Catch of the Day

Recent Stories

Rattlesnake bite triggers advisory


We recently reported on a snakebite incident in lower Michigan. A young, barefoot visitor to an Ann Arbor botanical garden was bitten by an Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, the only rattlesnake native to Michigan. The young girl was hospitalized and recovered. The incident has triggered an advisory from a group of Michigan naturalists of the risk of an encounter with this species of snake in our state. Current State’s Mark Bashore speaks with Steven Parrish, a Restorative Ecologist at the Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, to learn more about the potential risks of rattlesnakes in Michigan. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Failed algae policies leave Toledo high and dry


Toledo citizens were without water this past weekend as life-threatening toxins caused by harmful algae far surpassed safe levels. That’s 400,000 people left to scramble for water wherever they could find it. Ohio declared a state of emergency and it was one of those all hands on deck situations. Toledo without water because of toxic algae? We shouldn’t be surprised. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Photo Friday: An emerald on the beach

Kennedy's emerald dragonfly. Image: David Marvin

Note: This image and explanation is by David Marvin. Kennedy’s emerald dragonflies (Somatochlora kennedyi) tend to be fairly shy dragonflies when it comes to being photographed. This female Kennedy’s Emerald got caught in a quickly moving cold front along Lake Superior that caused it to land on the sandy beach, creating a rare occasion to photograph one without first capturing it. Its wings and body have dew that formed when the front arrived and the fog rolled inland. Kennedy’s Emerald dragonflies are related to other members of the Striped Emeralds of the Somatochlora genus, including the endangered Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora hineana). Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Month in review: Detroit water shut-offs, carp and pipelines

People protesting the shut off water to some Detroit citizens and businesses.
Image: Flickr- Light Brigading

At the end of each month we check in with Echo commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, Gary discusses Detroit water shutoffs and the latest legal news on the Asian Carp situation. This segment is a feature of a partnership between Great Lakes Echo and WKAR’s Current State public affairs program. supported by Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.   Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Poll: A fifth of Michigan residents not Great Lakes wet yet

Ipperwash Beach, along Lake Huron. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan residents may live in a basin containing nearly 20 percent of the world’s freshwater, but more than 21 percent failed to boat, swim or wade in a Great Lake in the past five years, according to a recent poll conducted by Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants. Here’s what else the poll revealed:

Only 13.5 percent of Michigan potential voters went to every lake during the past five years. Almost 21 percent visited one lake. Almost 19 percent visited two lakes. A little more than 16 percent visited three lakes. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Photo Friday: Shipboard education

Volunteer educator and retired Dow chemist Dick Crooks shows students aboard the Appledore how to find dissolved oxygen using the Winkler reaction.
Image: Appledore

BaySail in Bay City, Mich., is a 15-year-old non profit organization that teaches students through scientific observations and measurements of weather, water quality, aquatic life, and human impact on the environment, says Scott Ellis, the Lake Huron organization’s communications manager. Lessons on board the tall ship Appledore IV encourage collaboration with peers and experts. Some 43,000 students from schools throughout Michigan have been aboard. A new program launched this year called Windward Bound is a weekend long, sailing and camping trip for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups. They sail from Bay City to Tawas and participate in shipboard and land-based environmental education and sail training. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Michigan voters favor changing energy mix – especially if it doesn’t cost anything

Otto E. Eckert Station, a coal-fired power plant in Lansing, Mich. Photo: Jennifer Kalish.

More than 42 percent of Michigan potential voters think the state should dramatically reduce its reliance on electricity generated from coal over the next 25 years as technology improves and costs decrease for other sources, according to a recent poll by Public Sector Consultants. But only 13 percent favor a dramatic drop in coal-produced electricity over the next 10 years, even if it means electricity rates were to increase, according to the poll of 600 likely voters done by the Lansing public policy company and Denno Research. Poll respondents were told before answering:

“Michigan produces 57 percent of its electricity from coal, 11 percent from natural gas, 22 percent from nuclear, and 10 percent from renewable energy sources. Of these sources, coal is the source that produces the greatest amount of carbon emissions, a component of climate change. As you think about balancing Michigan’s energy needs with the price of electricity on one hand, and the environment on the other, which of the following statements comes closest to your beliefs?” Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Photo Friday: June dawn at Middle Bass Island

Sunrise Middle Bass Island, Lake Erie

Have an environmental image you’ve taken somewhere within the Great Lakes region and that you’d like to submit for Echo’s Photo Friday series? Send it to along with the photographer’s name and town of residence, approximate date it was taken, where it was taken and a little bit of description of what we’re looking at. Context such as how you happened to take it, whether there were physical or technical challenges in capturing it or any other “story behind the picture” is also helpful. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Mosquitoes triple

Current State logo

If you live in Michigan it seems like every summer is a time to complain about the mosquitoes being really bad this year, but how bad are they, really? Current State talked with Ned Walker about this year’s mosquito crop and some of the issues connected to mosquito-borne illness. He’s a professor in MSU’s Department of Entomology and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,