It's all about flooding

Issue # 2 | PLUS: Climate crisis, not change

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Thank you for reading the Planet Detroit Newsletter! Our goal is to keep you informed and connected to what’s happening in the environment in Detroit, the region, Michigan and the world. Please let us know what you think.

Big Picture | Top stories from around the nation and world

This week, the Guardian made a change to its style guide. Instead of “climate change” the venerable British pub now advises “climate crisis” or “climate heating” instead. Why? Editor in chief Katharine Viner:

“The phrase ‘climate change’ …. sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

Planet Detroit agrees and is adopting this style guide.

Also this week, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography noted a new record atmospheric carbon measurement. It’s now higher than at any time in human history.

Also this week, a UN report says one million species are at risk of extinction, many within decades. One way to save butterflies? Put them in cities.

Sources: The Guardian, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, CNN, UN, CS-Monitor, Mother Jones

Local Know | Top stories from around the city, region and state

Climate Crisis | Flooding is here

Had water in your basement recently? If so, you’re not alone in metro Detroit. Flooding is becoming a bigger problem in Michigan. Far east side residents are still drying out as more rain (and shoreline flooding) are predicted.

This week, the Detroit News published an op-ed from two UM scientists warning that recent global and local flooding serve as ”warnings that we must better prepare and plan for the future ahead.” Solutions? Here’s what several metro Detroit communities are doing about it.

Meanwhile, Lake Erie’s waters are set to break record heights, causing floods and danger for boaters. And all that rain is going to translate into more algae in Western Lake Erie later this year, putting drinking water supplies at risk and depleting fisheries.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, Click on Detroit, Detroit News, Michigan Radio, U.S. Global Change Research Program, NOAA, Metromode

PFAS | Don’t touch the PFAS

Steer clear of the PFAS foam, Michigan health officials warned residents this week. Advisories for PFAS have been made for five bodies of water so far, including the Huron River in southeast Michigan. U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin is proposing legislation that would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to require public water systems to test for PFAS. Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wants more people to get their blood tested for exposure.

Solutions? Debbie Dingell proposed legislation this week to ban PFAS in food containers and cookware. And the 5-hour Energy founder is constructing a plant in Lyon Township to manufacture whole-home water purification systems capable of removing PFAS, among other contaminants. The cost? Around $9,800 to buy or $120 per month to lease.

Sources: UpNorth Live, Click on Detroit, Crain’s Detroit Business, Michigan Radio

Environmental Justice | Study to look at cumulative economic and health burdens of air pollution, energy costs in southwest Detroit

The Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan has awarded $10,000 to “perform a health impact assessment to estimate the health costs for different energy-mix and rate scenarios, and combine the results with electricity-related fuel poverty costs.” Co-principal investigators include Carina Gronlund, Institute for Social Research, Tony Reames, UM-SEAS, and Michelle Martinez, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

Source: Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.

Understand | Context to help you understand

So what is PFAS? DPTV’s Great Lakes Now has this explainer:

Source: Great Lakes Now

See | Our photo pick

Another Flower Day at Detroit’s Eastern Market Corporation is in the books.

Connect | Engage with Detroit’s environment

Have an opportunity you’d like to see featured here? Let us know.

Learn about sustainable brands | Detroit

The conference runs June 3-6 at Cobo Center >>>

Pull garlic mustard | Clinton Township

This Wednesday, May 22 with the Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy. More info >>>

Learn backyard nature photography | Pontiac

June 1 at Goldner Walsh. More info >>>

Help clean up the Rouge River | Multiple locations

The annual Rouge Rescue launched May 19 with activities throughout the week. Check out a cleanup site near you >>>

Buy some native plants | Multiple locations

Upcoming plant sales where natives can be purchased:

  • June 1: Stage Nature Center Native Plant Sale >>>

  • June 8: Clinton River Watershed Council >>>

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