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NEWS

Proposed Debilitating Cuts to USEPA and Elimination of Waters of the United States Regulatory Protections are Ill Advised

April 13, 2017 14:07

An Editorial Comment
by Scott Brown, ML&SA Executive Director

For those of us old enough to at least vaguely remember a thankfully bygone era when our nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands were commonly used as convenient dumping grounds for industrial waste, December 2nd, 1970 represented the beginning of the end of a particularly tragic period in our nation’s otherwise remarkable history. On this great day for our country, President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation that created the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), an event that would mark the start of a promising new era in environmental protection. Legislation creating the USEPA was ultimately prompted by progressively heightened public awareness that our nation’s air and water were becoming increasingly polluted, a fact that was affirmed in the minds of many Americans during the early summer of 1969 as the now infamous photo of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River engulfed in flames appeared on the nightly news, and on the cover of a then widely read Time magazine. The Cuyahoga River fire would also help spark the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972, landmark legislation that would serve to define the mission and goals of the fledgling USEPA by establishing a basic system for regulating discharges of various pollutants into the waters of the United States, and for establishing and regulating surface water quality standards. Under the Clean Water Act, the USEPA has worked to establish and implement wastewater standards for industry, and water quality standards for contamination of surface waters. The Clean Water Act also made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into the navigable waters of the United States, and established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program that regulates discharges into the nation’s waters. The non-partisan federal Office of Management and Budget has consistently given its top cost effectiveness rating to the USEPA, noting that the value of the benefits derived versus the cost of investing in efforts to protect, and/or restore our nation’s water and air quality often exceeds a remarkable 10 to 1 ratio. The direct and in-direct benefits to human health and economic productivity that have resulted from successful USEPA efforts to protect, and/or restore our nation’s air and water quality have contributed trillions of dollars of wealth to our citizens, to our public and private institutions, and to our corporations.

For the Great Lakes state, blessed with 36,000 miles of streams, 11,000 thousand inland lakes, and countless acres of wetlands, recent “promises” by the new administration to eliminate the USEPA, or to dramatically reduce the agency’s operating budget and staffing levels, and rescind federal regulations that help ensure that our waters stay clean and potable, all carry the potential to have a devastating effect on current efforts to protect, and restore Michigan’s water resources. The many important projects that the USEPA currently funds and administers on a collaborative basis in the Great Lakes region include efforts to prevent the spread of Asian carp, funding and administering the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that provides grants to state and local projects that are designed to prevent invasive species, restore impaired watersheds, and restore fish habitat. In addition, USEPA provides Great Lakes region states, including Michigan, with grants that fund projects designed to reduce non-point source pollution levels that often lead to excess nutrient loading in many of our lakes and streams. The USEPA also administers federal grant programs that support various national, state, and local initiatives designed to improve water and air quality, combat invasive species, and to improve drinking water infrastructure. Michigan’s on-going Flint water crisis should have provided us all with a wake-up call regarding the increasingly desperate need to invest in a much needed modernization of our nation’s drinking and waste water management infrastructure.

The new administration and its allies in Congress are also “promising” to eliminate the Waters of the United States rule which was instituted in 2015 in order to fully restore federal government authority to limit pollution in our nation’s wealth of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Culminating many years of research and monitoring by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and carefully crafted to include the latest scientific data, and significant input from a diverse group of public and private stakeholders, the final language of the rule served to re-establish a modest level of protection to the water resources that one third of Americans (110 million people) rely upon for their daily drinking water. Moreover, for the first time in many decades, tens of thousands of our nation’s wetlands, streams, and inland lakes that provide essential habitat to fish and wildlife, and that serve as immense economic treasures, were once again placed under some degree of protection. Did you know, for example, that sport fishing in America helps support more than 800,000 jobs, and that the 30 million people who fish spend close to $50 billion annually on equipment, licenses, trips, and other fishing-related purchases? The fact is, pollution free streams, rivers, and lakes that are capable of supporting and sustaining healthy fish populations represent the very foundation of our nation’s recreational fishing industry.

To even the most sadly uninformed of our fellow citizens, there should be no surprise in learning that clean water is an indispensable resource for sustaining life on earth. Regardless of our race, religion, political beliefs, economic status, or how we choose to live our lives, pollutant free water resources that are capable of providing us all with clean, potable water are an absolute requirement for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. We encourage you to share your views regarding the importance of maintaining clean, healthy, and sustainable water resources with your respective member of the United States House of Representatives, and our United States Senators.



