For Friday, Feb. 17, 2023
1 – A federal contractor has completed a permanent sea lamprey trap on the East Branch Au Gres River in Iosco County.
Sea lampreys are parasitic fish that suck blood from other fish like lake trout. They invaded the Great Lakes through shipping canals in the mid-1900s.
Each sea lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds of fish a year. Every year, an estimated 4,500 sea lampreys enter Lake Huron from the East Branch Au Gres River.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission coordinates a sea lamprey control program that has reduced populations in the Great Lakes by about 90% since lampreys first invaded, saving nearly 100 million pounds of fish each year.
Historically, portable traps were operated in the river, but the capture rate was low. The new permanent trap was constructed for $1.67 million to create higher water flows that attract sea lampreys, which officials expect will result in higher catch rates.
2 – A recommended state budget from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer includes funding for water infrastructure and clean energy.
The proposed budget was outlined earlier this month to Senate and House committees.
Items include: $65 million to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure networks and access, $45 million to support local governments and businesses transitioning their vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and clean fuels, and $10 million to begin the transition of the state’s fleet to electric vehicles.
Also recommended is $226 million to remove and replace 40,000 lead service lines across the state over 10 years, and $122.5 million to support water filter distribution and faucet and plumbing replacement in communities with lead contamination in their water.
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters has announced its support, along with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Municipal League.
3 – A third phase of grants are available for Michigan communities to improve residential recycling.
The state says that since 2019, collaborative grant projects with The Recycling Partnership have helped more than 200 Michigan communities, improving residential recycling and reducing contamination by up to 50 percent.
The opportunity was announced by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit.
A total of $800,000 will be available for Michigan communities to introduce community-wide projects aimed at reducing recycling contamination and improving the quality of materials recycled at curbside, drop-off locations or multifamily properties.
All Michigan community recycling programs can apply.
Applications are due March 10.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Fridays at 9:30 a.m. in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes