Ag Runoff, Wetland Restoration, and a Race for Nature

For Friday, May 27, 2016 –

[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/0x26d3t6gjwz0y3/05-27-16-mr-great-lakes-ag-wetlands-race.mp3]

1 – More than $4.3 million in grants will go to protect Michigan lakes and streams from pollution.

Officials say the Michigan Department of Environment Quality grants will help restore impaired waters and protect high-quality waters by reducing nonpoint sources of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants.

Nonpoint source pollution is runoff that picks up natural and human contaminants as it moves across the ground and eventually deposits those contaminants into waterways.

Organizations and projects selected to receive funding include the Tuscola Conservation District in Caro.

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A example of agricultural runoff. Credit: USDA

That group is receiving about $205,000 to reduce agricultural sources of E. coli bacteria to the Cass River. The work will involve best management practices for agriculture and an outreach campaign.

The grants are funded under the federal Clean Water Act.

 

2 – The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is restoring 940 acres of farmland to emergent marsh.

It’s the largest wetland restoration in the history of the Saginaw County refuge, and the largest wetland restoration in the last several decades for the Great Lakes region.

During the restoration, two large holes will be cut into an auto tour road to put in culverts and water control structures.

The structures are necessary to allow water back into the restoration area. Officials say the structures will enable the refuge to manage water levels in wetlands, provide optimum habitat for wildlife and control invasive species.

As a result of this work, the opening of an auto tour route, called Wildlife Drive, will be delayed from June 1 until about June 21.

Wildlife Drive surrounds three sides of the restoration area.

 

3 – The Michigan Nature Association is hosting the Race for Michigan Nature.

The event is a statewide series of Family Fun Runs & 5Ks stretching from Belle Isle in Detroit to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula.

Each race will spotlight one of Michigan’s rarest species and promote the importance of protecting natural areas.

The next race in the series is the Kirtland’s Warbler Family Fun Run & 5K on June 4 in Roscommon.

Other races will take place in the summer and fall.

The runs are endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. Each 5K race will be timed and there are prizes for male and female overall winners. Walkers also are welcome. 

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

 

Wild and Scenic Enviro Film Fest in Marquette

Soak up some environmental entertainment. Yes, climate change, food security and water quality can be entertaining, if they’re presented with popcorn.

I’m talking about the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, which is on a national tour and hits Marquette, Michigan, on Nov. 4. I had never heard of it either — just one more reason to spotlight the event here.

This year’s Marquette stop is the second annual, and will be held at 6 p.m. in Jamrich Hall on the campus of Northern Michigan University. The hosts are the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Downwind Sports and Students for Sustainable Living. There will be food, displays, speakers, and films.

Ducats are $8 for civilians, $2 for students and free for kids 18 and under.

The fest is headquarted in Nevada City, California. See the video below. It’s worth checking out.

Films to be shown in Marquette include:

Planting Hope

Every Day at School and

Watershed Revolution.

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