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About the organizer
Rita Jack
Rita Jack
Water Sentinel, Mackinac Chapter
109 E. Grand River Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48906
Phone: (517) 484-2372
Fax: (517) 484-3108
rita.jack@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club EPEC Program
Michigan

Michigan Sentinels monitor two pollution nightmares

The Pine River (Gratiot County, MI) has had a
total fish consumption ban designated from the Alma Impoundment 36 miles
downstream to the Chippewa River confluence since 1974 due to
contamination from DDT and PBBs, and is the only river in the nation
with that designation from those two pollutants.The Pine River in central Michigan, contaminated with DDT, PBBs, and petroleum hydrocarbons from chemical plants and refineries, is a Superfund pollution nightmare. Another threat to Michigan waterways comes from the waste from massive hog and dairy factories, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. Nine such animal factories have racked up water-pollution violations as of April 2002, which doesn't bode well for our community and environmental health.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is failing to do its job of protecting the water resources of the state. Even though the MDEQ knew about the violations, there have been no penalties, no fines and no follow up.

That's why the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club initiated Water Sentinel projects to monitor these serious problems. Read more...

  • In a nutshell
  • Accomplishments
  • Clean Water Act's 30th anniversary
  • The more help we have, the more we can do!

    Residents who want to help monitor animal-factory pollution or to help monitor the Pine River are welcome to contact Rita Jack in the Mackinac Chapter office at (517) 484-2372 or rita.jack@sierraclub.org.

    Pine River Sentinels will be trained to collect and identify benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects), used as river health indicators, and to collect river habitat information. CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations, or animal factories) Sentinels will be trained to collect water samples and either test them for E. coli themselves, or deliver the samples to a certified lab for analysis. Sentinels are also needed who can help find CAFOs in Michigan, so that we can map their locations relative to rivers and streams.

    Please call the Mackinac Chapter office if you would like more information about any of these projects. The more help we have, the more we can accomplish. Contact Rita Jack to see what you can do to help.

    Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
    Water Sentinels Project
    109 E. Grand River Avenue
    Lansing, Michigan 48906
    Phone: (517) 484-2372
    Fax: (517) 484-3108
    Mackinac Chapter website: michigan.sierraclub.org

    Photo: The Pine River (Gratiot County, MI) has had a total fish consumption ban since 1974 due to contamination from DDT and PBBs, and is the only river in the nation with that designation from those two pollutants. Photo by Rita Jack.


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