For Feb. 16, 2018
1 – Environmental groups are sounding the alarm about a proposed federal budget from President Trump.
The plan would drastically cut core Great Lakes programs as well as funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says it will be up to Republicans and Democrats in Congress to support Great Lakes restoration efforts.
The Coalition says reductions to programs in the Trump Administration Budget include a 90 percent cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and a 34 percent cut to the EPA, which helps administer restoration and clean water protection programs.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition includes more than 150 environmental, conservation and other organizations.
2 – Applications are being accepted for the 2018 Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program.
The program provides small grants to local governments for volunteer cleanups of rivers, streams, and creeks in Michigan.
Funding comes from the state Department of Environmental Quality through fees collected from the sale of Water Quality Protection License Plates.
Grants range from $500 to $5,000, and may be used to support the cleanup and removal of human-made trash and debris from rivers and streams and along their banks.
Grant funds awarded under the program can pay for such items as disposal costs, hand tools and supplies.
The application deadline is Feb. 20.
For more information on the Michigan Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Grant Program, visit GLC.org.
3 – This weekend, Saturday Feb. 17 and Sunday Feb. 18, is Free Fishing Weekend in Michigan.
A license is not required to fish those two days, but all other fishing regulations still apply.
The annual effort aims to promote fishing opportunities in the state. You can bundle up and head out on your own, or join one of several organized events throughout the state.
Those include the 26th Annual Shanty Days in Caseville, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. This event is hosted by the Caseville Chamber of Commerce and rewards anglers who catch the biggest walleye, lake trout, yellow perch and northern pike.
There’s also the 25 Annual Winter Festival in Bay County at the Bay City State Recreation Area, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. It includes a Family Ice Fishing Derby, Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, raffle and other winter activities.