Saginaw Bay Research on Nutrients, Algae, Asian Carp, and a Delta College LEED Project

The Environment Report. With Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College. The June 21, 2013 report:

1 –

A recent international conference featured several studies related to Saginaw Bay. 

saginaw bay aerial searls michigan
Bay City, Michigan, and Saginaw Bay. Credit: Doc Searls.

The 56th annual Conference on Great Lakes Research, held at Purdue University in Indiana, brought together numerous Great Lakes scientists to share findings.

One study, by researchers at the University of Michigan, looked at changes in the Saginaw Bay food web and nutrient tipping points.

Scientists say results suggest that current nutrient load targets for the bay should be revised to sustain existing walleye harvests. That’s due to changes caused by invasive species.

Another study examined algae as a contributing source of shoreline bacterial contamination.

Researchers from Wayne State University looked at concentrations of E. coli and other bacteria from near-shore water, wet and dry algal deposits, and sand collected from a Saginaw Bay beach.

Overall results suggest that the shoreline algae provides a suitable environment for bacteria to persist, proliferate, and impact near-shore water quality.

There was even a study on the potential impacts of Asian carp on Saginaw Bay. U of M researchers used modeling to assess the potential for Asian carp establishment in the bay and the impact on the bay ecosystem.

Information gathered from the model will be used to inform management action plans to control Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

The conference was organized by the International Association for Great Lakes Research.

2 –

Delta College is seeking LEED certification for renovations to its Health Professionals Building.

LEED is a green building standard that stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The $20 million renovation project is updating a facility built in the late 1970s.

Delta officials are looking at several elements to achieve certification, including the categories of: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy Use, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.

There are less than a dozen LEED-certified buildings in the Saginaw Bay region.

A highlight of the green renovations is a new rainwater harvesting system, another relatively unique feature for commercial buildings in Michigan.

Officials estimate the system will save almost 170,000 gallons of water each year by using filtered rainwater to flush toilets in the building. That also will save money because city water won’t need to be purchased.

The renovations project is being funded by state and private sector dollars.


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