Saginaw River Dredging, Better Birding, and a local 350 March

Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart), at 9 a.m. Fridays. As heard in Bay City, Michigan, on April 26, 2013, Delta College Q-90.1 FM.

1 – A $1.7 million dredging project is due to start next month (May) on the Saginaw River and Bay.

early bird catches worm
The early bird. Credit: ellenm1

The work will be done by Luedtke Engineering of Frankfort, with funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Corps says the dredging will help ensure that marine commerce keeps moving in and out of the Saginaw Bay Region. The Saginaw River is used for hauling cement, coal, limestone, salt, potash and grain.

Luedtke will dredge more than 200,000 cubic yards of mud from two portions of the river, according to the Corps.

This includes more than 150,000 yards of material to be dredged along a three-mile area between the Independence Bridge in Bay City and the mouth of Saginaw River. The spoils will be taken to Channel Island, a Confined Disposal Facility located two miles out in the bay.

Luedtke will dredge another 50,000 cubic yards of material upstream in Saginaw County. Those spoils will go into a Dredged Material Disposal Facility that straddles the Bay-Saginaw county line.

The dredging is slated to start in early May and finish by late June.

(For more, see pdf of Operational Management Plan for Upper Saginaw River DMDF).

2 – The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is pursuing a Birding Trail project.

The conservancy, with an office in Bay City, will use a $1,000 grant from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.

The conservancy was the winner of an Earth Day Facebook contest put on by the Network. The conservancy’s Birding Trail project garnered more than 300 votes to win the prize.

The Saginaw Bay Birding Trail runs for more than 140 miles and features 50 sites from Port Austin to East Tawas. The grant will be used to add new signs to the Trail. More than 200 species of birds can be spotted along the stretch, including warblers, plovers and waterfowl.

The conservancy is partnering on the project with Michigan Audubon. It also will include a website, a “hub” location in Bay City, and a free field guide.

3 – A Bay City-area environmental group will hold its third clean energy event on May 18.

The Lone Tree Council is planning a “350” march and walk over the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Bay City and into Vets Park, featuring students and others. Electric and hybrid cars also will be on hand.

The Saginaw Valley Sustainability Society is participating, and area residents are invited to attend.

The 350 event, on May 18, is meant to oppose the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and transportation, which contributes to climate change. This is the fourth annual 350 event in Bay City. Similar events are being held in the United States and abroad.

The number 350 refers to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The current level is above that number, and scientists say it needs to be reduced to below 350 to avoid serious consequences.

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