A New Beach, Events & an Earth Day Contest to WIN

As heard on the March 23, 2012, Environment Report, part of Friday Edition at 9 a.m. Fridays on Delta College radio, Q-90.1 FM.

photo beach sand pentwater michigan eli duke flickr cc

Photo by Eli Duke.

New Beach

Bay County plans to clean up a public beach in Pinconning.

The county has received $10,000 from ITC of Kawkawlin. The company builds transmission lines for power distribution.

County Executive Tom Hickner says the gift from the company will be used for beach improvements at Pinconning Park, a county owned campground and recreation spot in Pinconning Township.

The county plans to clean the existing beach there, and groom and prepare the surface. Then, about 900 yards of fresh sand will be brought in to replenish the shoreline.

The county also will construct a small changing booth and fresh water shower for swimmers.

Solar-powered channel markers for boats also will be installed at a nearby boat launch.

Earth Day Events

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22.

Several events are planned in Bay County and local cities and townships.

They include: a Bangor Township “Green Team” and Waste Management Used Battery Drop-Off at Bangor Township Hall, a Bay Soil Conservation District Tree Sale, and a Bay County Earth Day Electronics Recycling Drop-Off at the Bay County Fairgrounds.

In addition, there will a Mayor’s City Wide Clean Up event, and the Annual Ed Golson Earth Day Compost Giveaway in Bay City.

You can find specific information on each event at the Bay County website.


Saginaw Bay WIN is funding one great environmental idea for Earth Day.

WIN, which stands for Watershed Initiative Network, is holding a Facebook contest (pdf).

It’s looking for nonprofits to submit ideas for environmental projects, summed up in 50 words or less.

Topics include:

  • Conservation;
  • Public Access to Natural Resources;
  • Natural Resource-based Recreation or Education; and,
  • Energy Efficiency.

Ideas will be posted to WIN’s website and Facebook page.

The idea that receives the most votes, or “likes” on Facebook, will receive a $1,000 grant.

There also will be a random drawing for gift cards. You can find out more at saginawbaywin.org.



Mich Enviro Report: Pinconning Park, a Camping App & 39 others like Asian Carp

As heard on the July 8, 2011, Friday Edition, Q-90.1 FM, Delta College. Channeling Mel Torme’ …



Pinconning Park is expanding. 

Bay County, which owns the park in Pinconning Township, has been awarded a $464,000 federal grant to acquire 54 acres of coastal property next to the park.

In addition to the grant, the county plans to spend about $10,000 for demolition and scrap metal removal on the land, known as the Prindle Property.

The county also has applied for $350,000 Michigan Land Trust Fund grant in connection with the expansion project.

Pinconning Park is open year round. The park features 50 modern campsites and six log cabins.

It’s located along Saginaw Bay, and is known as a good spot for walleye fishing.


Speaking of camping, there’s a new mobile app for Michigan campers.

It’s called the MI Camping and Recreation Locator app and is available for free. There are versions for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

The app allows users to find information on places to camp, boat, hike and swim.

State parks are listed, along with state forest campgrounds and boat launches. You can search by proximity, region, and city. Activities for various locations also are included.

Find more information online at michigan.gov.


As reported earlier, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a feasibility study of options and technologies to prevent the transfer of Asian carp between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

A public comment period has ended, and more than 900 comments were received, the agency reports.

Comments were taken online and at a dozen public meetings through the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.

This month, project managers plan to release a white paper with a list of 40 high-risk aquatic species.

These species, including Asian carp, are poised to potentially transfer between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through the Chicago Area Waterway System.

Officials say risks from each of the species, and their potential to disperse and become invasive, will be discussed.

For more on this issue, see http://glmris.anl.gov/.

– Photo by Alan Light

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 32 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 43 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 21st with 209 views. The most popular post that day was Welcome — I am Mr. Great Lakes.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mlive.com, facebook.com, freefromeditors.blogspot.com, jeffkart.wordpress.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for used syringes, syringes, black flies, fried egg, and gypsy with crystal ball.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Welcome — I am Mr. Great Lakes June 2010


A Year Since Copenhagen, And No Great Lakes Wind October 2010
1 comment


Buy a Dolphin, Help Clean the Gulf, Give Props to Larry King June 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,


About June 2010


Were government flies released to combat caterpillars? June 2010

Michigan Enviro Report: MichENN, Green Mosquito Control & Ballast Water

Stories featured in this week’s Friday Edition on Delta College Q-90.1 FM


They call energy efficiency ‘the low-hanging fruit’ because it costs less to save electricity than it does to create it.

