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E-M:/ DEQ environmental indicator report



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Date:         Thu, 6 Dec 2001 11:55:05 -0500
Reply-To: DEQ Press Releases <DEQ-PRESS_RELEASES@LISTSERV.STATE.MI.US>
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From: Pat Watson <WATSONPE@MICHIGAN.GOV>
Subject:      New DEQ Press Release - 12/06/01
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2001

DEQ Contact: Ken Silfven  (517) 241-7397
DNR Contact: Brad Wurfel   (517) 373-9510

First Comprehensive Environmental Report Released
DEQ, DNR chart status of Michigan's natural environment

The first comprehensive report charting Michigan's environmental trends is 
being released today and serves as a building block for continued 
assessments, according to the agencies conducting the analysis.

The State of Michigan's Environment: First Biennial Report was prepared by 
the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Natural 
Resources (DNR).  It is required under Public Act 195 of 1999.  The 
publication reports on a series of environmental indicators that were 
identified by the departments and reviewed by the Michigan Environmental 
Science Board (MESB).

"This report helps the agencies fulfill two key goals," said DEQ Director 
Russell Harding.  "We want a solid foundation of data that allows us to 
better monitor relevant trends.  We're also committed to getting that 
information into the public's hands.  This document complements each 
department's ongoing initiatives and gives us an additional tool to meet 
those objectives."

For example, the DEQ has published its own annual report since 1999 that 
outlines environmental progress being made through its administered programs.

DNR Director K.L. Cool said: "Michigan's environment has grown steadily 
healthier for the past several decades.  By monitoring key environmental 
indicators and adjusting our resource management strategies accordingly, we 
will ensure the health of Michigan's unique and wonderful ecosystems for 
future generations.  This biennial report is a valuable tool in our 
management process."

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive, long-term environmental master 
plan, Gov. John Engler directed the MESB to develop a scientifically sound 
environmental indicators program for Michigan to track trends in the Great 
Lakes region.

Environmental indicators are scientifically measurable components that 
reflect biological, chemical and physical attributes of the 
environment.  The direction of environmental trends can be determined by 
tracking changes that occur over time in components such as land cover, 
fish populations, ambient air pollutant levels, and stream flows.  It also 
allows for the development of corrective measures to ensure optimal 
resource preservation and protection.

The report is divided into two sections: environmental measures and 
programmatic measures.  The first section reports on the important DEQ and 
DNR ecological and physical/chemical indicators that are used to track the 
overall quality of the state's environment, which is in keeping with the 
legislative mandate.  The second details additional agency programmatic 
measures that are tracked to fulfill various state or federal environmental 
reporting requirements.

Both directors pointed out that care must be taken in terms of how the 
report is interpreted.  The significance of changes that may occur in a 
given measure from one reporting period to the next should not be 
exaggerated.  It generally takes several years worth of monitoring data to 
properly identify and assess the emergence of positive or negative trends.

Copies of the report may be obtained directly from the Internet at 
www.deq.state.mi.us or by contacting the DEQ Office of Special 
Environmental Projects at (517) 335-3666.

#####





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