Environment Picture

Mona Hanna-Attisha: Unwavering voice for Flint’s children

Some pediatricians give kids a lollipop after a checkup. The deal’s a lot sweeter at Mona Hanna-Attisha’s clinic at Hurley Children’s Center in Flint. “Dr. Mona,” as she’s known around town, sends patients’ families out the door with a $10 voucher to buy fresh, healthy food at the Flint Farmers’ Market—no extra trip required, since the clinic is on the second floor of the market building. It’s also across the street from the bus station, providing an important connection in a city where 40 percent of residents live beneath the poverty line and many families don’t have a car. It’s a setup that embodies Hanna-Attisha’s integrated approach to medicine and her belief that quality pediatric care can’t be separated from good nutrition and a healthy, stimulating environment. That prescription is needed more urgently than ever in a city whose children already faced daunting struggles before their drinking water was contaminated with toxic, brain-damaging lead.
View ArticleJul 15, 2016  •  Spring/Summer 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

Petoskey Prize recipient Pam Taylor: Fighting factory farm pollution with data and diligence

Pam Taylor has a habit of naming things. She drives Lenawee County’s dirt roads in a black Ford Focus called the Batmobile, singing along to Motown music—her favorite. Excalibur is a store-bought extension pole, modified by her mentor to reach into rivers and take water samples. And the trucks hauling trailer loads of cow manure away from massive dairy barns? “We call those poop wagons,” she says. But when it comes to the area’s many concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, Taylor drops the playful language and gets more precise. “Ultimately, this is not farming,” she says of the industrial feedlots crammed with hundreds or thousands of livestock. “It’s industrial waste production. They produce more manure than milk.”
View ArticleJul 14, 2016  •  Spring/Summer 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN: What I’m looking for in the next DEQ director

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now in need of a new leader, due to Dan Wyant’s resignation in the wake of the department’s mishandling of the Flint drinking water crisis. Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is serving as the interim director until a permanent replacement can be found. So what qualities should a new director bring to this position?
View ArticleFeb 20, 2016  •  Winter 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: MEC Board, public health
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