Environment

Kenna checks a creek near F.C. Reed Middle School in Bridgman
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

So far this year 25 public beaches on Lake Michigan have had closures due to high bacteria levels. As sewers and septic tanks age, they can leak human waste into streams and lakes - which can make people sick. Some cities and towns are trying to fix this old infrastructure.

But there’s a problem - how do you find out which pipes are leaking? A company founded in Michigan, Environmental Canine Services, uses dogs to sniff out wastewater.


WMUK

Reporter Elizabeth Miller says that seeing beaches in Ohio without lifeguards made her think about the issue of drowning on the Great Lakes. 


The Otsego Township Dam
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency ordered what’s called a “time-critical removal action” for the area behind the Otsego Township Dam. The failing Kalamazoo River dam is struggling to hold PCBs leftover from old paper mills. The action orders the responsible parties to remove PCBs from behind the dam - even though that part of the river isn’t scheduled to be cleaned up for several years. 

Bill Bouton

Last week, the Kalamazoo Nature Center released 18 rare butterfly caterpillars. The Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly is a nationally endangered species. There are only 11 groups of the butterfly left in the entire United States. The Mitchell’s Satyr has been called a “canary in a coal mine” for America’s wetlands.


WMUK

The National Media Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council says even after all the cleanup efforts, oil remains in the Kalamazoo River from a massive spill six year years ago. 


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