For May 30, 2014
1 – The Great Lakes have been designated as a Critical Conservation Area.
That means the region will be eligible for increased funding from the Regional Conservation Partnership Program under the 2014 Farm Bill.
The announcement was made this week in Bangor Township by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
The program, created by Stabenow in the new Farm Bill, will strengthen the Saginaw Bay region’s ability to address priority watersheds with the greatest conservation needs.
The program will provide opportunities for public-private partnerships to address soil erosion, habitat protection and water quality, according to the Great Lakes Commission.
The designation of the Great Lakes as one of eight Critical Conservation Areas in the U.S. means it’s a target region for clean water projects, and there will be additional funding available to address water quality issues, Stabenow says.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide $1.2 billion in funding over the life of the five-year program and can leverage an additional $1.2 billion from partners for a total of $2.4 billion for conservation.
The 2014 Farm Bill was approved by Congress in February.
2 – The 8th Annual Beach Wellness Event will be held on Saturday, June 21, at the Bay City Recreation Area in Bangor Township.
A range of events start at 9 a.m. and will be held throughout the day for all levels of competition and ages.
That includes a 10K and 5K run, a 5K walk, and a quarter-mile run for kids. There also will be a volleyball tournament for adults and kids, and a classic car cruise.
More than $70,000 has been raised from previous Beach Wellness events.
3 – Have you seen the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly?
A coalition of agencies and organizations are working together to find and protect the insect, which lives in only a few places in the Great Lakes, including Northeast Michigan.
People are being invited to join in a new “citizen science” effort led by partners including Huron Pines in Gaylord and Michigan Sea Grant.
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is rare, in part, due to its specific northern fen habitat requirements. That habitat is threatened by development and the invasion of high impact, non-native species.
The citizen science effort is a two-year project aimed at involving people in protecting the dragonfly and high quality natural habitats at two state parks along the shores of northern Lake Huron. Participants will conduct field surveys for larval habitat and invasive species.
— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.