Great Lakes Literacy Lessons, and More Microbeads Reported

Mr. Great Lakes, Jeff Kart. As heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on The Environment Report, Delta College public radio, Q-90.1 FM. The Report for Sept. 6, 2013:

1- Twenty educators have returned from a science-based Summer Teacher Institute on Lake Huron, according to Michigan State Univeristy Extension.

At the Institute, held in northern Michigan at the University of Michigan Biological Station, teachers worked with researchers studying lake sturgeon, along with coastal wetland ecologists from Central Michigan University’s Institute for Great Lakes Research, and maritime history experts from the federal Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena.

The teacher workshop was designed to advance Great Lakes literacy —- or a better understanding of the lakes and how humans are interconnected with water resources.

Educators from across the Lake Huron basin participated, including teachers from the Saginaw Bay area.

great blue heron lakes
Credit: Rona Proudfoot

The goal of the workshop was to give teachers a chance to learn about place–based education strategies and best practices that can help enhance student learning and involvement in Great Lakes stewardship.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust provided funding for the workshop and project stipends for teachers to implement related projects.

2 – All of the Great Lakes are now home to tiny plastic particles, according to the Associated Press.

Scientists previously discovered the particles in Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie last year.

New work over the summer by Wisconsin researchers uncovered small concentrations in Lakes Michigan and Ontario.

The plastics are believed to be from scrubbing beads in household and beauty products.

The particles are tiny enough to slip through the screens at wastewater treatment plants and be discharged into the lakes, a source of drinking water for millions of people.

Lake Erie seems to hold the highest concentrations of plastics, probably because the particles float downstream from the upper lakes.

The plastic has also been found in Lake Superior sediment.

Research has found that plastic can absorb persistent toxic chemicals. They also can be confused as food and eaten by small fish.

A few companies have pledged to phase out microbeads by 2015.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s