Another Lake Road End Case

April 7, 2017 18:36

Another Lake Road End Case

By Clifford H. Bloom, Esq.
Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.bsmlawpc.com

On October 25, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals released its unpublished decision in O’Neill, et al. v Moses, et al. (Case Nos. 329227, 330527, 329475 and 330529; 2016 WL 6269360). For purposes of full disclosure, I was co-legal counsel for three of the individuals involved in the lawsuit.

This case involved an unusual private avenue or easement, in that it is “elbow” or “L” shaped. The private road right-of-way approaches the lake at an approximately 45 degree angle and then turns and runs parallel to the lake. The road was created by a 1947 plat, which dedicated the road “to the use of the owners of lots”. The road right-of-way or easement has approximately 149 feet of frontage on the lake.

A number of off-lake property owners claimed that they have the right to install their own dockage, boat hoists and tethers along the lake frontage of the road and to permanently or seasonally moor their boats thereon. The three plaintiffs are riparian property owners who own lots adjacent to the road.

The litigation at the trial court level was long, complex and contentious. The trial court judge entered summary disposition in favor of the plaintiff riparians regarding most of the lake access issues. The trial court generally held that the road was for access only and cannot be utilized for private dockage, boat hoists or boat tethers and that the backlot property owners could not permanently or seasonally moor, store or keep their boats along the lake frontage of the road. The trial court relied heavily upon Thies v Howland, 424 Mich 282 (1985) and Higgins Lake Property Owners Assn v Gerrish Twp, 255 Mich App 83 (2003). The trial court also resolved numerous other issues.

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals generally upheld most of the rulings by the trail court. The Court of Appeals agreed that the private road right-of-way cannot be used by the backlotters for private dockage, boat hoists or boat tethers and that the backlot property owners cannot seasonally or permanently moor, store or keep boats along the waterfront. The Court held that the configuration of the road, as well as the dedication language “to the use of”, was unambiguous and generally meant access only. The Court of Appeals agreed that evidence of historical use was not relevant or admissible due to the unambiguous nature of the plat dedication for the road. Given that the plaintiffs did not request or pursue relief preventing the backlot property owners from lounging, sunbathing and picnicking on the road right-of-way, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs had conceded that issue and the trial court should not have banned those activities on the road right-of-way.

With regard to lake usage, the Court of Appeals did reverse a portion of the trial court’s decision that deemed one of the plaintiffs to have riparian rights on the claimed parallel portion of the road right-of-way in the plat based on 2000 Baum Family Trust v Babel, 488 Mich 136 (2010). That matter was remanded back to the trial court.

There is also a discussion of certain prescriptive easement issues in the Court of Appeals’ decision.

The Court of Appeals did decide a number of other issues (which likely would not be of interest to most riparians), but generally upheld most of the trial court’s decisions. Due to all of the complex issues involved, this article is simply a summary for laypeople of the decisions by the Court of Appeals in the case.

A full copy of the written opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals in O’Neill v Moses can be reviewed by going to the Court’s website at courts.mi.gov, clicking on “cases, opinions and orders”, click “case search”, enter case number 329227 and click “Court of Appeals”.



“Tips for Sellers of Waterfront Property”

April 7, 2017 18:17

ATTORNEY WRITES
By Clifford H. Bloom, Esq.
Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.bsmlawpc.com

“Tips for Sellers of Waterfront Property”

Potential buyers of waterfront property are not the only ones who face a sometimes daunting task, particularly with regard to “due diligence” investigations. Sellers of waterfront property must also be very careful.

Perhaps the best advice that can be given to someone contemplating the sale of a waterfront property is not to exaggerate or misrepresent any of the characteristics of the property. Should that occur, in many cases, it will come back to “bite” the seller, either in the form of a lawsuit or a bitter purchaser (or both!). For example, if the property involved is a backlot with a shared lake access site, the seller should not advertise or indicate that the property has “deeded access,” riparian rights, or similar potential misrepresentation. Use fully truthful language. Full disclosure (within reason) regarding any problems or “issues” associated with the property is usually the best avenue.

