Cleaning up the Rifle, Asian Carp Salesmen, and 1 Million Michigan Campers

As heard 9 a.m. Eastern, Oct. 26, 2012, on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College NPR … 

Photo by Willie Lunchmeat (really)

1 – The nonprofit Huron Pines group in Gaylord is expanding its Rifle River Watershed Project. 

The group recently received a grant of nearly $700,000 for the work.

The broader program will cover the entire northern Saginaw Bay, according to the group, adding in the AuGres and Tawas watersheds.

The aim is to improve the water quality of the bay, increase and improve stream habitat for fish, and reduce runoff that negatively impacts rivers. Goals of the project include reducing sediment pollution by 850 tons a year and phosphorus inputs by 200 pounds a year.

With the most recent grant, from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sustain Our Great Lakes program, Huron Pines has added a fulltime watershed project manager.

The Rifle is one of 16 Designated Natural Rivers in Michigan and is a tributary to Saginaw Bay.

2 – Hey, wanna buy some Asian carp?  

The Great Lakes Commission is helping crack down on people who sell aquatic invasive species online.

The Commission is developing web-crawling software to troll the Internet for the sellers of plants and animals for use in aquariums, nurseries, water gardens, aquaculture, and as live bait.

Accidental or intentional releases of live organisms sold online can adversely impact the Great Lakes.

But officials say little is being done to prevent potentially invasive species from being imported, traded, or released into the lakes via the Internet.

Sellers identified by the software will be contacted about relevant regulations and potential risks associated with the species they’re selling. The tool also will be available to regulators who may take further action.

3 – Camping season is pretty much over for the year, and Michigan state parks are celebrating a milestone.  

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently marked the 1 millionth camp night of the 2012 season at a state park in St. Clair County.

There haven’t been that many campers in one season since 2005, officials say.

Michigan state parks have seen a 7 percent increase in advance reservations this year, compared to 2011.

Officials attribute the rise, in part, to travelers with strained vacation budgets, and a lower-cost Recreation Passport for entrance to state parks.

For the record, some Michigan state parks offer year-round camping and cabin rentals, so you can camp this winter if you’re up for it.


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