April Showers Bring Grants, Fisheries Workshops, Youth Opportunities

For March 17, 2017

1 – A grant program to reduce bacteria in the Cass River watershed is available to farmers and landowners in Tuscola and Saginaw counties.

Funds of up to $10,000 are available to pay for structures to reduce E. coli bacteria that makes its way from local creeks into the Lower Cass River. Tributaries highlighted for improvement include Cole Creek, Dead Creek, Perry Creek and Millington Creek.

Grants can be used to build livestock crossings, fences, animal watering systems and manure management structures. The goal is to manage animal and agricultural runoff from small farms.

The landowner commitment is a 25 percent match, which includes in-kind goods and services.

Anyone who is interested should contact the Tuscola Conservation District (Mike Boike, technician at the TCD, at mike.boike@mi.nacdnet.net or 989-673-8174 ext. 103).


2 – Michigan Sea Grant is hosting spring fisheries workshops along Lake Huron’s coastline.

The events are open to the public, and held in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, the state Department of Natural Resources, the federal Great Lakes Science Center and local fishery organizations.

The workshops will include information and status updates on topics such as: fish populations and angler catch data, forage or prey fish surveys, the status of Saginaw Bay yellow perch and walleye, and citizen science opportunities for anglers.

Workshops are planned for Wednesday, April 12, from 6-9 p.m., at Bangor Township Hall; and Wednesday, April 26, from 6-9 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Oscoda.

Other evening Lake Huron workshops are planned for April 4 in Port Huron and April 27 in Cedarville. Registration is requested.


3 – If you’re 14 to 18 years old, or know someone who is, consider a spot on the Natural Resource Commission Youth Conservation Council.

The state is accepting nominations from youth who are interested in a position on the council.

It’s an opportunity to gain leadership experience, explore outdoor recreation issues and participate in activities under the guidance of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

You can apply until Friday, April 28.

The appointment is for two years, and members will be expected to participate in four meetings each year.

At least two of the meetings will be offered as weekend training sessions at a conference facility.

State officials say they hope members will help develop recommendations on policy, programs and legislative changes that can boost young people’s interest and involvement in the outdoors, including hunting and fishing.

– 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


Saginaw Bay Runoff Research, and Algae Maps for All

The Environment Report, heard at 9 a.m. Fridays on Delta College Q-90.1 FM. From Sept. 13, 2013:

-1- Eight research grants, totaling nearly $2.9 million, have been awarded by the University of Michigan Water Center to support Great Lakes restoration and protection efforts.

The two-year grants were awarded to researchers at universities in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New York.

The projects will support efforts to restore native fish migrations across the Great Lakes Basin,  improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, and guide ecological restoration of Saginaw Bay.

The Saginaw Bay grant involves $413,000 awarded to a Saginaw Valley State University researcher. The money will go to assess projects within the Kawkawlin, Pigeon and Pinnebog rivers that have been aimed at reducing nutrient runoff from agricultural land into the bay, and develop priorities to guide future conservation efforts.

The grant was awarded to David Karpovich, director of SVSU’s Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute.

Karpovich says the project will integrate available data, models, and decision tools to address the scientific gap between the placement of land-based conservation actions and their resulting ecological outcomes in rivers and nearshore areas of the Saginaw Bay Watershed.

The results will be used to guide future placement of agricultural best management practices for the best possible ecological outcomes at the lowest cost and impact to the community, SVSU officials said in a news release.

The project is slated for completion in September 2015.

– 2 – Scientists at Michigan Tech Research Institute are using satellite data to determine where harmful algal blooms are increasing in the Great Lakes and what threats they may pose to water quality and public health.

The project generates maps of the Western Basin of Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, and Green Bay on Lake Michigan. The maps show the location and extent of blooms, along with areas of water quality and public health concern. The maps are updated weekly, and made available online to the public.

Harmful algal blooms develop when nutrients from agricultural runoff encourage the development of high algae levels that can clog water intake pipes, affect the quality of drinking water, potentially harm pets and make humans sick, according to Michigan Tech.

Climate change is another factor. Algae thrive in warmer water, and the water temperature in the Great Lakes has risen in recent years, and continues to rise.


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