Pages tagged "conservation"
Michigan’s coastal dunes draw millions of visitors and drive our coastal economies, but development, sand mining and invasive species threaten our continued enjoyment of these unique ecosystems. We have the largest collection of freshwater dunes, and we know Michiganders would like to keep it that way – every stretch of our 300,000 acres-worth is important.
The proliferation of natural gas fracking – which uses sand to extract gas from underground cracks – has renewed interests in mining after a forty-year moratorium on new sand mining permits. Meanwhile, real estate interests have weakened longstanding protections. It is now easier to build roads through coastal dunes and construct buildings and water barriers that harden these dynamic dunes in place.
MEC is working to protect our dunes through research that helps us understand the dunes and what they mean to Michigan so we can advocate for policies that protect our dunes for future generations to enjoy.
Since 2013, MEC has sought out the most knowledgeable experts to improve our understanding of Michigan’s dunes – how they came to be, how they change and evolve naturally, and what is at risk if we continue to lose dunes to new development and continued mining.
Our own expert staff work with these experts, our allies and partners to improve Michigan’s management of coastal dunes. The collaboration provides resources and information, such as these reports designed to help the state and coastal communities to engage in true, science-based management of dunes.
These reports holistically map our dunes through GIS technology, repeat photography and personal perceptions. Then, our experts draw upon those maps to offer recommendations best for dunes protections, smart development and beautiful shoreline landscapes.
- Create a complete digital map of all of Michigan’s coastal dune features so we know what is at risk and what is worth protecting, and how dunes develop and change over time.
- Assemble and provide information about the economic benefit of protected dunes, as well as the social and cultural value they provide Michigan communities and the state.
- Build a stronger constituency of people who appreciate our dunes so we can work together to protect these globally rare assets.
How we work
Life on the edge: Shoreland Stewards program provides conservation tools for lakefront property owners
With Memorial Day fast approaching, many Michiganders are preparing to re-open cottages on the state's more than 11,000 inland lakes. If you're lucky enough to have a summer place on the water or live lakeside year-round, the way you landscape and manage your property can have a big impact on water quality and lake-dwelling wildlife.Read more
MEC and allies have argued for more than two years that commercial fish farms have no place in our Great Lakes. This week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agreed.Read more
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last week delayed its expected decision on a permit for the Back Forty Project, an open-pit gold, zinc and copper mine proposed for the western Upper Peninsula. Back in September, the agency indicated in a preliminary decision its intent to approve the request from Aquila Resources, opening a final window for the public to weigh in before the final decision set for Dec. 1. The deadline for that final decision has now been pushed back to Dec. 29.Read more
Our ears perked up when we learned recently that Gov. Rick Snyder and his family took a trip this summer to the Pigeon River Country State Forest.Read more
Editor's note: This post is by MEC intern Teha Ames.Read more
Today was a big day in the ongoing effort to protect our fisheries and fresh water by keeping factory fish farming out of the Great Lakes.Read more