For Friday, July 31, 2015
1 – The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making lakes healthier and local economies stronger.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that, since 2010, the federally funded Initiative has implemented more than 2,500 projects to improve water quality, clean up contaminated shoreline, protect and restore native habitat and species, and prevent and control invasive species.
The work is summarized in a new Report to Congress and the President.
From Fiscal Year 2010 to Fiscal Year 2014, the EPA received about $1.6 billion in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds.
The funding has been a catalyst for unprecedented federal agency coordination, EPA officials say. This has produced “unparalleled results.”
That includes work with the agricultural community to reduce phosphorus runoff, which contributes to algal blooms in areas including Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay.
Federal agencies also used funding to increase the number of acres of farmland enrolled in agricultural conservation programs in Saginaw Bay and other priority watersheds by more than 70 percent.
More information about the Initiative, including an interactive project map, is available at glri.us.
2 – The Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival is this weekend at the Bay City State Recreation Area.
The state park in Bangor Township will host the festival on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 and 2.
This is said to be the park’s most popular special event weekend. This is the 20th anniversary.
Features this year include a State Championship Duck & Goose Calling Tournament, Waterfowl Stamp Competition, Wildlife Arts & Craft Show, Waterfowl Calling Clinic and Waterfowl Carving Contest. New this year is a chainsaw carving contest and live auction.
The festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, and headquartered at the park’s Saginaw Bay Visitor Center.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.
Follow @jeffkart on Twitter