89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

So far in 2019, the weather has particularly warm and damp, which has led to a serious increase in the mosquito and tick population.  Therefore, the risk for diseases these insects carry has increased, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Health Department environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer about a new initiative to fight these illnesses.


Kim Bayer
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County is home to the only organic, U-pick farm in the state.  Kim Bayer is the owner of Slow Farm in Ann Arbor and serves as Slow Food Governor for the state of Michigan.  In this week's 'Issues of the Environment, she shares her personal passion for organic farming and discusses why the Slow Food movement is vital to our health and our future. 


Dan Ezekiel
Ann Arbor Wiki / localwiki.org

The Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group recently underwent a change in leadership.  Dan Ezekiel now serves as Group Chair.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," Dan tells WEMU’s David Fair about efforts to create more active participation in meetings, outdoor activities, and dramatically increase the number of advocates heading into the 2020 elections.


Paul Steen
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

The Huron River Watershed faces many dangers, including the introduction of invasive species and harmful chemicals.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Paul Sheen, who represents the Huron River Watershed Council and the Michigan Clean Water Corps, talks to WEMU's David Fair about the increased protection the Huron River Watershed recently received.


Melissa Cooper Sargent
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

For those living near a trash incinerator in Detroit, the smell was awful, and the air quality just as bad.  Asthma rates far exceed state averages, and many living in the area felt powerless. Melissa Cooper-Sargent is Green Living Resource Director for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center and lives with her children in the vicinity of the incinerator.  From the Ecology Center, the 'Breathe Free Detroit' campaign was launched, and, as of the end of May, the incinerator shut down.  Sargent joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the details on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


University of Michigan
Youtube / youtube.com

Climate change affects more than just the weather.  It can lead to numerous other problems, such as excessive flooding. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair chats with Andrew Gronewold, associate professor at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability, about what climate change and flooding mean for the future of the Great Lakes region.


Ric Lawson
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

Phosphorus runoff and stormwater overflow have been creating problematic issues in waterways in the Huron River Watershed.  While progress has been made, a Washtenaw County Circuit Court ruling will require further regulation to hasten future improvements.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the details from Ric Lawson, watershed planner for the Huron River Watershed Council.


Matt Grocoff
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

According to one of the world’s leading, net-zero energy builders, the population has outgrown its manufactured water systems.  Matt Grocoff is founder of the Thrive Collaborative and has installed a rainwater system at his Ann Arbor home that he is working to make the water system of the future.  In this conversation with WEMU’s David Fair, Grocoff explains why a shift in the way we engineer our water systems is a necessity and how it can work on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


2019 marks year two of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s “Festival Footprint Initiative.”  Initially, the plan was to get to a 90% waste diversion rate in 3-5 years.  Now, the plan is being accelerated.  James Carter, the festival's programming and operations manager, joins WEMU’s David Fair for a conversation on environmental stewardship through the course of a three-week long event in this week's "Issues of the Environment." 


Milk
Tom Ray / flickr.com

Pure and pasteurized milk and dairy products may taste good and be good for you, but the process that brings you this product may be making you sick.  WEMU’s David Fair explores a new study showing the plastics used in processing are contaminating some dairy products with toxic chemicals.  Mike Belliveau is executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center and this week’s guest on "Issues of the Environment."


Bees
Max Pixel / maxpixel.net

Wild bees are essential to our environment, but development, pesticides, and other issues are creating hardship for the pollinators.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Gordon Fitch, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan's Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology, about the latest research and where it will lead. 


Michigan Natural Features Inventory / mnfi.anr.msu.edu

A recent survey determined that there are approximately 150 species in Washtenaw County listed as threatened or endangered.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Brian Klatt, director of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, about why these plants and animals are in danger and what needs to be done to protect them.


Border-to-Border Trail
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Washtenaw County senior parks planner Peter Sanderson joins WEMU's David Fair to talk about how far the Border-to-Border Trail has come to this point and how much further along it will be at the end of 2019. 


Matt Doss
Great Lakes Commission / glc.org

President Donald Trump said he wanted to cut 90% from a proposed $300-million dollar budget proposal to continue funding the Great Lakes Resoration Initiative (GLRI).  He then reversed the decision.   Why is that important?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the answers from Matt Doss, policy director of the Great Lakes Commission. 


