The Michigan DNR is reviewing an application that would sell state land to be mined for limestone.
The DEQ is giving Michigan residents a chance to help protect their state’s inland streams and lakes.
Next week Micorps is hosting it’s 10th annual Clean Water Conference. The event will include free training for participants to become volunteer water quality monitors.
Bill Dimond is an aquatic biologist at the DEQ.
He says there’s no shortage of support for Michigan water quality.
“The most important thing to me is how much people care about water quality in Michigan. Clean water is beautiful, wonderful for recreation, and also it helps financially. Clean water is valuable. So what I take away from it most is how much the people care about the water.”
The event will also feature speeches from various environmentalists for patrons to attend.
The conference is a two-day event that will be held at the Ralph A. Macmullan Center in Higgins Lake. It’s scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 27th.
They’re actually near a wetland, and Schock is working on what will eventually be his dissertation.
He wants to create a mathematical tool that the Department of Environmental Quality will use to determine whether or not a wetland has a ground water connection. If so, the DEQ has jurisdiction over that ecosystem and is able to protect it from being repurposed.
So what does Neil do with these readings?
“All this data that were collecting will go into multivariate ordinal statistics to kinda generate out what we’re seeing in those environments. Taking all those parameters with multiple dimensions and kinda boil them down into a few dimensions so we can visualize what’s happening in those areas.”
This is no small undertaking, and Schock is building this research from the ground up.
You may wonder, ‘what does a wetland have to do with climate change?’ Experts like Don Uzarski, the director of CMU’s Institute for the Great Lakes Restoration, say the answer is a lot.
“Were just starting to realize in the past probably 20 years just how important these small systems are, small or large, to the overall ecosystem and the Great Lakes in particular.”
Uzarski says this murky, unglamorous area is imperative to the health of Michigan’s water system, explaining that wetlands act as the kidneys of Michigan’s larger waterways.
“So anything that we put on the agricultural field or even a dry precipitation or dust that falls on to the field, theres going to be nutrients, theres going to be some level of toxicants associated with that. In this case its going to come through this wetland. Even though its in the center of Michigan its still acting as a filter and processing that material before it makes it down to that drainage ditch eventually makes it to a stream, that will eventually make its way to the Great Lakes.”
Uzarski says Schock’s work is crucial to the health of the United State’s waterways. He says America is essentially running on a single kidney at this point.
“50 percent of wetlands nationwide have been lost. In some regions though, like the Saginaw Bay region we’ve lost 95 percent of the coastal wetlands already. Other states are in much worse shape than we are.”
Back in the field, Schock explains that although he’s pioneering this kind of wetland experimentation, he never feels lost.
“For the most part we’ll let the data lead us, Ya know, data doesn’t lie. Ya just kinda go with what ya got and with the resources that you have, and with sound statistical analysis it will lead you where you wanna go.”
There’s one quality I’ve found in every scientist I talked to for this series. Pride in the Great Lakes, and the state of Michigan.
Schock, says he wants to protect the Great Lakes with his research by stopping potential negative impacts at their source.
“It’s easy to lose sight of where certain things are impacting the Great Lakes. I’ve always been interested in the Great Lakes ecosystem and the health of the Great Lakes, so you gotta get down to where are these impacts coming from. And this is a big part of that.”
Schock says if things continues to run smoothly, his wetland tool should be ready for statewide use in two to three years.
He says the best part of his job is the office he works in. Michigan’s outdoors, the trees, the wildlife and the clean water is one of the defining features of the Great Lakes state. Schock and Uzarski ‘clock in’ every day to ensure those features will still be there when the rest of us ‘clock out’.
A workshop in Clare is intended to help to keep potential invaders at bay, by training people who handle bait fish. Read more
Wildlife enthusiasts, landowners and hunters may see more wildlife in the coming year thanks to habitat funding.
DNR officials announced this month that one million dollars in grant money has been awarded to Michigan individuals and organizations.
October 18 is the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, but National Wildlife Federation officials say the bill’s current ambiguity puts miles of streams and wetlands at risk of losing protection.
The questionable language was found as the result of two recent Supreme Court challenges to the act.
DNR officials say there are fewer illegal trash dumping sites in the state today than 20-years ago, but they still number in the hundreds.
According to Clean Forests; Grand Traverse, Oscoda, and Roscommon counties had the most illegal sites in Michigan.
Bow hunting season is underway, and DNR officials are reminding hunters to be cautious and check deer for diseases.
Officials say six counties in northeast Lower Michigan have deer with Bovine Tuberculosis. Read more
New legislation that would repeal Michigan’s renewable energy standard has been met with heavy opposition from environmentalists, and even some utilities.
A Kent County man became the first to be arraigned under Michigan’s enhanced deer violation penalties.