Invasive Plant Boat Tours, Fall Colors

For Sept. 22, 2017

1 – You can learn about the effects of invasive plants during free boat tours on Lake Huron.

phragmites-boat-tour-saginaw-bay-lake-huron

Bay County and a group called Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area is offering half-hour public tours to showcase phragmites treatment efforts.

The tours leave every half hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the Finn Road Boat Launch in Essexville on Sept. 29, the Quanicassee Boat Launch in Fairgrove on Sept. 30, and Eagle Bay Marina in Standish on Oct. 1.

Those who join can learn about the effects of invasive phragmites on recreation and the ecosystem of Saginaw Bay. Local naturalists will explain the issues caused by these invasive plants and showcase areas where treatment has killed a majority of the infestation.

The tours will take place aboard charter fishing boats and are family friendly.

2 – Friday, Sept. 22, is the first day of fall.

fall leaves colors michigan

Credit: MDNR

Fall color is predicted to peak throughout October in Michigan, depending on the location. The Pure Michigan website has a map to find out the best times to visit different areas of the state.

See Michigan.org/fall.

The state Department of Natural Resources also notes that fall camping is available for people traveling north to view the colors.

Reservations are reported to be much easier to find in the fall, and officials say campgrounds are less crowded.

Many state parks will host harvest festivals for campers. Events are planned at the Bay City State Recreation Area in Bay County’s Bangor Township on Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

 

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More Waste Landfilled, Clean Energy Obstacles, and a New Statewide Trail

For Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

1 – Michiganders sent more waste to landfills last year.

That’s according to the Department of Environmental Quality’s 19th annual solid waste report for fiscal year 2014.

Residents increased waste sent to landfills by more than 2 million cubic yards, or 5.6 percent.

Officials say the jump can be seen as a sign of the state’s economic resurgence. It also underscores the importance of efforts to increase residential recycling.

Gov. Rick Snyder hopes to double Michigan’s residential recycling rate in the next two years.

Plans include developing new markets for recyclable metals, plastics and wood.

The DEQ also is working with cities and townships to increase access to recycling, measure progress, and provide technical assistance and education.

At this time, Michigan landfills have about 26 years left of remaining disposal capacity.

– Report of Solid Waste Landfilled in Michigan: Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014

 

2 – The Great Lakes state faces obstacles when it comes to getting more of its energy from cleaner sources.

A new report, produced by 5 Lakes Energy and funded by the Mott Foundation, includes 40 recommendations to enable Michigan to accelerate its progress.

The recommendations include reducing energy waste by expanding financing options for energy upgrades.

We also could modernize our electric generation and delivery, such as increasing our 10 percent renewable standard for regulated utilities, due to expire this year.

Another recommendation is to electrify our transportation sector, including incentives to get more electric vehicles on the road.

Credit: Incase

Credit: Incase

 3 – Iron Belle Trail is the newly picked name for Michigan’s planned, statewide hiking and bicycling trail.

The trail is due to stretch from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.

The state Department of Natural Resources recently announced the name, after sifting through almost 9,000 suggestions.

Iron Belle Trail is a work in progress, but portions of the trail already exist, and are open for public recreation.

The Iron Belle Trail will stretch across Michigan and link numerous existing trails to provide hiking and bicycling routes. A map of the plans shows proposed bicycle trails running through Northeast Michigan.

The DNR is seeking private and public funding to secure and develop trail corridors for the cross-state trail. The agency says temporary connectors are in place along much of the trail and will be made permanent as resources become available.

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

 

A Bay County Recreation Survey, Great Lakes Restoration Database, and Educational Tools

The Environment Report, with Jeff Kart (Mr. Great Lakes). As heard in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM. For Oct. 25, 2013.

1 – How should Bay County manage its parks and recreation facilities in the next five years? 

Communities in the county are drafting a master recreation plan.

The public is being asked to take a survey and submit comments.

The plan will cover recreation for the county as well as participating cities and townships (Auburn, Bangor Township, Beaver Township, Essexville, Frankenlust Township, Fraser Township, Garfield Township, Gibson Township, Hampton Township, Kawkawlin Township, Merritt Township, Monitor Township, Mount Forest Township, Portsmouth Township, and Williams Township).

Having an updated plan will allow the county and associated communities to seek grants in the future.

You can take the survey via a link at BayCounty-mi.gov.

2 – How are your tax dollars being put to work for Great Lakes restoration?

The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has awarded more than $220 million since it began in 2010.

The money has gone for habitat and wildlife restoration and protection projects across Michigan and other states in the Great Lakes region.

A new database aims to showcase the work. The database was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and created by the Great Lakes Commission.

The database includes an interactive map of habitat and wildlife projects. It can be searched by keyword, and generate a fact sheet for each project, with information on goals and objectives.

A search for Saginaw Bay brings up three projects, totaling almost $600,000, that focused on controlling invasive phragmites and improving fish passage.

3 – There are new ways for students to learn about the Great Lakes. 

michigan sea grant fieldscope

Via Michigan Sea Grant.

The educational tools come from Michigan Sea Grant, a joint effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

The resources are called “Teaching Great Lakes Science” and the “Great Lakes FieldScope.”

The first is a website that offers lessons, related activities and data sets. The resources explore issues like climate and weather; lake effect snow and ice cover; harmful algal blooms, beach health and water quality, according to a news release.

The second is a web-based mapping, analysis and visualization tool, hosted by the National Geographic Society. The Fieldscope can be used to investigate things like water quality or fish spawning grounds.

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