Tick App, Saginaw River Water Quality, Spotted Lanternfly

For Friday, June 26, 2020

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1 – You may have heard of the TikTok social media app. But what about The Tick App?

A team from the University of Wisconsin, Columbia University and Michigan State University created The Tick App, which provides tips on how to avoid ticks and invites users to share information about their own tick exposure.

People who spend time outdoors are encouraged to use the app to share details and photos about ticks they see, where they see them and what activities they were engaged in when the ticks came along. 

Scientists say data from The Tick App, available for Apple and Android smartphones, will be used for a research study. 

2 – Water Quality in the Saginaw River watershed should get a boost from a $1 million grant

The Michigan State University Institute of Water Research received the funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’ll be used in a project to help reduce agricultural field runoff and improve water quality in the Saginaw River watershed. 

The institute plans a program to increase the adoption of nutrient management practices on about 20,000 acres of farmland by working with a network of farmers. 

When implemented, the nutrient management program is expected to prevent at least 7,000 pounds of phosphorus from leaving farmland fields over a three-year period. Excess phosphorus runoff can lead to algal blooms that affect drinking water, recreation and tourism.

3 – The spotted lanternfly could be the next invasive species to threaten Michigan agriculture and natural resources.

Adult spotted lanternflies are identifiable by their bright body and wing colors. Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

The insect has the potential to cause serious damage. The bug has not been detected in Michigan to date, but can kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees. 

The spotted lanternfly was detected about six years ago in Pennsylvania and has spread to Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia.

For more information on identifying and reporting spotted lanternfly, see Michigan.gov/Invasives.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR (now streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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