As heard on the April 6, 2012, Environment Report, part of Friday Edition at 9 a.m. Fridays on Delta College radio, Q-90.1 FM.
Alliance for the Great Lakes
A statewide Adopt-A-Beach program is looking for help in the Saginaw Bay area.
Statewide coordinators for the volunteer program are holding informational sessions throughout the state.
One will be held on April 21 at the Bay City State Recreation Area, during the park’s Wetland Wake-Up Day events.
The Adopt-a-Beach program uses volunteers to collect data on beach conditions. That data is shared with local, state and regional health officials, and used by the Alliance for the Great Lakes to help set standards for coastal areas.
The session planned for Bay City is an introductory training session by the Alliance. It will be held on April 21, 10 a.m. to noon, inside the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located at the Bay City state park.
For more information, see the Alliance website at greatlakes.org.
Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium
Plans for offshore wind projects have received a gust of support in the Great Lakes.
The governor of Michigan recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 10 federal agencies to enhance the coordination of offshore wind projects in the lakes. Gov. Snyder was joined by the governors of Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.
The aim is to promote the efficient, orderly and responsible evaluation of offshore wind proposals for the lakes, according to the Great Lakes Commission.
The agreement (pdf) is modeled after similar ones signed between 10 states on the East Coast and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The agencies in the Great Lakes agreement include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies that have regulatory roles or federal interests related to permitting offshore turbines in the lakes.
The Memorandum of Understanding will establish a Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to coordinate and expedite the review of proposals for offshore wind projects.
According to the Obama administration, offshore wind energy resources in the Great Lakes could yield tremendous economic and environmental benefits. Offshore wind in the lakes has the potential to produce more than 700 gigawatts of energy. That’s about one fifth of the total offshore wind potential in the United States.