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.
Governor Rick Snyder says he’s glad the state Senate debated and voted on legislation to make some changes to Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law. But he’s not ready to endorse what the Senate did this week. Continue reading →
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.
After 70 years of service, and earning the description “the Senior citizen of the Great Lakes fisheries research vessels”, the DNR’s R.V Chinook is being retired.
Research biologist at the DNR Dave Fielder spent years with the vessel. He said he’ll miss the old ship.
“Well I tend to think about the different people who have served on it, visited on it, over the years. Whole careers have been spent on this vessel. It can get pretty rough out there, it’s kinda notorious for creating seasickness, but it’s kinda like our second home.”
The new research vessel, the R.V Tanner, is expected to be constructed by April of 2016.
Fielder says the new ship is named after Dr. Howard Tanner who’s known as the, “Father of the Modern Pacific Salmon Program” .
Michigan’s Republican presidential primary would take place on March 15th of next year under bills that were just adopted by the state Senate. Republicans want to move the date to comply with national party rules. Michigan’s current February date is too close to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Continue reading →
The holiday season is in full swing, and for many people that means it’s time to bring a bit of the outdoors into the living room. But what can you do with your x-mas tree once the season’s over?
Marsha Gray, the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association said the answer is simple: Recycle!
“I would say probably the most common option in Michigan would be to chip those trees into mulch. But you’ll also see Christmas trees that get recycled and reused in other ways. You’ll see Christmas trees piled and dumped along the shore line. It helps to prevent beach erosion. I also know some people who have lakes where they’ll sink Christmas trees because they create a great habitat for fish.”
She said one town in Minnesota takes recycling their trees to the extreme.
“St. Paul, Minnesota heats and powers most of their downtown grid with waste wood. Trimmings, clippings, palettes, all sorts of things are put into this crazy massive grinder chipper and create this product, that is literally burned, and they use that to power their city. And during the holidays they go to that waste wood facility and end up powering their city.”
Gray said although this is an extraordinary example, everyone can do something with their tree. Turn it into mulch yourself, or simply check with your local government to see if they have a street-side pick up service.
For more information on what you can do with your tree visit here.
Pair of otolith bones in a pitri dish. Taken by Dominic Trimboli
Close up of 2 otoliths. Taken by Dominic Trimboli.
Housing for the laser used in the lab. Taken by Dominic Trimboli.
Although Winter is well on its way, water researchers at CMU don’t plan on slowing down.
Smack dab in the center of the Lower Peninsula, miles from the shores of the Great Lakes, lies a somewhat unexpected but active participant in the restoration and protection of Michigan’s waterways. Continue reading →
One shot, one deer. The single shot deer hunting season kicked off Friday, Dec 5th.
Brent Rudolph is a deer specialist from the Michigan DNR. He said it’s important to remember the differences between hunting zones.
“Ya know we have different zones in the state that we use for a variety of different species actually. So zone 1 is upper peninsula, that’s pretty easy to identify. Zone 2 is from Muskegon over to Bay County. And we use those different areas because there’s a little different climate, there’s different habitat. And so any variety of our species there’s a need to manage a little bit differently according to those boundaries.”
There are three zones in Michigan. Zones one and two are both open until Dec 14th, while zone three affords hunters an extra week to bring home the venison.
Rudolph said zone three is open longer because there tends to be larger deer concentrations in that area.
For more information on hunting zones, or anything else season related, visit the DNR here.
The 2008 recession has left its mark on more than just the economy, it’s also hurt school funding. This according to a new report released October 16 from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy. Continue reading →
Environmental groups are increasing their pressure on Governor Snyder to keep the pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac safe.
This increase in concern follows the recent proclamation by the Coast Guard saying it is not prepared to handle a “heavy” oil spill in the Great Lakes.
David Holtz is the Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter. He says Michigan would be in serious trouble if the pipelines were to rupture.
“Problem is that we know the effects that tar sands has had when there’s been a spill because thats what happened along the Kalamazoo River in Marshall. What we don’t know is whether other crude oil that is currently going through the pipe what the effects of that would be, but we certainly dont want to find out.”
As of now, Enbridge says they are not pumping “heavy” oil, or tar sands, through the pipeline that runs under the Straits. But, they are not specifically barred from doing so.
Environmental groups worry this may change in the future because Enbridge has decided to expand their Alberta-Clipper pipeline. This line does export tar sands and runs from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin where the Straits pipeline begins.
When classes begin this fall, Michigan public schools will be operating under new nutritional guidelines. The new guidelines focus on beverage standards and a la carte food items, such as foods from vending machines. Continue reading →