The regular SEMG Conservation Committee meeting is on the 3d Thursday, monthly. The meeting is open to the public; any interested person can attend. For email notice & agenda, ask committee Chair Ed McArdle ( The meetings are held at the Beyond Coal office, Suite C, 2550 Hilton, Ferndale, MI.

The Conservation Committee tries to keep up with all the new developments impacting the environment in our area. With over 4 million people living in this metropolitan area, there’s a lot to keep up with. Here’s an incomplete list:

  • Climate change – local effects from more and more intense storms; lake levels dropping when mild winters do not allow them to freeze over; native plant species dying out because the climate to which they are adapted is moving to the north (in addition to invasive species taking over); and more.
  • Nuclear threats to the Great Lakes from Fermi 2; Fermi 3; Davis-Besse;  Bruce Power; proposed Kincardine nuclear waste dump; proposals to ship high-level waste by barge; radioactive metal recycling; and more.
  • Fracking – petitioning organized by the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan; sale of state land for fracking; permitting drilling under parks and other publicly owned land; expansion of US Ecology facility in Detroit to handle more radioactive frack waste being shipped to Michigan from other states; and more. We highly recommend signing up for Craig Brainerd’s Fracking Linkletter. To subscribe or unsubscribe to The Fracking Linkletter (c); to comment or submit an article, just email
  • Tar sands – Macinac Pipeline (Enbridge); Port Huron-Sarnia pipeline (Enbridge); Marshall oil spill (Enbridge); Marathon refinery in SW Detroit refining tar sands oil, producing toxic emissions and petroleum coke; and more.
  •  Clean electrical energy – Solar and wind power. Renewable energy is not being encouraged by Michigan H. B. 4298, also known as the Nesbitt energy bill. Governor Snyder’s vague promises about a “clean energy future” seem to be about as trustworthy as his earlier assurances about Flint city water. In fact, a large percentage of our electricity is generated by burning coal. That’s such a huge problem for the environment that there are several paid staff locally working on the Beyond Coal project, which has its own section of this website.
  • Many other issues – Invasive species (asian carp, zebra mussels, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife & buckthorn for example); toxic algae & cyanobacteria in lakes caused mostly by fertilizer and other agricultural runoff; and still many others.