… and free camping. See below.
1 – What makes a vibrant waterfront community?
Michigan Sea Grant has developed 11 case studies of communities that balance the economy, ecology and aesthetics along their shorelines.
Bay City didn’t make the list. But, up north, Alpena did.
Sea Grant, a joint project of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, says in its study that “coastal communities support water-dependent uses while also providing for a mix of support industries and other uses that benefit from the presence of the waterfront, including public access.”
For Alpena, the reports to the city’s harbor advisory committee, marina department and an ongoing regional ports study. It adds that boating, diving and fishing are popular recreational opportunities. Thunder Bay and surrounding waters near shipping lanes also are home to more than 80 discovered shipwrecks.
Other cities on the list are Charlevoix, Manistee, Manistique, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Ontonagon, Port Huron, Saugatuck and Sault Ste. Marie.
2 – On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … a press conference?
The Clean Energy Now coalition kicked off Day One of its “12 Days to a Clean Energy Christmas” campaign at media events this week in East Lansing and Monroe.
The campaign will use Facebook, Twitter, advertising and public events to highlight a different issue each day, through Dec. 23. Those include renewable energy, coal ash, and the negative health impacts of fossil fuels.
The old image of Santa putting coal in the stockings of people who’ve been naughty is appropriate in this case.
Organizers say the campaign is meant to educate people about the problems that burning coal to generate electricity has on communities … and to highlight clean energy solutions.
A few of the days’ themes include: Don’t Frack the Halls, The Abominable Coalman, and Energy Efficiency Elves.
3 – If you like to camp — for free — you may be interested in being a state or forest campground host next year.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to serve as hosts at Michigan state parks and state forest campgrounds for the 2014 camping season.
Hosts handle a variety of responsibilities, including directing visitors to their campsites, answering questions about the park or state forest, arranging campground activities and performing light maintenance.
In return for their service, hosts are allowed to camp in the state park or state forest campground at no charge. The commitment is 30 hours a week, for at least four weeks, and individuals, couples and teams can apply.
Host assignments begin in April and continue into October.
Information and applications about the host program are available from the DNR’s website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers.
– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.