Y-2-K’S Effects on the Environment

With less than a year to go before we reach the Year 2000, everyone
from computer experts to doomsday cult leaders is warning about the
Y-2-K bug. As Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Suzanne Elston
points out, no one knows for sure what’s going to happen because we
can’t imagine a world without computers.

New Ideas for Sediment Removal

The Corps of Engineers spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year
dredging harbors and river shipping channels nationwide to keep them
open. For more than 30 years conservationists have been yearning for
ways to do more than just keep barge canals open. They want to save
vulnerable river backwaters and ever-shallower lakes. Until recently
there has never been a technology capable of moving the amount of
sediment at reasonable costs while keeping the environment safe. But,
as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Charlie Schlenker reports, that
may be changing:

Discovering Impacts of the ’93 Flood

  • Like many other trees that produce food for wildlife, this pecan tree died after the '93 flood.

It’s been more than five years since the great flood of ’93 hit the
upper Mississippi River and its tributaries. Since then towns have been
moved to higher ground. New levees have been built. And… people —for
the most part— have recovered from the damage. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports that researchers are finding the
long-term damage has been to the environment:

Amway in the Utilities Business

Now that states have started deregulating the sale of natural gas and
electricity, companies are busy vying for customers. But it’s unlikely
to create the same feeding frenzy unleashed by the deregulation of the
telephone industry. That’s because there’s not as high a profit margin
for natural gas and electricity – so most companies are concentrating on
signing up high-volume users, like big business. Still, home owners and
small businesses probably won’t escape the sales pitches. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Fish Release Scaled Back

There’s a shortage of fish food in the Great Lakes, so Wisconsin and
three other states have agreed to reduce the number of Chinook salmon
released into Lake Michigan in the spring. The action comes because a
limited food supply in the lake could threaten other fish populations.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Patty Murray reports:

A New Use for Old Tires

Each year in the United States alone, an estimated
two-hundred-fifty-million tires are scrapped. While some enterprising
companies have found ways to recycle them, up to eighty-percent of waste
tires still end up stockpiled or thrown away in landfills. But now some
researchers think they may have found a way to help control air
pollution with a substance made from old tires. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Wetlands Sedimentation a National Problem

Conservation agencies are having a tough time correcting one of the
worst problems in some on the most sensitive areas. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports on the damage sediment and silt
have on wetlands:

Casino Offends Mohawks

America has seen a boom in casino gambling over the last decade, fueled
in large part by tribal casinos. Now, one New York tribe wants to cash
in, and leaders are eyeing a big payoff for the community. They say the
12-million dollar Akwesasne (aqua-saz-nee) Mohawk Casino will spark
economic benefits for members of the reservation and surrounding
areas. But some tribal members are protesting its opening, saying it
is culturally inappropriate. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Todd
Moe reports:

Rethinking the Subdivision Design

Big homes on big lawns on long winding roads. That’s how many
residential subdivisions have been designed for decades. Now, some
people are trying to change these traditional methods and make
development less damaging to the environment. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Todd Witter visits one site:

Indoor Environment Can Be a Headache

A so-called "sick building” can do more than make workers ill — it can
also cause headaches for the building’s owners and managers. If the
situation isn’t handled right, they risk widespread panic,
evacuation…and even major lawsuits. But now a new book offers
caretakers of sick buildings some practical guidance. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports: