Saginaw Bay Monitoring, Green Spring Cleaning and Ice Receding

For Friday, March 31, 2023


1- A group called the Saginaw Bay Monitoring Consortium is putting together a coordinated monitoring framework for the watershed. 

The Nature Conservancy says in an annual report that researchers will use federal funding to purchase and install new stream gauges and sampling equipment.

The conservancy notes that Saginaw Bay and its watershed face numerous water quality issues. Those include excess nutrients and sediment in runoff, which degrade habitat conditions and contribute to harmful algal blooms and unhealthy beach conditions. 

Steady morning rain runs off sidewalks. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

But there’s a critical data gap on water quality over time, which was a reason for establishing the consortium. 

Organizers say providing more comprehensive and current data will ensure that everyone impacted by the health of the Saginaw Bay watershed can understand how water quality is changing here … and better align efforts to protect it.

The Nature Conservancy plans to make the information publicly available through an online dashboard.

2 – The state’s environmental agency is encouraging people to “think green” when it comes to spring cleaning. 

In other words, consider if an item can be recycled or reused before you toss it in the trash. 

At the same time, don’t practice wish-cycling, or just putting stuff in your recycling bin and hoping it can be recycled. 

For example, containers that would be recyclable if empty are dangerous if they still contain chemicals. Things like bleach and drain cleaner can mix together and cause fires at recycling facilities. 

Other dangers for recycling center workers include batteries, aerosol cans and sharp metal objects.

For more information, check out resources from Michigan’s “Know It Before You Throw It” recycling education campaign at

Officials stress that you should always rinse and empty all containers before placing them in your recycling bin. You also should check with your local recycling service to learn what materials they accept.

Photo by David Selbert on

See also:

3 – A recent outlook from the National Weather Service says most ice on the Great Lakes remains confined to shallow bays and channels in lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior. 

Eastern Great Lakes Ice Chart, March 23, 2023. Via U.S. National Ice Center

Otherwise, most of the Great Lakes remain ice-free. Ice coverage across the entire basin is at about 4 percent and continues to slowly decrease.

Forecasters say that sun in early April, along with several very windy weather systems, should inhibit ice growth or at least keep it to a minimum. 

The lower Great Lakes will remain ice-free. A modest warming trend is expected by early next week.

More info is online at the U.S. National Ice Center at

– 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


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