We at Michigan Environmental Council take pride in the expertise our staff, board and allies have in a plethora of interconnected environmental and health issues. Whether published by Michigan Environmental Council or in conjunction with our allies, the following projects, reports and briefs are a physical manifestation of focus on policies grounded in science and community inclusion.

FY 2025 Michigan State Budget Priorities

To “make it” here in Michigan, we need better, more affordable housing; easy access to nature and transportation; and safety from environmental catastrophe. These budget priorities, developed by the Environmental Council in partnership with the Ecology Center, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, National Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, articulate a strategy to give Michiganders just that. 

Read the priorities

An overview of Michigan's landmark climate legislation

Michigan’s fight against climate change took a huge leap forward as the legislature approved landmark legislation advancing renewable energy generation, helping consumers save energy at home, and creating the foundation for a just transition to clean energy.

Discover the Environmental Council's detailed breakdown of the package, including how these bills as passed compare to our target policies and the status quo. 

Read the report

Print the report

Read our statement on the laws' passage

Brand story of the Michigan Environmental Council

The Environmental Council underwent a brand transformation in 2023. We created a new logo with our new mission—and Michigan—in mind. In this new chapter, we seek to tell more stories; showcase the diversity and impact of our movement; inspire and connect environmental champions; and celebrate the moments of victory as we enact bold change.

See the brand in action

2030 Report: How Michigan Should Meet Its Climate Change Goals

In 2022, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her MI Healthy Climate Plan, a commitment and roadmap to getting Michigan toward carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan, made possible by numerous expert working groups, was big in its vision but lacking in some spaces on the methods of getting there.

Enter this policy report by the Michigan Environmental Council, NRDC, 5 Lakes Energy, and RMI. These organizations lay out the methods of helping Michigan transition toward a clean energy society in the quickest, most impactful ways possible.

Read the report

Read NRDC's blog post

Impacts of Coal Ash on Michigan's Water Quality

This 2021 Michigan Environmental Council report details the ways in which coal-fired power plants have contaminated Michigan's Great Lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and drinking water with toxins like mercury, arsenic and lead. It also outlines solutions.

Read our report

New Paths Forward for Increasing Conservation on Michigan Farms

This brief for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was the culmination of two years of roundtables across the state where farmers identified their barriers to adopting good conservation practices. Better markets, crops and product opportunities and better connections between farmers and key conservation stakeholders must be made.

The project was led by Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan State University and National Wildlife Federation, with funding by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and the MDARD.

Read the report

Read our blog post

Michigan School Siting Guidelines: Taking the Environment Into Account

This years-long report led by the Universities of Michigan and Maryland featured a Michigan Environmental Council board member and a staff member who both are deeply involved in public health and environmental health.  

The report lays out the steps (and the reasoning) for the state to adopt guidelines that take environmental hazards into account when schools are being developed, redeveloped and consolidated. 

Read the research

Read our blog post

Learning to Live in Dynamic Dunes

This third iteration of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded research between Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan State University seeks to boost our understanding of the world's largest freshwater coastal dunes system, right here in Michigan. 

Through geographic maps, mental modeling and repeat photography, the years-long project is meant to inform local decision-makers and their constituents when making decisions that could affect their neighboring dunes. 

Check out our multi-year project

Read our blog post

Our stance: 2020 Lake Erie Adaptive Management Plan

These comments written by MEC and allies were delivered to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. In short, we thought its plan to reduce nutrient pollution in Lake Erie would fall short of its goals because it emphasized continual research and voluntary regulations rather than direct, novel action backed by research of the recent past.

Read our legal comments

Read our blog post

Quantifying Water Quality Benefits of Healthy Soils

Michigan Environmental Council and other leaders in conservation and agriculture published this joint article on the link between soil and water quality in BioScience. 

The group found that leaders must pay better attention to conservation practices and models. It also found that a good scientific understanding of soil health, water quality and the conservation methods that create both conditions does not create widespread change in farming practices. Barriers must be lifted.

Read the joint article

2019-2022 Environmental Roadmap

Making Michigan a Leader in Protecting Water, Human Health and the Environment

Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan League of Conservation Voters, in conjunction with our many member and partner organizations, have put together a multi-year plan for lawmakers and the new administration to address Michigan’s top environmental and public health challenges.

See the roadmap

Coast-to-Coast Railway Study

The Environmental Council received a federal grant to explore ridership potential and costs associated with operating a passenger rail service between three major cities: Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids. In partnership with MEC member group Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, we worked with local governments, chambers of commerce, and other institutions along the potential rail corridors to determine the economic impact. We also gathered feedback from hundreds of residents and businesses. We ultimately found widespread support for expanding passenger rail service.

Our Report     Executive Summary