The "Pure Michigan" Ad Campaign was started by the state of Michigan in 2006. It consists of ads that glorify the state of Michigan with the voice of Michigan celebrities, such as Tim Allen, behind scenic views of Michigan. The ads are intended to get people outside of Michigan to visit the state, which would boost the tourist sector of Michigan's economy. When levels of state funding were low, the controversy behind the scenes between political parties and groups throughout the state was underrepresented. The main benefactor from the Campaign is the tourism industry. However, as state funding increased, a dissonance of opinion regarding government funding of the campaign began.
On October 1, 2010 the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) launched its Recreation Passport program. The program was proposed by the Citizens Committee for Michigan State Parks who were, "seeking to establish a long-term, stable funding source for the state park system and other public entities."
According to The Michigan Messenger, the Obama administration has proposed to set aside $475 million in the 2010 budget to help remedy the problems the Great Lakes have been experiencing due to their increased toxicity. In addition to reducing toxicity, the money will protect wildlife and their habitats, decrease pollution around the shores, and fight invasive species. Adding in the money to upgrade the sewage and drinking water systems, the new proposition, if passed, would increase the federal contribution to the Great Lakes to more than $1 billion (madison.com).
Great Lakes and Recreation
Potential For Asian Carp Invasion Puts Lawmakers At Odds
Written by John Krohn
Thursday, 04 February 2010 04:56
Two species of unremarkable looking fish have been thrust into the spotlight as of late, as high-level presidential appointees, governors, and attorneys general from six Great Lakes states position themselves on either side of a controversial policy issue: whether or not to close the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal that currently links the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River system. Proponents of closing the canal say that it must be done immediately to stop two species of Asian Grass Carp, the Silver Carp and the Bighead Carp, from entering Lake Michigan in numbers that could lead to the establishment of a breeding population. It is widely held among scientists that a breeding population of these fish in the Great Lakes could and probably would destroy the commercial and sport fishing industries, with some predicting that this could happen in as little as seven years.
Jumping Asian Carp May Be Invading the Great Lakes
Saturday, 05 December 2009 00:00
Aggressive Asian carp have been traveling for 16 years, spreading up the Mississipi River and into the Illinois River. The only thing that is preventing them from reaching Michigan is a lock and dam in southern Chicago. These fish get into certain areas, and destroy native fish populations. These fish are massive, growing up to four feet long, and weighing up to 100 pounds.
Are we doing enough to protect wetlands in Michigan?
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 22:33
There are many benefits to keeping wetlands around in Michigan. They have proven to be beneficial in maintaining water quality, reducing erosion, protecting from floods and storm damage, controlling insect populations, etc. Many different groups in Michigan have tried to stop the destruction of wetlands, however, wetlands have been getting destroyed at increasing rates. Historic wetland losses in Michigan have been estimated at 50% overall. A lot of people seem to think that we should be doing more to protect wetlands, whereas many other people believe that significant efforts should not be made towards wetland conservation.
The Great Lakes seem to be such a calm and fun place to be: many do not know that invasive mussels that have started to severely affect the Great Lakes water supply. They were first spotted in the late 1980s, and now they have spread through much of the eastern United States. It is believed that they came from European vessels from across the Atlantic (Zebra Mussels). Since the species are non native to the area, they do not mesh well with the other types of marine wildlife. They tend to disturb the food chain, because the other species were never exposed to these types of animals before, according to a document written by the California Resources Agency. They eat some of the food that would normally be eaten by native species, severely affecting the sensitive food chain.
This is a serious problem is because these mussels have cost the power industry over 3 billion dollars and they have also cost other business more than 5 billion dollars. They attach themselves to many surfaces such as piers, boats, water intakes, and fish screens. They cause intake structures to be severly clogged, causing the municipal water supplies to be negatively effected. The mussels cause damage to boats by damaging boat motors and restricting cooling.
If you've been around the Great Lakes recently, you might notice they don't ascribe to the pristine standards you were expecting from what you remember (or what you've heard from people who grew up around the Great Lakes). Although most individuals will focus on the effects of point-source pollution, climate change is having an equally serious impact.
As to the issue of water levels, researchers on both sides of the global warming fence have attributed it to factors that support their respective viewpoints: the environmentalists cite studies that say it's all man's doing, while the global warming naysayers find experts who attribute everything to natural causes. Although no one's entirely sure whose verdict is the ultimate truth, scientists have agreed on one simple thing: humans are destroying the Great Lakes through climate change. The destruction isn't limited to the amount of water itself but extends, among other things, to the ecosystems and the habitats of those living within the lake and outside of it.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.