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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.