Michigan Environmental Report

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

Governor's budget recs need work to meet her population goals

Michigan's population growth is second-worst in the nation, continuing a decades-long, largely downward trend. It's why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made population retention and growth a leading message.

Her proposed state budget, however, doesn't fully put her vision into action.

Our thoughts on Gov. Whitmer's State of the State

The largest housing investment in state history was a top priority of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's State of the State address Wednesday evening in Lansing.

Gov. Whitmer called for $1.4 billion of state and federal money to be used to build or rehabilitate 10,000 homes of all sizes and varieties. Its effects would give long-lasting benefits to peoples' environment, health, and finances.

After landmark lead laws pass, new bills continue momentum

"Historic" was a word advocates used to describe what 2023 meant in the fight to end lead poisoning. Thanks to new, bipartisan laws, all young children will soon be tested for lead, and all schools and childcare centers will soon have drinking water filters installed.

Now, as the State of Michigan prepares to implement those expanded protections, new legislation has been introduced to provide the necessary structural support.

Power to the people: Energizing Alger County

Ever since I was five years old, my family has always taken summer trips up north to the small town of Grand Marais—nestled in Alger County within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, for those unfamiliar with this part of the Upper Peninsula. I now live in beautiful Marquette. Then and now, I love that this pristine, remote part of the Mitten allows me to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy all the natural beauty that makes our state so special.

Politics: tough. People: tougher. Uniting for climate action

Colleen Otte is no grizzled, veteran climate activist, but even in her few years in the movement, she's seen how far Michigan has come.

Otte is the communications manager for the Michigan Climate Action Network (MiCAN). When MiCAN formed in 2015, she said climate change was something not often talked about. That made solutions like carbon neutrality unattainable.

Yet, just eight years later, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed one of the nation's boldest sets of climate policies into law.

Disastrous Enbridge Line 5 tunnel permit approved

The following article was written by the Michigan Climate Action Network, a Michigan Environmental Council member group. MiCAN, along with fellow member groups Clean Water Action - Michigan and FLOW are longtime, leading advocates against the Line 5 oil pipeline that cuts through the Great Lakes.

We all benefit from new climate laws. Even me and you

History has been made. After decades of education and advocacy from thousands across our state, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed landmark climate legislation into law. It will power the state with clean energy and set up our electric infrastructure so we can receive it cheaply and without fear of power outages.

There are plenty of powerful policies to discuss, but, as they say, all politics is local. I think my local story is worth telling. Not because it's remarkable but because it's not. I've come to realize climate change has shaped my life in quiet ways, and I've realized our new climate laws will shape my future for the better. 

If my middle-of-the-road Midwest life can be positively impacted thanks to climate laws, so will everyone's.

SEEDS sprouts change in northern Michigan

This month, I am delighted to shine a spotlight on one of the Michigan Environmental Council’s newest member organizations, the SEEDS Ecology & Education Centers. Based in Traverse City, SEEDS joined the Environmental Council team in September, and we are thrilled to welcome its unique voice.