BELLEVILLE, Mich. — Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) hosted an Environmental Town Hall for residents in the 6th Senate District at Belleville High School on Monday evening. Dozens of concerned citizens were in attendance to discuss important environmental issues affecting the state of Michigan with panel experts.

“With nearly 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, Michigan is home to several important natural resources and, as residents, we have a shared responsibility to discuss environmental concerns and be good stewards of our natural surroundings,” Sen. Hopgood said.

A variety of environmental topics were discussed by two panels. Participants in the first panel were Sean Hammond from the Michigan Environmental Council, Baldomero Gonzalez from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Robert Gordon from the Sierra Club-MI Chapter. Topics discussed included fracking, clean energy and renewables, and Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline.

“Michigan is a leader in green energy technology, and it’s important that we continue to talk about ways we can move our state forward when it comes to renewable and efficiency standards and investments,” Sen. Hopgood said.

Mr. Hammond agreed that conversations about the environment are critical.

“It is so important that communities are engaged in environmental issues, and that citizens are not only informed, but also able to ask questions,” Mr. Hammond said. “When dialogue is created among lawmakers, constituents and environmental groups, ideas are generated that can bring about change.”

Participants in the second panel were Elizabeth Riggs from the Huron River Watershed Council, Mara Herman from the Michigan Ecology Center, and Brenda Dziedzic from Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat. Topics discussed included ways in which to gauge and promote the health of the land and water throughout the Huron River watershed; how to help keep families healthy while using safe products and eating nutritional food; as well as the importance of healthy habitats for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

“I am most appreciative of the environmental experts who joined us to discuss these important issues, and the concerned residents who came to participate in the discussion,” Sen. Hopgood said. “It is my hope that our economy, environment and health can only improve because of collective efforts such as these.”