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— Planet Detroit
Detroit | Flooding and recycling woes, saving the monarchs and shutting the incinerator
Emergency order issued | Jefferson Chalmers has been struggling with flooding since May, and last week the city issued an emergency order and stepped up efforts to supply 100,000 more sandbags to try to stem the waters. The neighborhood is interlaced with canals that are topping their banks due to historically high water levels in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, something experts have attributed to climate change.
As water tops the banks, it flows across properties and into the city’s combined sewer system, which is was not designed to handle an influx of lake and river water. The water is also finding its way into basements and flooding streets. Experts predict lake levels will subside, reducing pressure on the system and easing flooding, though it will take some time for the waters to go down.
Detour Detroit reports:
Without getting real answers from the city and no end to the flooding in sight, (resident Blake) Grannum can’t help but feel like her neighborhood -- which she described as a rare place where lower-income black and brown families own waterfront property -- has been abandoned.
"Everybody feels that way on the block. ‘Y’all are doing this on purpose, you’re not trying to help us,’” she said.
Recycling is a-changing | Across metro Detroit, recycling, that everyday environmentally friendly practice we all know and love, is changing. Some cities are scaling back, others are ramping up, and everyone is paying more to move cardboard, paper, yogurt containers, milk jugs, and everything else that ends up in the recycling bin to the materials recovery facility.
Saving the monarchs | Marilyn Trent is on a mission to make her city a haven for the beleaguered monarch butterfly. The City of Rochester resident and downtown business owner launched the Rochester Pollinators Committee this spring to provide residents with education and milkweed seeds (the plant monarch caterpillars rely on). The city’s mayor signed the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and the committee is working with city staff and and its Downtown Development Authority to implement that pledge by planting monarch-friendly habitats in city parks and public spaces. A new butterfly garden in the municipal park has already been visited by the orange-and-black insects:
Goodbye, incinerator | Writer Kianga Moore chronicles the story behind the shuttering of the Detroit incinerator on March 27. Interviewing longtime neighborhood residents and activists, she details the 33-year struggle:
“Everyone in our campaign has a different path to environmental justice work,” (activist Kim Hunter) said. “For me, it was being raised in the ‘60s and ‘70s during a time of foment, traveling to the more pristine parts of Michigan as a child and realizing just how polluted my community was.”
Of course, the story is not all bright news, as Moore notes, with 150 employees losing their jobs at the facility.
See | Insta-photo pick
Connect | Engage with Detroit’s environment
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