One way to get started is to join the Michigan Energy Efficiency Network. The network was created by the Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates major utilities in the state, including Consumers Energy and DTE Energy.

The network is an online community aimed at helping local governments, schools, businesses and other groups to save energy. The goal is to link people who need energy advice with services and government officials who can provide it.

The site includes information about securing grants for energy efficiency improvements, along with ways to find out about successful projects and cost-cutting measures around the country.

The network is online at MichEEN.org. You can use an existing Facebook or Twitter account to sign in.

Others involved in creating the community include the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth; INgage Networks and Michigan State University.

The address again is MichEEN.org


Controlling mosquitoes is getting greener in Bay County.

Officials say the county’s Mosquito Control agency has been involved in two field trials for a new, organic water treatment project called Natular.

So far, the new larvicide has proven successful in controlling the bugs.

The product has a lower toxicity rate than other mosquito control products, and not as much has to be applied.

The Natular trials conducted in Bay County helped earn the product a green chemistry award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Natular, made by an environmental products and services company called Clarke, is the fifth pesticide to ever receive the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

Bay County was one of only a few mosquito control districts in the U.S. to run the field trials.


It’s hard to talk about invasive species in the Great Lakes without talking about ballast water.

Ocean-going vessels have been blamed for introducing numerous invasives to the Great Lakes, including the zebra mussel and its cousin, the quagga mussel.

But environmental groups and others say there’s still a need for comprehensive federal rules to stem the flow of foreign creatures to the lakes.

Michigan has standards for ballast water, which require ships coming from the Atlantic Ocean to use treatment techniques when they discharge ballast water at ports.

Supporters, including the Lake Carriers Association, say federal standards would be easier to meet, instead of having to follow state-by-state standards.

But there are still concerns over how a federal standard would be regulated, and that federal standards would apply to freshwater vessels under a court ruling. The issue is being discussed by an EPA advisory board.

The Michigan ballast water standard took effect eight years ago, in 2002.

— Photo via noricum, Flickr

Are You Happy With Michigan’s Bottle Bill?

So this week I’m in West Virginia, to speak at a Nature Conservancy conference on the power of social media. Hint: You should retweet this story.

And I’ve noticed that the folks in West Virginia are really friendly. They say “Hi” and they seem to mean it. Maybe that’s because I’m in “the holler,” as the cab driver said on my way here this morning. But despite their overt happiness, the people of WVA still don’t have a bottle bill. They just throw away the bottles and cans.

Now I was awed on the way here, in a two-hour ride from Pittsburgh, with the beauty of the rolling mountain scenery in the wild and wonderful state. John Denver had it right. And I can’t stop humming “Country Roads.”

On the cover of today’s Charleston Gazette is a story featuring Unknown Environmentalists, lots of them, with brown paper bags over their heads.

The story is about efforts by a local group called Pick Up America, which staged at a rally at the state Capitol to push for a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers. In Michigan, we have a 10-cent deposit. And I’ll admit it’s a pain to reclaim my 10 cents, but it (usually) keeps me honest and encourages recycling.

Which makes me wonder: Do you appreciate Michigan’s 10-cent law, and think it should even be expanded to non-carbonated beverages (water and juice)? I, for one, am happy to have it, despite the hassle. And to think, West Virginia, the second-largest coal-producing state, is quibbling about a nickel.

— Photo via wvgazette.com


I Stumbled Upon the New Digg

Social media companies have been duking it out for my time and attention, which is fine with me. Using social media is like going to a cocktail party where you only have to talk to the people who interest you. It doesn’t hurt to look in on the ones that drive you mad, too.

Which brings me to my point: You’ve got to check out the new StumbleUpon app, if you have an iPhone or Android, and the new Digg, either way

My StumbleUpon profile is at stumbleupon.com/stumbler/KeffJ/

My new Diggs are at new.digg.com/jeffkart

Why is this important? What does it have to do with the environment? Everything. I Stumble and Digg lots of environmental stories, and am exposed to many more via my Stumble and Digg friends.

Sure, I have real, live friends, too. Which reminds me, I’ve got to go right now. I’m on my way to a real, live cocktail party.

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