NRDC
Natural Resources Defense Council / nrdc.org

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report regarding how climate change may affect the health of Michiganders.  Juanita Constible, Senior Advocate for the NRDC's Climate and Health, Climate & Clean Energy Program, presents details on this report with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Spring recreation season is upon us and one of the most popular destinations is the Huron River.  But, you'll see an increasing number of signs along the waterway warning you not to eat the fish.  That's because of PFAS contamination.  In WEMU's 'Issues of the Environment,' get the latest on the health of the river, and how it affects you for the spring and summer ahead from Huron River Watershed Council executive director, Laura Rubin.   


Jeff Irwin
Michigan Senate Democrats / senatedems.com

In 1987, State Senator Lana Pollack (D-Ann Arbor) pushed through “Polluter Pay” legislation in Lansing, but during the ensuing Engler Administration, the laws were dismantled.  Now, 53rd District State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) and 18th District State Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) have introduced companion bills seeking to, once again, hold those who pollute accountable for their actions.  Senator Irwin joined WEMU's David Fair to offer insight on the bills in this week's "Issues of the Environment."

Anne Bannister
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The Fermi 2 nuclear power plant is about 30 miles from Ann Arbor.  A radiation leak could have dramatic impacts on public health.  Ann Arbor City Council has passed a resolution to begin the process of arming residents with tablets that can protect the human thyroid system.  Ann Arbor City Councilwoman Anne Bannister discussses the plan with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."

Cindy Klement
Cindy Klement / cindyklement.com

Due to a lack of government oversight, toxic chemicals have become much more prevalent in our daily lives.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to EMU professor and Ann Arbor nutritionist Cindy Klement about ways to manage these toxins before any serious damage can be done.


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

There's been some severe winter weather over the past few weeks, thanks to the polar vortex.  Is this just a typical weather pattern, or another sign of climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair looks into this phemonenon with Dr. Richard Rood, professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan. 


Climate Assessment
Ron Mader / flickr.com

The federal government released its National Climate Assessment in November of 2018, and it has revealed some very troubling facts about the state of climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Kris Olsson from the Ann Arbor chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby shares her thoughts on the report and some possible solutions with WEMU's Patrick Campion.


Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Salmonella, E. Coli, and other pathogens have been more prevalent in food lately, thus leading to an unusually high number of food recalls.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Kristen Schweighoefer, environmental health director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about why such recalls have increased and what we can do to avoid food-borne illnesses.


Charles Griffith
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

This year's North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit.  Once again, the world's top automakers believe the future lies in electric and automated vehicles.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair explores what impacts these vehicles may have with Charles Griffith, who directs the Climate and Energy Program at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor.


Bonnifer Ballard
Courtesy Photo / MI-AWWA

Protecting Michigan's drinking water has becoming even more of a priority in the past year.  However, during the Michigan Legislature's lame-duck session, former Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a measure making protection more difficult. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about this legislation, and its impacts, with Bonnifer Ballard, executive director of the American Water Works Association's Michigan section.


Detectable levels of PFAS and PFOS chemicals are in the Ann Arbor municipal drinking water.  Progress was made in 2018, and more is expected in the new year.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses next steps with Brian Steglitz, manager of the City of Ann Arbor's Water Treatment Services unit.


Gillian Miller
Healthy Stuff / healthystuff.org

2019 has officially begun, and it's time to make some resolutions on how to handle dangerous chemicals, like PFAS.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Gillian Miller, senior scientist at healthystuff.org, about some tips to make 2019 a more ecologically friendly year.


Another holiday season has come and gone, which means vacations, New Year's resolutions, and holiday waste.  So, as the waste piles up, what are the most environmentally friendly means of disposal?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets some trash-removing tips from Angela Porta, who is the outreach and zero waste coordinator for Recycle Ann Arbor.


Bert Cregg
Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources / msu.edu

Finding the right Christmas tree for your home is always a big part of the holiday season.  But which type of tree is better for the environment--real or artificial?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair tries to settle this debate with Michigan State University horticulture professor Dr. Bert Cregg.

Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County

Amid PFAS contamination, controversial oil and gas pipelines, and lead contamination, another water safety issue in Washtenaw County sometimes drops out of the public discourse.  The expanding 1,4 dioxane plume in the Ann Arbor area has again reared its head.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt about the steps being taken after recent testing revealed much higher levels of the chemical in the waters in Ann Arbor's West Park. 

Wildfire
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The recent wildfires in California captured the world's attention, including those researching climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to one such researcher. Dr. Jonathon Overpeck is the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. They discuss the connection between wildfires and climate change and why there is increased risk in Michigan. 


Pages