The CGT on Low Water Levels, and Name the Nature Preserve

1- What causes low water levels on the Great Lakes?

In recent decades, Lake Huron and other waters in the basin followed a 10-year trend of lows and highs, researchers say.

cgt-paper-graphic

From the paper, “Decadal oscillation of lakes and aquifers in the upper Great Lakes region of North America: Hydroclimatic implications.”

But, current low water levels have broken from that pattern.

Why? The continued lows are being driven by something called circumglobal teleconnection.

That’s according to new research by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Circumglobal teleconnection, or CGT for short, is like the jet stream, the paper says.

It’s an atmospheric pattern that can drag warm, moist air in to the Great Lakes basin, or keep it out.

For the last 12 years, this CGT pattern hasn’t changed much, meaning less rainfall to replenish lake levels.

Unfortunately, the research doesn’t allow researchers to predict if the oscillations will change anytime soon.

But, the findings will help scientists better monitor present conditions.


2 – A urban nature preserve in Bay City is called Euclid Linear Park.

It’s not exactly an exciting name.

The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is partnering with Bay County officials to revitalize the park, located next to the Region VII Area Agency on Aging.

The Conservancy is looking to give the park a new nickname, and has narrowed it down to 10 finalists. They’re taking votes for what people think is the best name.

The Conservancy plans to add more native plants and fun educational programs to the preserve, and removing invasive species at the site.

Some of the names being considered: Secret Sanctuary, Woodpecker Pond, Learning Landscape, and Indigo Trail.

You can take the survey online, and see which nicknames are proving to be most popular.

The Conservancy plans to announce the results in coming weeks.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

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Great Lakes Funding on Tap, Along with New “Green Book”

1- Increased funding for Great Lakes restoration and clean water are on tap for 2014.

wad of money 100s

Credit: 401kcalculator.org

A spending bill released this week by Congress includes more money for two big Great Lakes programs.

That includes $15 million more for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The bill provides $300 million for the Initiative, up from $285 million in 2013.

Also, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund is set to receive about $1.4 billion this fiscal year, about $70 million more than in 2013. The figures are according to the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is aimed at cleaning up toxic pollution, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, fighting invasive species, and reducing runoff from cities and farms.

The Clean Water fund goes for low-interest loans for cities to upgrade aging sewers.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states would receive about $530 million under the spending bill (see pages 32 and 37).

Deep cuts to the programs had been proposed last year, the Detroit Free Press notes.

Also under the spending bill, the Saginaw River is due to receive $3.8 milllion for dredging and maintenance, according to The Detroit News.

2- Delta College wrote the book on sustainability.

green book cover

Via Delta.edu

Actually, a Delta coordinator has helped produce a new book called “Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action.”

Artwork and readings from the book are to be featured in a Jan. 31 event at a downtown Bay City business.

The book was produced and published in collaboration with Linda Petee, sustainability coordinator at Delta College, and designer Michael Glowacki.

It’s described as “a gathering of imaginative, artistic, and resourceful actions that give credence to our ability to make a difference.”

Printing was funded through a Delta College Distribution Committee Grant.

A volume 2 is already being planned.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

Algae Pics, Clean Energy Roadmap, and Asian Carp Comments

1- Do you have any pictures of excess algae?

Saginaw bay algae muck bay city state recreation area

Saginaw Bay muck. Credit: Jeff Kart.

It’s also called muck, and you can often find it along the shores of Saginaw Bay, Lake Erie, and other parts of the Great Lakes.

Circle of Blue is collecting photos of the Great Lakes and algal blooms.

The idea is to make the issue real and visible to people around the world.

The online news site plans to launch a major story project this year about algal blooms in the Great Lakes. The project will be circulated far and wide, organizers say.

Pictures, and videos, are being sought of harmful algal blooms, failing municipal water treatment systems and overflows, agricultural runoff, and beach closings. All of these have been a problem at one time or another in the Saginaw Bay region.

You can participate and share your photos and videos via a link at CircleofBlue.org. (Update: Saginaw Bay made the cut http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2014/choke-point-index/slideshow-great-lakes-algae-bloom/)

Circle of Blue reports on water, food and energy around the world. It’s based in Traverse City, Michigan.

2 – Michigan is one of only three states in the nation to be selected for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Roadmap project.

The Roadmap will be developed for Michigan with $400,000 in federal funds, matched by more than $300,000 in local funds.

North Carolina and Washington state also received funding, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The awards are in support of a national goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030, and are aimed at advancing clean energy manufacturing in the states.

Michigan, and the two other states, will develop roadmaps to increase clean energy manufacturing activity in their regions.

As part of this, the Michigan and Ohio State energy offices will convene stakeholder, company and expert events to identify opportunities and barriers.

– via GLREA.

3 – If you want to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, a pen may come in handy. Or, more likely, a computer keyboard.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report released this week lays out the federal government’s options for keeping Asian carp and other invasive species out of Great Lakes.

It’s called the Great Lakes-Mississippi River Interbasin Study, and includes eight options that focus on the Chicago Area Waterway System.

The Corps. is holding public meetings around the basin this month to receive public comments on the options, which include physical separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

Public meetings are planned for Ann Arbor and Traverse City.

But, you also can submit written comments until March 3 online at the study website.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

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