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Above: Still from a video of a surfer on the Red Cedar River in 2008
The recent heavy rains are causing a phenomenon infrequently seen on the Red Cedar River—a standing wave outside the MSU Administration Building. Unusually high levels of water combined with the small rapids in that location cause the water to curl back towards upstream.
Above: Canada Geese adults and goslings yesterday on the MSU campus near the Red Cedar River
Spring is a time of graduation and, over the last several weeks, the young of East Lansing, outfitted in their youthful finery, have been trying out their wings and leaving the nest. Fledging and immaturity are risky times for young birds, as for all young animals. Sharp-eyed East Lansing residents may come upon young birds in the community this time of year as they try out their new environments.
While many people associate the Red Cedar with fish and various wildlife there is a wide diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates, more commonly referred to as aquatic insects, that also call the river home. Eight major categories of insects spend at least part of their lifecycle in freshwater ecosystems, each playing a vital role in the food web.
A fisherman proudly showing off his catch on the Red Cedar River
The Red Cedar River is 51 miles long, flowing directly through the heart of Michigan State University and eventually into the Grand River in Lansing. The river has been a symbol of the university since 1855 and is even referenced in the first lyrics of the fight song.
It is seen by some students and community members as an “eyesore” and “unhealthy.”
The Red Cedar River extends approximately 51 miles, flowing through Fowlerville, Webberville, and Williamston before reaching East Lansing and its final destination, the Grand River in Lansing. The Red Cedar River watershed is approximately 472 square miles, a third of which is categorized as “urban” while the rest is predominantly agricultural.
Image: photo apparently showing the mercury-leaking manometer in an outside open tub, where it was left for months following the spill; there also appears to be a thermometer in the tub. Details below.
Image: Layout of the East Lansing Wastewater Treatment Plant, courtesy of City of East Lansing
Even if you don’t know where the East Lansing Wastewater Treatment Plant is by sight, you may know its location by smell. If you’re turning off of southbound 127 onto Trowbridge Road and it’s a warm day, you can often smell the sewage just as you round the curve. The formal address of the plant is 1700 Trowbridge Road.
Image: Metal mercury, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control
Mercury—the metal not the planet—has been in the East Lansing news since a spill at the East Lansing Wastewater Treatment plant and an ELi scoop about continuing concerns among city workers regarding exposure.
Should East Lansing residents worry about mercury? The short answer is yes, East Lansing residents should worry about mercury.