Detroit Environmental Agenda

The Detroit Environmental Agenda is a bold environmental vision for the city of Detroit that captures both our challenges and our progress on key environmental issues. Data Driven Detroit has partnered with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit, the Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, Recycle Here, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, WARM Training Center, and Zero Waste Detroit to provide data and technical support to the outreach and engagement process occurring through the end of 2012. The data, maps, and links below begin to paint a picture of how a safe, clean, and prosperous Detroit requires a healthy environment. As the outreach process moves forward, Data Driven Detroit will work with the Environmental Agenda to develop a list and “dashboard” of environmental indicators to help set a baseline, measure, and track progress for the state of Detroit’s environment.   For more information, send an email to, and be sure to fill out the issues survey. View a map of the Detroit Environmental Agenda’s outreach. Update 8/1/13: The Detroit Environmental Agenda Election Edition is out! Click here to read the report.

Facts & Resources

$100 million invested in public transit creates and supports roughly 4,000 jobs. DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, the largest utilities in Michigan, sent more than $1 billion out of state to import coal in 2010. Waste recycling creates four jobs for every one job that waste disposal would create.
Source: TRU Garden Permits (2011) Source: UCS Percent Change in Annual Median Home Prices, 2006-2009 Source: 2011 State of Recycling in Michigan
NOX emissions and acid gases are contributors to asthma. The hospitalization rate for asthma in the area surrounding the Detroit incinerator is 2.5 times that of the state. Annual health-related damages associated with PM2.5 emissions from Michigan’s nine coal-fired facilities are $1.5 billion state-wide and $5.4 billion nationally. The CDC identified 74 water-borne disease outbreaks linked to open recreational waters from 1985 to 2000. A total of 5,601 cases of illness were attributed to these outbreaks.
Source: MDCH Particulate Matter and Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Facility Source: MEC Asthma Hospitalizations by ZIP Code (2007-2009 Average), Tri-County Area Source: EPA 833-R-04-001
Juvenile delinquents are five times more likely to have been lead poisoned. Of people with safe places to walk within ten minutes of home, 43% achieve physical activity targets, compared with just 27% of less walkable area residents.
Source: University of Pittsburgh Children 0 to 5 with Confirmed Elevated Blood Levels (2010) Children 0 to 5 with Confirmed Elevated Blood Levels (2000) Source: APTA Tree Canopy as a Percent of Total Lot Area (2008)
Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. Children with lead poisoning are 7 times more likely to drop out of school. Children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from brain and nervous system damage, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, kidney or heart disease, stroke, or even death.
Source: CDC Asthma Hospitalizations by ZIP Code (2007-2009 Average), Detroit Source: ClearCorps Source: Wayne County Department of Public Health
78% of the Great Lakes Shoreline was considered “impaired” in a 2000 study. There are 78 Combined Sewage Outfalls in DWSD along Rouge and Detroit Rivers.
Water Supply Source: EPA 833-R-04-001 Recycling Locations Source: Notes from Detroit Water Agenda Meeting Waste Water

On the Web


EPA Interactive Data


Research & Reports



  • Detroit Environmental Agenda Survey: This survey seeks your input on environmental issues that affect the quality of our land, air, and water, which impacts the health and quality of life of residents. Thanks for your participation.