Bill Latka

  • published Brandie Ekren Presentation in What's Up? 2022-07-17 19:04:50 -0400

    Brandie Ekren Presentation

    Brandie Ekren, the new Executive Director of Traverse City Light & Power spoke to a small crowd of NMEAC board members and supporters about her new role for Traverse City's municipal utility.

  • published Climate Change in Our Issues 2021-10-26 23:20:13 -0400

    Climate Change

    Climate Change and Birds in Northwestern Michigan

    By William C Scharf

    Climate effects were evident in the local avifauna (bird populations) even before I arrived here in the 1960s. We now take for granted local year-around bird species such as Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Tufted Titmice, and House Finches. They are all recent arrivals here, coming from more southerly regions. More than purely temperature change has been involved in this story. Great increases in the human population have also brought about more winter feeding of birds. Recently, urbanized habitats have decreased migrant birds in Traverse City. Tall buildings lining the Boardman River on both sides make a narrow corridor for bird flight between walls of glass and brick. A local proliferation of woody plants which are alien to the region make a hostile environment. Trees such as Norway Maple, Colorado Blue Spruce, Siberian Elm, and Tree of Heaven have been planted and invaded widely on their own. Additionally, invasive shrubs such as Japanese Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive, and Eurasian Burning Bush have spread through incentives from federal agencies and local nurseries. These species do not support insect life for food or provide nesting habitat necessary for our native bird species.

    We have captured and banded over 7,000 migrating birds at a preserve near Empire over the past 11 years. Our sample totals 102 species. Many were sparsely known from our area previously. Some of the 102 species are already bird species in peril. One recently captured bird, the Rusty Blackbird, has already decreased 89% in the last ten years by international census estimates. Continuation of our project will show the increase and decrease in migratory species moving through this location. It is already apparent that long-distance migrant birds are suffering declines on their way to and from the tropics where they spend most of their lives. Habitat destruction, pesticides, building collisions, deforestation, and cats are only a partial list of the perils they face on their journey.

    The local high-water levels flooding their nesting sites have negatively affected waterfowl, Gulls, Terns, and Herons. This is attributed to extra precipitation from warming waters due to climate change. The water levels were so high last year in early May that waves swept over Bellow Island near Northport washing the nests of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls away. Fortunately, those birds were able to re-nest last year, but repeated losses will take a negative toll. Meanwhile, we have been testing eggs from Herring Gulls and they show a decrease in the bio-magnification of toxicity that was extremely high in the past. This can only mean greater survival for the birds, and less toxic materials in the food chain which all aquatic life depends on. Formerly endangered American Bald Eagles show modest gains in nesting success, as well as do hawks and owls. But, as habitat dwindles due to urbanization and as their prey decreases in numbers, they too may become species of concern.

  • published 2020-2021 in EOY Recipients 2021-09-25 00:31:55 -0400

  • Watch Climate Change Solutions with Peter Sinclair

    Watch Peter Sinclair's Climate Change Solutions 2021 webinar held on February 26, 2021.

    Read more

  • published The Greg Reisig Prize for Environmental Journalism in EOY 2020-09-11 11:17:24 -0400

  • published Issues Blog in Our Issues 2020-07-28 19:06:14 -0400

  • published 2019 in EOY Recipients 2019-04-29 22:56:04 -0400

  • published Green Ticker in What's Up? 2019-03-04 13:32:47 -0500

    Green Ticker

    Because of the Covid 19 pandemc the Green Ticker has taken a time-out

    Calendar items will be updated and new information added once there again begins to be group events.

    Please stay safe, wear a mask, and follow your local health department guidelines concerning social distancing

    Thank you for behaving responsibly 


    With our air, water, land, and climate threatened as never before, now is the time for those who desire a better future to work together.

    This is our listing of educational, social, and political events related to the environment that are taking place in the Grand Traverse region. To have your event listed, please send an email to [email protected] that includes:

    day   date   start and end time   name of event   location (with address)  event sponsor  fee/donation   short comment   

    Thank you

    See all events

  • published Support EOY Awards in Donate 2019-02-08 13:29:00 -0500

  • published Land Use in Our Issues 2017-12-18 12:26:26 -0500

    Land Use

    Sprawl Makes a Comeback

    NMEAC voiced opposition to the ill-conceived plans for the 81 on East Bay development on the Old Mission Peninsula and helped support a new group called Preserve Old Mission. The development site includes steep ridges along East Bay and a spectacular woods running along the tops of those steep ridges. The developer wants to level the ridges to gain views of the Bay. We are also monitoring future developments and will be working to be sure setbacks from the Bay and the Boardman River are enforced.

    Sprawl in TC Fall

    Interlochen Wetlands

    NMEAC has been involved in challenging an MDEQ permit which allows wetlands to be filled for a small development near Interlochen. We joined together with Interlochen Center for the Arts and local residents to challenge the permit in circuit court. We have been part of this issue since 2007.

Producing & directing TV shows, commercials, videos, but mostly trying to make things on this planet better for you and me.


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