Letters: Views on civic art, environment
Depot lawn deserves iconic sculpture sign
Continuing to add civic art to Detroit is a good move that would keep the excitement with Ford moving into the former Michigan Central Depot going.
I believe much good would be done by installing a sculpture sign in front of the depot similar to the “I amsterdam” sign in front of the world famous Rijksmuseum and similar sculpture signs in other cities such as the “Sing the Queen City” sign on the Cincinnati riverfront.
Other than continuing to add to Detroit's wealth of civic art, a sculpture sign would have several benefits. It would continue to attract photo opportunity visitors to Corktown, the station, and upcoming retail space that will fill the area long after the excitement of the recent news dies down.
A sculpture sign would also provide an opportunity for the city, Corktown or Ford to brand the project with an eye on the endless array of Detroit branded products.
So I ask the city’s or Ford’s design team to consider this opportunity as they work toward reopening the station and continuing to build on Detroit’s positive momentum.
Support practical solutions to lower emissions
As someone who cares about the environment, I support practical solutions to lower emissions.
Using natural gas to generate electricity has been a key factor in bringing U.S. carbon emissions to 25-year lows. Continuing to take older, dirtier power plants offline and bringing in new gas-fired facilities to take their place will continue that success.
Our need for electricity is not going to diminish. As the U.S. population grows, our power demand will grow with it. I want to see that demand met with the cleanest fuels available. Ideally this would be a mix of all low-emission resources, including the affordable natural gas that American companies extract from domestic shale reserves.
Certainly, I support zero-emission fuels such as wind and solar. But they are simply not yet ready to meet even a significant portion of our energy demand. Until they are, natural gas is the environmentally friendly way to go.
West Bloomfield Township
Great Lakes restoration a bipartisan endeavor
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has been critical for conservation in the Great Lakes Basin. The initiative provides grants to states, non-profits and universities to address environmental problems occurring in the basin.
This spring GLRI received full funding at $300 million. This funding is imperative for conservation groups and the Great Lakes. Funding will be used to implement programs, public outreach and conservation projects.
The EPA is working on updating its action plan for GLRI funding allocation. Action Plan III has received positive support from conservationists and is still open for comments via public engagement sessions.
These programs and projects will provide healthy habitats for Michigan’s fish and wildlife, as well as space for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation.
GLRI is very important to Ducks Unlimited, who uses the funding to restore and enhance coastal wetlands around the Great Lakes. In politically tumultuous times, it is good to see federal, state, tribal, and local governments and conservation groups working collaboratively on Great Lakes issues.