of Michigan issued a "Do Not Eat Fish" advisory for parts of the Huron River.  After further testing, that advisory has been expanded to the entire river.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair revisits this situation with Huron River Watershed Council executive director Laura Rubin.


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state of Michigan this month issued, then expanded, a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory for portions of the Huron River.  It cited unusually high levels of PFAS in the fish it tested.  PFAS are a compound of chemicals known to cause cancer and other medical issues.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” Huron River Watershed Council executive director Laura Rubin dispels some misconceptions about the advisory and discusses the concerns the contamination raises for the present and future health of the river.


  

The impacts of exposure to lead are costly to both public health and Michigan's bottom line.  While the Flint Water Crisis brought greater awareness of lead exposure hazards, lead-based paints continue to damage children throughout the state.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, to discuss new EPA standards for the amount of lead permitted in household paint, dust, and soil.  


David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

It began as a quest for knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding the controversial Enbridge 'Line 5' that runs through the Straits of Mackinac.  With the release of the 2nd part of his documentary on the subject, Ann Arbor's Barton Bund contends that a cause for concern has become a need for alarm.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Bund discusses 'Line 5-Part 2: Violation of Public Trust." 


Rita Loch-Caruso
University of Michigan School of Public Health / umich.edu

Chemicals known as PFAs have found their way in Washtenaw County's drinking water, and that can lead to numerous health and environmental problems.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about this situation with Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, toxicologist and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan.


Glen Lake
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

There are more than 11-thousand inland lakes in Michigan.  The greatest threat to the health of these water-bodies is a loss of nearshore habitat.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Julia Kirkwood, chair of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, about the ongoing efforts to increase protections. 


Agriculture
Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

Industrialized agriculture has resulted in the loss of numerous plant and animal species, but there is an organization looking to change that trend.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Lauren Moscoe, board member of Slow Food of Huron Valley and member of Midwest Ark of Taste Committee, about what has been done to increase diversity in agriculture.


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

The heat wave continues in Washtenaw County, Southeast Michigan, and a majority of the country.  While every summer brings its hot spells, you can expect greater periods of unpredictable and potentially more destructive weather events.  In this week’s edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair and University of Michigan professor Dr. Richard Rood explore the adaptive attitudes and actions necessary for our future. 


Algal Blooms
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Algal blooms are common in the Great Lakes in the summertime, but they may be more dangerous than originally believed.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Dr. Andrew Ault, assistant professor at the University of Michigan's departments of environmental health sciences and chemistry, about a study that determined that algal blooms can become airborne, and, therefore, become a public hazard.


Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers / foodgatherers.org

For the last three decades, Food Gatherers has recovered food that would otherwise be wasted. It has put it to good use by helping feed the hungry in Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair chats with Food Gatherers president and CEO Eileen Spring. They look back at how the organization has grown, what it has  has accomplished and what the future may hold. 


Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The 18th annual Mayor's Green Fair in Ann Arbor is coming up on Friday, June 8th! In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor about this year's event. 


Allergies
Pixabay / pixabay.com

For those who experience seasonal allergies, this year could be particularly bad, and climate change may be partially to blame.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair sits down with Dr. Daniel Katz, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and they discuss the implications and where current and future research may lead. 


Kirtland's warbler
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Thanks to efforts over several decades, the Kirtland's warbler, a rare bird native to Michigan forests, may be removed from the endangered species list.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Juliet Berger, an ornithologist for the City of Ann Arbor and President of the Washtenaw Audubon Society, about what the future holds for this avian species.


Washtenaw Wilderness
Courtesy Photo / Washtenaw Wilderness Facebook

Washtenaw County has always taken its environment seriously.  Now, it is the first county in Michigan to be certified as a community wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair chats with Mary Lapp, team leader of the Washtenaw Wilderness Community Wildlife Habitat, about what it takes for a community to receive such an honor.


Stinkbug
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The brown marmorated stinkbug is in Washtenaw County and seems to be here to stay.  The bugs are now an established nuisance.  They invade homes in the winter and wreak smelly havoc the rest of the year.  What can you do about it and other damaging invasive species?  WEMU’s David Fair searches for answers with EMU Biology Department Professor and renowned entomologist Dr. Jamin Eisenbach on this week’s edition of "Issues of the Environment.” 


Recycling
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

China has declared that it would no longer accept certain recycled materials from outside its borders, and that has affected many recycling programs in the U.S., including those in Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Recycle Ann Arbor interim CEO Bryan Weinart about local impacts and the future of recycling. 


Gregory Keoleian
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Self-driving vehicles are meant to be the future of transportation, but there's much more to learn about how they could affect the environment.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Dr. Gregory Keoleian, director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability, about a new study regarding the potential impacts of Connected Autonomous Vehicles.


Todd Bukowski / https://ptisglobal.com/

The theme of Earth Day 2018 is End Plastic Pollution.  Earth Day comes up this Sunday, April 22nd.  To coincide with the theme, 'Issues of the Environment' focuses on an upcoming initiative in Ann Arbor aimed at reducing plastic waste that typically does not end up in the recycling stream.  Packaging expert and consultant Todd Bukowski discusses the program and what the public will need to know to make it work. 


It may not be a typical path, but there are many roads to travel in a professional life.  An Ann Arbor man's journey has led to acting roles in blockbusters like "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" and directing classic plays like "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "How the Other Half Lives" to creating "an activist documentary" about threats to Great Lakes waters.  The journey, and the result, with independent filmmaker Barton Bund is the focus of this week's 'Issues of the Environment.' 


Martin Heller
University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems / umich.edu

The UM Center for Sustainable Systems recently published research findings that 46% of total food-based, greenhouse gas emissions in America come  from the diets of just one-fifth of the population.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair talks with lead researcher Martin Heller about the research process and his findings. 


Yousef Rabhi
Michigan State Democrats / housedems.com

53rd District State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) has recently introduced three bills and a budget amendment related to protecting Michigan’s water.  In this week’s edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair discusses the bills and the ongoing challenges our Great Lakes State faces when it comes to the health and safety of our greatest natural resource.


Ecojustice
Courtesy Photo / ecojusticeconference.weebly.com

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Dr. Charles Simmons, Professor Emeritus of Journalism and Law at Eastern Michigan University, about EMU's upcoming EcoJustice and Activism Conference.


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