Mich Enviro Report: Saginaw Kids Hunt for Shipwreck & Two on Lake Michigan

As heard on Friday Edition, May 20, 2011, Delta College Q-90.1 FM:

1.

Students from the Saginaw area are hunting for a shipwreck near Alpena. 

The students are part of Project Shiphunt, which is taking place in the waters of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.

Earlier this week, the students embarked on a research vessel. Their mission is to discover a sunken ship in the lake, and learn about science and math.

There are five students aboard, all from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw.

The students will locate a shipwreck in the national sanctuary, investigate its identity, then document it in 3D.

They’ll be working with scientists and historians on the project, which is co-sponsored by Sony and Intel.

The scientists and historians are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The students will work directly with a NOAA nautical archaeologist and researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

A reception to kick off the project was held at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena, which is the visitor center for the underwater sanctuary.

2.

A few years ago, the company known as BP proposed to increase its pollution discharges to Lake Michigan as part of an expansion of its Whiting, Ind., refinery.

The plan was delayed, but research that grew out of a public outcry over the proposal may have some benefits for reducing industrial pollution to the Great Lakes, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Researchers at Purdue University and Argonne National Laboratory have released the results of an investigation of several proposed treatment options for removing heavy metals from wastewater.

The research was funded by a $5 million grant from BP. It determined that methods involving reactive filtration, ultra-filtration and adsorption are the most promising.

Purdue University and Argonne National Laboratory researchers plan to test ultra-filtration at BP’s Whiting refinery to determine if their results can be replicated on a larger scale.

The startup of BP’s expansion has been delayed until 2013.

3.

A Great Lakes restoration project in Muskegon is expected to generate a six-to-one return on investment.

The project is on Muskegon Lake, located in West Michigan on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

The federal government is spending $10 million to remove 180,000 tons of unnatural fill from the lake bottom and rehabilitate about a mile of shoreline.

That work is expected to generate more than $66 million in economic benefits over ten years
and attract nearly 65,000 new visitors. This is according to an analysis released by the Great Lakes Commission, a government agency.

Commission officials say the project will create habitat for fish and wildlife resources and improve recreational opportunities for local residents and tourists.

The study, conducted by Grand Valley State University, also includes economic gains from increased property values.

Muskegon Lake was designated as Area of Concern in 1987 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement due to historic filling of open water and wetlands, along with pollution discharges that contaminated the lake bottom.

Photo Credit: NOAA
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