DPTV’s Great Lakes Bureau and One Detroit win Sierra Club Award

Last Updated by Mary Ellen Geist on

It’s the Michigan Chapter Sierra Club’s Top Environmental Journalism Honor.

Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Bureau is proud to announce  “Toxic Town: Michigan’s Most Polluted Zip Code”, produced and written by One Detroit Senior Producer and Content Specialist Bill Kubota, with help from the One Detroit/Great Lakes Bureau Team Ed Moore, Scott McCartney, Zosette Guir and Will Glover, won the Environmental Journalism in Broadcast Award.

“Toxic Town” tells the story of a Detroit community fighting for its right to cleaner air.

Usually, with a new playground, library or community center comes a dedication ceremony with speeches by local leaders. It might even make front page news. But an air monitoring station?

Yes, an air monitoring station installed in Southwest Detroit is a cause for celebration.

Boynton, a predominantly African American neighborhood, now better known for its zip code, 48217, has been deemed the most toxic place in Michigan. And its residents are getting sick.

Getting the air monitor in place was a struggle. It came only after an effort led by three women,

environmental activists who took it upon themselves to study the law, learn the science,

and navigate the politics to try to make their neighborhoods a better place to live.

In “Toxic Town”, Kubota and the One Detroit/Great Lakes Bureau team leads you through the conflicts and dramas of a community’s fight to be heard and gain a better way to help measure the quality of its air.

Check out the full story on One Detroit & Great Lakes Now.

Meanwhile, DPTV’s Great Lakes Bureau has produced several other features and documentaries you’ll be hearing more about soon.

First, a piece about the unique way Detroit is getting ready for climate change by using the city’s vacant lots will be airing on PBS stations nationwide on the Sci Tech Now Program anchored by PBS’s Hari Sreenivasan. The feature “Secret Garden,” produced by Matt Stinson, will air on DPTV Wednesday February 28th at 11pm. Check your local PBS station for the correct time in your area.

Next, a a half hour long documentary about water withdrawal called “Tapping the Great Lakes” will air on DPTV on March 26th at 7:30 pm. The piece, also produced by Matt Stinson, investigates Nestle’s water bottling operation in Michigan and the controversy it has caused, as well as the Great Lakes Compact’s decision to allow the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin to use Lake Michigan to obtain its drinking water, even though the city is located outside the Great Lakes Basin.

On Earth Day, April 22nd, another half hour documentary produced by DPTV’s Great Lakes Bureau and Stonehut Studios called “Beneath the Surface: The Line 5 Pipeline in the Great Lakes” will be shown on World Channel.  The film investigates the history of the pipeline and the conflicts and protests that have erupted since the existence of the pipeline in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac came to light after the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010. Check your local PBS station for the correct time.

And another half hour documentary called “Seven Generation River” produced by Aaron Martin, which is still in post-production will be airing on your local PBS station later this year. The film tells the story of the Pokagon Tribe in Southwest Michigan and the way it reconnected with its culture by re-meandering a river.

We’re excited to share these upcoming features and documentaries with you as well as our continuing daily content on greatlakesnow.org. We want to thank you for your support in 2017, and we’re looking forward to another year of covering the Great Lakes, the environment and water issues across the Great Lakes Region in 2018.

One Detroit - Four million people. One story.

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