Category Archives: Natural Resources

Great lakes basin spring clean-up efforts begin

RIVERKEEPER_PIC_mediumIt’s springtime and that means cleanup efforts are getting underway in various cities throughout the Great Lakes basin.

Thousands of volunteers from work to clear the shoreline of debris, not just this time of year, but all year long. Like the volunteers at the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper . The nonprofit is hosting its Spring Shoreline Sweep on April 22.

It’s an annual event and it resulted in clearing more than 11 tons of litter from shoreline areas last year.

Riverkeeper’s executive director Jill Jedlicka says volunteers find items as small as cigarette butts and sometimes larger items tires and televisions.

“Unfortunately we do find things like hypodermic needles, we do find petroleum based products sometimes,” she said. “Just a lot of what we call flotsam and jetsam, which is the stuff that gets washed off from parking lots and streets everywhere. And, it ultimately finds its way into the waterways.”

Once it enters the waterways it can have a negative effect on everything from drinking water to wildlife habitats.

“We don’t always want to be cleaning it up after the fact, we’d rather it not be there in the first place,” said Kris Patterson, executive director at Partners for Clean Streams in Ohio.

Patterson says they like to include prevention education as part of their cleanup events.

The group organizes cleanups in shoreline and other areas throughout the year. Their largest cleanup event is in September.

“We want to show people the ways we can reduce marine debris,” she said. “It’s by reducing what your using in the first place, so not always getting the plastic grocery bag can you take a reusable grocery bag.”

And, she says, it all comes down town being mindful of what we’re consuming and how we’re consuming it.

CMU researchers examin how contaminants in Great Lakes affect mussels


Central Michigan University researchers are examining how freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes are affected by contaminants.

Biologists are testing the mussels with everyday contaminants found in things like shampoo and toothpaste. Continue reading

Sleeping Bear Dunes named one of 21 best beaches by National Geographic



A popular Michigan tourism destination made it onto a National Geographic list of the 21 best beaches in the world.

Sleeping Bear Dunes named one of the best 21 beaches in the world by National Geographic. Continue reading

New recreational park for Saginaw region

A public-private partnership has set the stage for a new public park in Saginaw.
It will be built on top of about 300 acres of what had been a landfill for GM.

The park will include hiking and biking trails, wildlife viewing, and catch-and-release fishing in the Saginaw river.

Marc Miller is the Deputy Director of Regional Initiatives for the Michigan DNR. He said the property only cost 10 dollars, however there will be capital cost to develop the site.

“Our first phase we imagine it will be around 290,000 dollars, for trail development and some of the other amenities, and so, that is one of our first phases of development. We’re hoping, also, that the partners will raise enough money that an endowment will be there to pay for the operations and maintenances site by the county.”

Miller said the site will provide the opportunity for healthy recreation, and enjoying nature. He said it will give the DNR a new area to work on things like water quality, reforestation, and increasing wildlife habitat.

The DNR hopes to close the deal by summer and begin development.