Beach Cleaning, River Restoring & Asian Carp Stopping

Lots of ‘ings’ on this edition of The Environment Report. Heard Fridays @ 9 AM on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College:

photo three boxes stories

Photo by z287marc

Friday, March 2, 2012 (audio):

Beach boosters are planning another wellness event for June at the Bay City State Recreation Area.

This year’s Beach Wellness event, on June 23 at the Bay City state park, will include a run and walk, volleyball tournament and classic car cruise.

The event is a fundraiser to help keep the shoreline clean at the Bay City state park.

There will be 10K and 5K runs, a 5K walk; and a kids quarter-mile run.

The tournament will feature four-person volleyball teams competing on the public beach at the Bay City state park.

The sixth annual Beach Wellness event is being organized by the Save Our Shoreline property owners group.

Registrations are now being taken by members of Save Our Shoreline.


Efforts to restore rivers in Northern Michigan are being highlighted by a nonprofit Grayling group.

The group, called Huron Pines, has published a new website that show a variety of river restoration accomplishments in Northern Michigan.

On the website, you can search for road and stream crossings, and streambank erosion sites by watershed and county.

The group says many accomplishments listed at the site have involved completing BMPs, or Best Management Practices, at problem sites.

These practices involve methods that reduce the movement of sediment, nutrients, chemicals and other pollutants from the land to the water.

Examples are tree and shrub plantings, and culvert or bridge replacements at road and stream crossings.

The website address is


National Geographic recently featured a familiar fish as its Freshwater Species of the week.

It was the Asian carp, which comes in varieties like silver and bighead.

So far, only a few of the carp have been found in the Great Lakes, and efforts are ongoing to keep them from an becoming established species in the lakes.

The Obama administration has committed more than $50 million to a 2012  Asian Carp Control Strategy.

That includes increased efforts to monitor and catch carp iin rivers that connect to the Great Lakes.

Officials also will be testing scent-based lures, an acoustic water gun and improved electric barriers.

The U.S. government has already spent more than $100 million on keeping the bighead and silver Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

Just this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition by Michigan and other states to install nets in Chicago area rivers and speed up a study on a permanent separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.



Were government flies released to combat caterpillars?

My bug bites have bug bites. After four days in northwest Michigan near Traverse City, I’m home, inside, and enjoying the air conditioning. One thing is still bugging me, though. The story that my brother, Scott, told me about black flies. Word in the woods is that the flies, which land on you every 3 seconds this time of year, were released by the Michigan DNR (now DNRE) to control tent caterpillars.

Sounds like a rumor. But usually rumors start out as truths, if you get my drift. According to a posting on UpNorthLive, with a Traverse City dateline, there’s an increase in black flies this year due to an increase in caterpillars. Black flies eat caterpillar larvae.

Which makes you wonder, what’s causing the caterpillar population to grow? And would the DNRE admit to releasing black flies for caterpillar control if the project went haywire (as in, annoying the hell out of people)?

David Lemmien, a DNRE unit manager, says his Traverse City office has been getting lots of calls about the fly-caterpillar scandal, but the DNRE hasn’t released flies to manage the outbreak of forest tent caterpillars.

Let’s take David at his word. Other words in this story aren’t as believable, such as “In fact, the DNRE doesn’t even have the means to raise flies.” Really? That’s laughable. Anyone with a checkbook has a means.  The story also circulated in New York in 2007, though, so it seems pretty mythical.

And there is a way to control black flies — a tip that comes courtesy of the nice cashier at the Village Market in Alden. Rub a dryer sheet on your skin and they’ll stop landing on you. It works. Too bad you can’t rub sheets on trees.

— Image via  Fat Man of the Mountains.


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