Delta and local communities keep Michigan clean

By Zach Parfeniuk, reporter.

Delta College celebrated Earth Day on Apr. 11, with the theme this year being “Protect Our Species” as guest speakers, presentations and other events lined the hallways. This event dispersed information about the dangers posed to local animals, insects and fish in the Great Lakes ecosystem.

In Room N007, speaker Janet Malusi, an expert on bees and their habitats, detailed the risks involved with the steady loss of pollinators across the country. Her comments included all the plants that we would lose if we continue losing bees at this rate.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, U.S. beekeepers have consistently reported alarming bee colony loss. These reported losses are higher than any acceptable rate ever since 2006.

Other speakers and informational events included Dr. Art Martin, an aquatic ecologist, Joe Rogers, a specialist in wildfowl, and TED Talks in the main hallway focusing on saving endangered species. Casual fun was mixed in alongside everything else, including a showing of “Bee Movie” in the main hallway, and a tree seed giveaway sponsored by the Delta College Environmental Club.

Conversation Fund member and manager of the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (SWIN) Mike Kelly detailed his organization’s experiences in protecting the local environment of the Saginaw Bay.

“The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit group,” Kelly said. “One of our projects here is SWIN. It’s a grant making organization. Our partners provide funding to us, and we distribute it to projects across the Saginaw Bay watershed.”

According to Kelly, since 1988, The Conservation Fund has been at least partially involved with 300 projects within the Saginaw Bay area.

“One of the recent projects we’ve been involved in is the lake sturgeon restoration project,” Kelly said. “In the Saginaw-Bay watershed there are remnants of the lake sturgeon fish species. We’ve been heavily involved in making the bay suitable for that species,” stated Kelly.

Kelly and those working with him accomplished this by removing dams, and improving habitats by removing polluting plastics, sewage, and other such dangers.

Michigan especially has big shoes to fill when it comes to how we treat nature. The Great Lakes ecosystem is integral to the world’s fresh water, as well as thousands of species that reside in the Great Lakes.

“We live in a state where you’re never more than an hours drive from one of the Great Lakes,” Kelly said.

Earth Day served as a reminder to all Delta College students about what they can do to keep environmentally conscious.

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