This is Earth week. It’s dedicated to restoration and conservation efforts.
There are several Earth-friendly events taking place this week at Central Michigan University, including one “hands-on” event.
It’s called “Pick up the Chip”.
It’s a service project aimed at cleaning trash from around the Chippewa river, and part of the Earth-week focus to reduce pollution and teach future generations responsible ways to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Rachel Ochylski is one of the organizers.
She said, “We really wanted to show the community that you don’t have to live near an ocean to care about marine animals and conservation of their habitat, and you can make a difference here in Michigan and right here in Mount Pleasant.”
Ochylski said event organizers hope to educate people on the importance of habitat conservation and reducing pollution.
Pick up the Chip is scheduled for Friday at noon at Mt Pleasant’s Island Park.
The Michigan DNR has awarded one-and-a-quarter million dollars to 7 projects through its Aquatic Habitat Grant Program.
Friends of the Shiawassee received the single largest donation, $365-thousand, for their dam removal project.
Gary Burk is the Board Director for the Friends, he says the project is important for a number of reasons.
“We were actually approached by the State as to whether we could be a local agency to help direct grant dollars and project management for the removal of that dam. There’s a number of reasons for the removal. It’s a deteriorated structure, and we’d like to restore connectivity to the river. Plus, there have been some drownings at the dam.”
For a full list of the projects that were awarded grant money from the DNR visit their website here.
The DNR is giving anglers a chance to help support the Michigan Walleye fishery and possibly win $100 in the process.
Soon Walleye will be making their way upstream to spawn in the Tittabawasee, and other rivers. During that time DNR fishery biologists will catch, tag and release as many adult Walleye as possible. Continue reading →
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has put the northern long-eared bat on the “threatened” species list. The agency stopped short of declaring the species in danger of extinction – even though millions have been killed by “white nose bat syndrome.” That means state officials don’t have to take drastic measures to protect habitats while researchers search for a cure.
Dan Kennedy is an endangered species specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“What we can do right now is try to minimize impacts to these bats while they’re hibernating, but as far as specifically addressing the fungus, there is no silver bullet.”
Kennedy says most of the bats in Michigan are hibernating in remote, abandoned mines in the western Upper Peninsula. There could be some restrictions on logging and tree thinning in summer months in areas where young bats are roosting.
Residents of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario are invited to come to Lake Superior State University for the 14th annual Environmental Summit. The free summit is designed to show residents what scientists and students from LSSU have been doing on the St. Mary’s River. It will also give residents a chance to learn how to care for the river.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27 at the Cisler Center, residents will be able to interact with local organizations to better understand the river’s ecology. One organization is the Aquatic Research Laboratory, who will be providing information on the salmon fish hatchery on the river.
Students from LSSU will also have a chance to speak on the river and showcase their research.
Dr. Sheri Glowinski is an assistant professor of Biology Sciences at Lake Superior State University. She is also the coordinator for the Michigan side of the Bi-national Public Advisory Council. Both organizations are sponsoring the event.
“(It’s important) for the community to understand the major environmental issues that are facing the St. Mary’s watershed.”
Glowinski has set up this entire event and is excited to get the public educated about the St. Mary’s river.
Following the summit is a Health and Harvest Fair, where farms and other health related organizations will be presenting on healthy eating.
The Legislature is embarking on a big re-write of Michigan’s energy strategy. A state House committee opened hearings on the subject today (Wed.). And a lot of the discussion focused on renewable energy.
In Washington DC, a bill that would help protect the Great Lakes from invasive species has been revived by the Senate, and sent to the House for a vote.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, or VIDA, would set a national precedent for controlling boat ballast water that enters the U.S.
The bill was revived when Senator Gary Peters of Michigan added an amendment that would require all ships that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway to dump their ballast water prior to entry.
Ballast water is considered to be one of the biggest doorways for aquatic invasive species to enter our waterways.