For Friday, Jan. 4, 2019
1 – Environmental efforts in the Saginaw Bay region are among those highlighted by the state Office of the Great Lakes.
The agency, in a 2018 annual Michigan Water Strategy report, notes efforts by Bay County and partners to chemically treat more than 600 acres of phragmites, an invasive plant. (report page 5)
The Michigan Water School program also is noted for plans to hold sessions this year in Saginaw.
The school is run by Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension and devoted to educating local decision-makers about water resource issues.
2 – The first set of state-designated water trails in Michigan includes one that runs through Saginaw County.
Eight waterways were designated in December by the state Department of Natural Resources.
The designations include the Shiawassee River Trail, which runs for 88 miles through Genesee, Oakland, Saginaw and Shiawassee counties.
Officials say a water trail is a designated route on a navigable waterway that is designed and managed to create a positive outdoor recreation experience for the user.
Water trails feature well-developed access points, and are often near historical, environmental or cultural points of interest and have nearby amenities like restaurants, hotels and campgrounds.
Ribbon cuttings for the newly designated water trails will take place during the 2019 paddling season.
3 – The end of 2018 saw more than $85,000 in funding awarded by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.
The network, funded by area foundations, awarded dollars to projects in Arenac, Isabella, Gladwin, Shiawassee and Saginaw counties to help improve access sites and build recreational facilities along Saginaw Bay tributaries.
The largest grant went to a Harbor ADA Kayak Launch, which is part of an ongoing series of improvements at the Au Gres Harbor of Refuge site. That’s ADA as in Americans with Disabilities Act, because the site will provide access to folks with disabilities.
The site will connect kayakers to more than 50 miles of Lake Huron frontage and 150 miles of river. The launch is to be located on the Au Gres River in the City of Au Gres.