BaySail Seeks Trainees, Refuge Considers Commercial Guides, State Surveys Fish

For June 2, 2017

 

1 – BaySail in Bay City is offering Windward Bound Voyages.

They take place on board the 65-foot Appledore V schooner.

Teenagers from 14-18 can join a professional tall ship crew to learn about navigation, sailing, and the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Windward Bound graduates are eligible to join a year-round training program and enjoy future sailing opportunities as volunteers,

The voyage schedule includes a trip from Bay City to Buffalo, New York, in June, and others through August.

A limited number of scholarships are available for teens from Bay, Midland, Saginaw and Isabella counties.

For a complete schedule and an application, see BaySailBayCity.org.

 

2 – The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is seeking public comment on a plan to allow commercial guides for wildlife observation and photography.

Officials say wildlife observation and photography by the public was previously determined to be compatible with a refuge conservation plan.

Officials are seeking comment on a similar plan that expands this use to include commercial guiding for wildlife observation and photography.

Comments are being taken for two weeks, ending June 14, at the refuge website and on its Facebook page.

All commercial guides would be required to apply for a Special Use Permit and steps would be taken to minimize impacts to wildlife.

3 – All four of the state’s fisheries research vessels are back on the water, beginning their annual surveys of Great Lakes fish populations for the Department of Natural Resources.

The surveys are designed to examine and collect information on fish communities and their habitats.

The research vessels are based in Marquette, Alpena, Charlevoix and Harrison Township.

They work throughout the Great Lakes, beginning as soon as ice has cleared and continuing into November.

On Lake Huron, work is done by the research vessel Tanner, the DNR’s newest vessel which was launched in 2016. This vessel focuses on assessments of lake trout and walleye populations, and broader fisheries assessments in Saginaw Bay and the St. Marys River.

 

Solar Shingles Expand Home Market, BaySail Nears Milestone, and New Life for Coastal Wetland

Mr. Great Lakes. As heard Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM Friday Edition, at 9 a.m. Eastern …

Photo by Eric Dobis

Photo by Eric Dobis

1 .
Dow Solar has announced a major expansion in the availability of its Powerhouse Solar Shingles.

Homeowners can now purchase the shingles through Kearns Bros., based in Dearborn, and Cobblestone Homes, based in Linwood, according to the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.

Powerhouse shingles protect like a standard shingle, but also have embedded solar cells to help power a home. They are made in Midland by Dow Solar, a business unit of the Dow Chemical Co.

Cobblestone is featuring the shingles on new model homes in the mid-Michigan region.

According to Dow, Kearns Bros. in Dearborn will service the re-roof market.

Homeowners who need a new roof can upgrade to a Powerhouse roof. The system costs more than a standard asphalt roof, but pays for itself over time through energy savings, and adds to the value of a home.

2.

BaySail in Bay City is nearing a milestone.

The nonprofit, which offers sailing and environmental education aboard to two Appledore schooners, has hosted nearly 40,000 students in 15 years of operation.

BaySail launched its Science Under Sail program in 1998, and since then has educated 37,969 students, according to leaders.

That amounts to 1,186 classes from elementary through high school that have come aboard two tall ships operated by program staff and volunteers.

The ships are docked on the Saginaw River and journey to Saginaw Bay and other parts of the Great Lakes.

A goal of BaySail is to activate the passion of the next generation by helping young people make direct connections to the natural world.

Students who come aboard the ships for science-based programs are often experiencing the Great Lakes for the first time.

BaySail also offers a regular schedule of public sails.

You can find out more at BaySailBayCity.org.

3 .

A new pump is giving new life to a large coastal wetland in Pinconning.

The pump replaces a failed pump structure at the Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area in northern Bay County.

The new equipment can be used to manipulate water levels in a 298-acre marsh at the site.

Nayanquing Point consists of about 1,400 acres of coastal marsh and associated upland habitats along Saginaw Bay.

It provides habitat for thousands of migratory birds in the spring and fall. The 298-acre marsh area is managed to provide waterfowl hunting opportunities.

Ducks Unlimited received a nearly $200,000 federal grant for the project from the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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The Cost of Great Lakes Invasives, and BaySailing Events

As heard Friday, June 1, 2012, on Friday Edition, Environment Report, Q-90.1 FM, Delta College, NPR-member station

photo quagga mussels shoe invasive

Photo by Arthur Felig

Set Sail

BaySail has announced a series of events for the summer.
BaySail is a Bay City nonprofit that operates two Appledore schooners. The ships are used for educational and public sails on Saginaw Bay.

This summer’s public schedule includes “Legends of the Saginaw Sails,” departing from the BaySail dock in downtown Bay City’s Wenonah Park.

The sails offer a history lesson on the Saginaw River, on an Appledore schooner, sailing from the downtown out to Saginaw Bay. Some departures also feature live maritime music by the band Hoolie of Bay City.

Sails are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays in June, August and September, with lunch included.

An Appledore schooner also will be participating this summer in Tall Ships events in Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and New York.

Scholarships for secondary school students also are available for overnight voyages this summer to Nova Scotia and other destinations.

For more information, see baysailbaycity.org.

 

Invasive$ Report

A new report on aquatic invasive species quantifies their costs to businesses and consumers in the Great Lakes region.

The report, by the Anderson Economic Group, was commissioned by The Nature Conservancy.

It says the tab for businesses and consumers totals hundreds of millions (with an m) dollars per year. Those include costs for removal, maintenance and management of species like zebra and quagga mussels. Meanwhile, state and federal governments are spending millions more for efforts to control the impact and prevent the spread of invasives in the Great Lakes.

Some figures from the report include:

  • The cost of controlling zebra mussels at one water treatment facility equals about $353,000 a year. There are 381 such facilities across the basin.
  • Michigan’s cost for maintenance, control and prevention of aquatic invasive species in 2009 and 2010 totaled $3.1 million.
  • More than 100 power plants that use water from the Great Lakes also are spending a total of $130 million a year to remove invasives.

What is the largest Great Lakes industry affected by aquatic invasives? The report says tourism and recreation, which employs more than 90,000 people and generates an estimate $30.3 billion (with a b) annually in revenue.

The full report can be found online at nature.org/greatlakes

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