FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2003
DEQ Contact: Patricia Spitzley
DNR Contact: Brad Wurfel
Second Comprehensive Environmental Indicators Report Released
The second comprehensive report charting Michigan's environmental trends was released today and continues to follow trends in important environmental indicators such as land use and cover; mammal, bird, and fish populations; ambient air pollutant levels; inland lake water quality; and inland lake sediment contamination among many others.
The State of Michigan's Environment 2003: Second Biennial Report was prepared by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It is required under Public Act 195 of 1999 (the Environmental Indicators Act). The publication reports on a series of scientifically based environmental indicators that were identified by the departments and reviewed by the Michigan Environmental
DNR Director K.L. Cool said: "The report is a valuable tool in our management process. By monitoring key environmental indicators and adjusting our resources management strategies accordingly, we can ensure the overall health and well being of Michigan's ecosystems."
DEQ Director Steven Chester said, "This report should stimulate the development of new and innovative environmental stewardship policies and compliance programs to further improve the state's overall environmental quality."
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 pollutants and stream flow. It also allows for the development of corrective measures to ensure optimal resource conservation and protection.
The report is divided into three sections: environmental measures, programmatic measures, and emergent contaminants of concern in Michigan. The first section delineates the important ecological, physical, and chemical indicators used to track the overall quality of the state's environment, which is in keeping with the legislative mandate. The second section discusses additional state agency measures that are tracked to fulfill various state or federal environmental programmatic requirements. The third section discusses some newly recognized contaminants that environmental and public health experts currently have an incomplete understanding regarding their potential for adverse environmental and human health effects.
Both directors pointed out that care must be taken in terms of how the report is interpreted. The significance of observed changes that may occur in a given indicator from one reporting period to the next should not be understated or overstated. 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 by contacting the DEQ either by email at [email protected]
or by telephone at (517) 335-3666. Copies of the report also may be obtained directly from the Internet at