Fighting Michigan Invasives, Creating Clean Jobs, Preserving Rare Orchids

For Friday, April 29, 2016

1 – A new state website provides information and insight on Michigan’s invasive species.

Residents struggling with invasive species or seeking help on how to identify invasive plants, insects and animals are invited to explore the new Michigan Invasive Species website at

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan’s economy, environment, or human health.

Human activity is the primary means by which invasive species are moved from place to place. The new site offers simple steps people can take, like removing seeds and mud from shoes, gear and pets.

People can use the site to identify invasive species by searching photos and descriptions.


Mute swan. Credit: Andrew C

Residents are encouraged to report sightings of identified species to assist in state and local detection and management efforts.

The site also houses a catalog of resources for classrooms and residents interested in becoming more involved in the fight against invasive species. There also are links to volunteer opportunities and local management programs.

The site again, is at

2 – 
Michigan’s clean energy industry has more than 87,000 workers, according to an analysis from the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Clean Energy Trust.  

The council is a business trade association. The trust is a Chicago nonprofit.

The 2016 Clean Jobs Midwest Survey says Michigan leads the Midwest in clean energy vehicle jobs and is second in renewable energy jobs.

The analysis is based on federal data and a survey of thousands of businesses across the region.

The analysis provides detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs not available previously – including job totals for all Michigan counties.


From a map section of the Clean Jobs survey.

In Bay County, for instance, the analysis found 107 jobs in renewable energy and 444 jobs in energy efficiency.

Those involved with the report say that extending Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards will drive further growth and investment in the clean energy sector, which would mean tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs.

3 – April showers bring May flowers. And the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County is working to conserve a rare orchid.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed to 16 projects across 27 states for recovery of some of the nation’s most at-­risk species on or near national wildlife refuges.

In Michigan, the focus is on the threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid.

Staff members at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge plan to establish a population of the flower using plant orchid plugs in suitable habitat.


Eastern prairie fringed orchid. Credit: USFWS Midwest

Staff also will manage an orchid population on private land near the refuge to harvest seed to supplement the planted plugs.

Monitoring of the plugs and hand pollination of orchids on the private land will occur for three years. Results will be assessed to focus future recovery actions.

– 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 #MrGreatLakes


GIS in Bay County, Nature Films in Midland, Clean Communities in the Great Lakes

For Friday, April 1, 2016. No Foolin’.

1 – A new Geographic Information System is online for Bay County.

Bay County and Bay City government have spent almost a year on the project.

The new Geographic Information System, or GIS, Web viewer is a computerized mapping system. 

It contains a large database of information on items like water well locations, flood plain boundaries, soils, and wetlands.

The new online resource is a valuable tool, says Bay County Executive Tom Hickner.

It can be used by citizens as well as government agencies like the Bay County Road Commission, and businesses.



2 – The Chippewa Nature Center of Midland is hosting a stop on the world tour of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.


Via the Chippewa Nature Center

The festival will be stopping at the Bullock Creek Auditorium in Midland on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9. The tour features a series of nature-themed films from around the globe.

Screenings include a special edit of “Chasing Niagara,” about a pro kayaker who decides to paddle over Niagara Falls.

Festival sponsors include the Little Forks Conservancy and the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy.

The festival is named after The Banff Centre, an arts and cultural organization in Alberta, Canada.


3 – Applications are due by May 4 for funding from the Great Lakes Clean Communities Network.

The Network’s Community Partnership Program funds small projects to assist communities with various practices to improve water quality in their watershed. Funding is made possible through the Great Lakes Protection Fund.


via the Great Lakes Clean Communities Nework

The Network offers an Ecological Scorecard service where communities can evaluate and track their ecological improvements over time. 

Communities, municipalities, and watershed organizations within the Great Lakes region that have initiated or completed an evaluation are eligible to participate in the program.

Applicants may apply for up to $4,000 in funding.

Applications are due by May 4 for projects that directly improve water quality or support ecological indicators such as planting trees or installing green infrastructure.

– 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 #MrGreatLakes


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