Agreement Reached in White River

Last year the DEQ rejected G-Bro’s permit application to build an access road across the White River Critical Dunes Sanctuary to gain access to a landlocked property with 200 feet of lakefront.


G-Bro, a real estate developer, subsequently sued the township seeking an easement. The recent agreement puts further legal action on hold, and gives the township 18 months to raise $900,000 and buy the G-Pro property. The township plans to seek both private and public funding for the purchase.

Further information is available at

For history of the controversy search for “white River” in the box in the upper right corner of this page.

We will follow developments and keep you up-to-date.

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House Natural Resources Committee Approves SB72

Yesterday the natural resources committee approved Senate Bill
78. (See related posts.) It will proceed to a vote of the full House where it is expected to easily pass.

It is not too late to ask your representative to vote “no” on SB78 and to ask the governor to veto it if the House passes it.

Once again the House has demonstrated that only by electing legislators who value the natural environment and are committed to protecting it will the state’s natural resources be safe.

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Repeal Biodiversity?

Wrongheaded Bill Is Real Threat

The Natural Resources Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives has scheduled action on Senate Bill 78 for its meeting at 8:30 AM Tuesday, December 9. This is a bad bill and if passed into law will reverse over 100 years of Michigan’s protection of biodiversity.


Passage of this wrongheaded bill will Continue reading

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Vote on Tuesday to protect the environment!

In a recent editorial on, Lisa Wozniak, president of Michigan League of Conservation Voters, urged Michiganders to go to the polls to support environmental protection. There are clear choices this year. Only with strong committed leadership will the beauty and natural resources of the state be preserved for future generations.


Visit for more information.

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Next chance to stand up for critical sand dunes

Today, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public hearing about a permit application to pave and widen a road that runs through 130 beautiful acres of dunes, along the coast of Lake Michigan near Saugatuck. The road work is part of a larger plan to fully develop the pristine site, but we have the chance now to speak out and defend Michigan’s dunes.

There are a few important ways you can take action to oppose dunes development:

1. Attend the DEQ’s public hearing on Monday, June 30th at 6 PM in the Saugatuck High School’s Library (401 Elizabeth St, Saugatuck, MI).

2.Submit a public comment to the DEQ in support of denying the permit and protecting Michigan’s sand dunes for future generations. Continue reading

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Hearings Held for Recreation Areas

Two hearings that will effect lake front areas in South Haven were held last week. Both are for improvements to park land and both were approved to be submitted for funding to the Department of Natural Resources’ Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). Matching funds from local agencies are required.

Syndicate Park

On Monday, March 24, the Van Buren County Commission held a public hearing on proposed stabilization of the Syndicate Park dune area adjacent to Northpoint Preserve in a critical dunes area. Continue reading

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NOAA Scientists Analyze Great Lakes Water Levels

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) scientists recently shared their insights on the great lakes water levels in an article in Science Magazine (March 7, 2014, issue).

Water levels dropping Rising water temperature and evaporation contributes to decline in lake levels. The vertical gray bar represents the period of El Niño influenced warming. (NOAA)

Water levels dropping
Rising water temperature and evaporation contributes to decline in lake levels. The vertical gray bar represents the period of El Niño influenced warming. (NOAA)

In the past, water level fluctuations have been the result of varying amounts of precipitation. Now with global climate change, new factors are driving level changes.

A summary of their work is available on line at the NOAA OAR Research website. Or read the article in Science for a thorough discussion of their work and findings.

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Hearing: Syndicate Park Sand Dune Area

On Monday, March 24 at 3:45 the Van Buren County Commission will hear comments on a proposed grant proposal to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) for improvements at Syndicate Park Dune Area. The hearing will be at the Commissioners’ Chambers, County Building, 219 E Paw Paw St., Paw Paw.


Continue reading

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