Michigan Environmental Report

News from Michigan Environmental Council on public policies affecting the health of Michigan's people and environment

From a sand-covered ghost town, Michigan's dunes story rises

Ghost towns aren't just found in out-west deserts. Some are in the dunes of west Michigan, too.


From dead zone to life abound: The Clinton River watershed

Travel around southeast Michigan’s Clinton River watershed long enough and it may seem as if the local leaders of old had tried to hide away its lakes, streams and wetlands.

Major roads cross over the Clinton River from top to bottom, but it’s hard to notice you’re traveling on bridges, let alone over water. In Pontiac, the Clinton River disappears 30 feet below ground in a culvert. Sprawling strip malls and subdivisions don’t seem like places sprawling nature naturally exists in.

If concealment actually was the intent of the top brass of Metro Detroit and its hinterlands, though, their plans were certainly foiled.


Michigan Senate votes to unlock pollution rules

A single sentence has rendered the State of Michigan unable to protect people and ecosystems from water pollution for over 18 years. Legislation passed out of the Michigan Senate Wednesday would take a red pen to the phrase.


One polluter panel down, one to go

If you’ve been following our Polluter Rulebook campaign, you’ll know that we have been hard at work taking a red pen to the 15 words that are keeping Michigan stuck in 2006

Unfortunately, that one sentence isn’t the only thing keeping the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) from protecting our environment to the fullest.


State fund reform is public transportation's moment to finally 'SOAR'

Over the years, Michigan's Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve, known as SOAR, has invested over $2 billion into business attraction and job creation in the state. Now, reforms to the controversial fund would provide a more holistic approach to keeping Michiganders in state and attracting prospective residents.

A set of three bills by Reps. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield), Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor) and Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park) would turn the SOAR fund into the Make it in Michigan Fund and adjust its structure.


Legacy Land Conservancy volunteer named 2024 Petoskey Prize recipient

The Michigan Environmental Council is pleased to announce that Sandy Sorini Elser has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership. The prize recognizes volunteer activists whose outstanding grassroots environmental leadership is marked by commitment, creativity and courage. Sandy was nominated by Environmental Council member Legacy Land Conservancy (LLC), where she has logged over 500 volunteer hours.


How 15 words have kept Michigan stuck in 2006

Cutouts of Beau Brockett with his sisters and dad in the mid-2000s line a page in a photobook

Back in 2006, this writer (pictured above in the Tiger's shirt and gray long sleeve) was learning his multiplication tables. His mom had taken his first-day-of-school pictures with a digital camera, and when he wasn’t feeling well in class, he’d call the home landline. He was a bit jealous of his classmates, who could watch cartoons on cable. Some even had the internet on their family computers.

That’s all to say, the mid-2000s were a longer time ago than we think. Our technology has advanced and (aside from Y2K’s baggy fashion being en vogue) so has our society.

And yet, this is the era the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (or EGLE) is stuck in at no fault of their own. Through a sneaky law passed by politicians, they’ve been unable to properly protect Michigan’s waters from pollution.


Michigan opens $125 million grant program for schools to purchase cleaner school buses

This press release has been shared from the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation.

On May 28, 2024, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) opened applications for the Michigan Clean Bus Energy Grant, a $125 million program aimed at helping Michigan school districts replace aging diesel school buses with cleaner alternatives and accelerating momentum to reach the goals outlined in the state’s climate plan.