89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition

Balloons are typically associated with any celebration, whether it's birthdays, weddings, and so forth.  Yet, releasing balloons into the air can have serious consequences for the environment and wildlife.  University of Michigan graduate student Lara O'Brien is collecting data and researching the impacts and shares her findings with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Andrew Brisbo
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 last year, which legalized the sale and adult use of recreational marijuana.  But, actions still need to be taken to protect the public health in the products it consumes and the environment as a new cash crop takes hold in Michigan.  What's being done?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets answers from Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan's Bureau of Marijuana Regulation.


Birds
David Lenker / flickr.com

It's very common for birds to accidentally hit the windows of someone's home or workplace, which leaves the birds seriously injured or dead.  It is part of a serious extinction threat to our winged friends.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Heidi Trudell from Washtenaw Safe Passage, an organization designed to prevent such accidents from happening.


Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a particularly dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.  Infections have been reported in southeast Michigan, but actions are being taken to contain the virus from spreading.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Juan Marquez, Medical Director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about what's being done to fight EEE in Washtenaw County.


Impossible Burger
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Across the country, rapid expansion of plant-based foods is being seen in restaurants and stores.  Would a continuing shift away from meat-based foods help the environment?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair looks for the answer to that question in a conversation with Dr. Martin Heller, a research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan.


Maia C. / flickr.com

The Detroit Zoo says it will running 100% on renewable energy in 2020.  The effort adds to other sustainability efforts that have made the zoo a leader in environmental stewardship.  In this 'Issues of the Environment' conversation with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair, Detroit Zoological Society CEO Ronald Kagen covers what environmentally-friendly features exist, what is to come, and how the zoo is spreading its message to all who will listen. 


Recycling
Needpix.com

Glass is one of many materials that can and should be recycled.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Department of Public Services director Ronald Akers about why glass is no longer allowed as part of the city's curbside recycling program and how residents can make sure the glass still gets recycled. 


Farming
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The weather this year has been unfavorable for the corn and soybean harvest in Michigan.  Farmers have faced colder and wetter-than-normal conditions in the spring, and that delayed planting.  Now, an early freeze could devastate the harvest this fall.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses problems and solutions with Roger Betz, farm business management educator with Michigan State University Extension.


Algal Bloom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

August and September are peak months for the algae blooms that plague Lake Erie each year.  This year, the bloom covers about 620 square miles.  That’s roughly six times the size of the city of Cleveland and is so big, it is easily seen from space.  On "Issues of the Environment" this week, 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair will talk with University of Michigan professor Don Scavia about the 2019 blooms and what needs to be done as climate change seems to be exacerbating the problem.


Roads
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Washtenaw County Road Commission has terminated its use of herbicides in dealing with weeds and overgrowth along area roads.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with county commissioner Sue Shink about controlling roadside vegetation and what is being done to better address the myriad of chemicals that are a part of our daily lives.


Monarch Butterfly
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Over the past 30 years, there has been more than a 90-percent decline in the numbers of monarch butterflies, and much of that can be attributed to loss of habitat.  There is ongoing consideration of adding them to the endangered species list, and, in "Issues of the Environment," 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair explores what that means to humans and our ecology in a conversation with the David Clipner, the Director of Education and Wildlife at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor. 


Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Facebook / facebook.com

It’s been a full century now since the Ann Arbor Farmers Market first hit the downtown streets.  It was in a different location then, but the idea of a direct-to-consumer way to sell locally produced foods has stood the test of time.  On this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” David Fair gets a historical and present-day perspective and a peek at what the future may hold with market manager Stephanie Willett.


University of Michigan
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

The appearance of the chemicals known as PFAs in local waterways has become a serious problem.  Yet, a recent study determined that certain foods contain such contaminants, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses the research with Dr. John Meeker, professor of environmental health sciences at the U-M's School of Public Health.


Meal Kit
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Grocery shopping can be tough for those who can't fit it into their busy schedules, which is why some have do-it-yourself meal kits delivered to their homes.  According to a recent study, using such delivery services are more beneficial to the environment.  WEMU's David Fair discusses the study with Shelie Miller from the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


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.


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."

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