If “deeded access” is normally not a legally-appropriate phrase, what language should the seller of a backlot or off-lake property near the water use to indicate that a nearby lake access is available? Perhaps the best wording is simply to indicate that “limited lake access to Marble Lake is located nearby.” Any language that states or implies that the particular backlot has its own exclusive lake access device, that the backlot has permanent docking and boat mooring privileges, or that the backlot has a lake access device where virtually any use can occur thereon, can get a seller (and potentially, a realtor or real estate agent) in trouble if the wording is not true or fully accurate. This is one area where exaggeration (or what the seller might consider “puffery”) can get a person into trouble.

Prospective buyers are not the only ones who have to be careful regarding the language of the negotiated purchase/sales agreement—sellers must be equally cautious. If there are too many contingencies contained in the written agreement in favor of the buyer, it will make it easier for the buyer to back out of the closing without penalty.

Sellers should make sure that any contract for the sale of their waterfront property contains the appropriate “As-Is” language that makes it clear to the prospective purchaser that there are no warranties, guarantees, representations, promises, etc., being made regarding the waterfront property except, perhaps, the warranties of title to be given in the warranty deed or land contract. A good real estate attorney can assist the seller of a waterfront property with the appropriate language to limit the seller’s liability exposure should the purchaser discover something that he/she does not like about the property after closing.

Given all the “toys” associated with most waterfront properties, it is also very important for the seller (as well as the buyer) to specify in the purchase/sales agreement exactly which specific outdoor items (if any) are included within the sale and sales price. The contract should address such items as dock sections, swim rafts, boat hoists, lawn furniture, boats, sheds, and any other waterfront paraphernalia. With regard to the interior of the house or cottage, movable or removable items such as a washer, dryer, freezer, refrigerator, water softener, trash compactor, and similar items should also be specifically addressed in the purchase/sales agreement.

The seller’s realtor or real estate agent can assist the seller with setting a proposed (and realistic) sales price for the waterfront property involved. If the seller wants to obtain a second opinion regarding the price at which the property should be listed, the seller can retain a third-party real estate appraiser to give a more in-depth analysis of the true fair market value of the waterfront property.

If the seller will be retaining ownership of an adjoining lot or parcel after the sale of the land at issue, the seller may want to consider putting one or more recorded deed restrictions or restrictive covenants on the land to be sold (in order to protect the property being kept by the seller). Such restrictions could include prohibitions on mobile homes, further division of the land, setback minimums, a minimum size requirement for any new dwelling, and other restrictions on use. Any such restrictions should be in place before a purchase/sales agreement is signed (or be inserted into such an agreement) and drafted by a competent real estate attorney.

While much of the advertising today for the sale of waterfront properties occurs via the internet, social media virtual tours, and other techniques in the ethersphere, sellers, realtors, and real estate agents still use temporary outdoor real estate signs fairly extensively for sales. Such signs can be an effective tool for helping to sell real estate. However, it should also be kept in mind that many real estate signs violate not only local municipal sign regulation ordinances, but also potentially the property rights of others, depending on the sign’s location.

Almost all local municipalities have sign regulations. For some municipalities, those regulations are found in the municipality’s zoning ordinance. In other municipalities, the sign ordinance is a “standalone” ordinance separate from the zoning ordinance. Typically, municipal sign regulations allow one or two outdoor real estate “for sale” signs if installed on the property that is listed for sale. Placing a real estate “for sale” sign on any property other than the property being offered for sale (for example, down the road at a street intersection) is often a violation of the local municipal sign regulations. In addition, placing real estate signs on utility poles or installing signs directing prospective buyers to a property located some distance away is almost always unlawful under the local municipality’s sign regulations.

Even apart from municipal sign regulations, placing a real estate sign on the property of another without permission is an unlawful trespass. Some sellers are also under the mistaken assumption that it is permissible to place a real estate sign in the public road right-of-way adjacent to another person’s property without permission, as the public right-of-way normally extends 10 to 20 feet into the lawn of an adjoining property. However, that too would usually be a trespass, unless done with the permission of the adjoining property owner. In most cases, the public road right-of-way is akin to an easement to be used for road purposes only and the adjoining property owner typically still owns the land under the public road easement and has the authority to disallow the private signs of others without permission.

Finally, placing real estate signs at intersections can be downright dangerous, as such signs can interfere with the clear sight distances necessary for motorist visibility and safety.

All real estate transactions have potential tax (local, state, and federal) consequences, particularly for the seller of real property. Issues regarding income taxes, capital gains, and other taxes relating to a lakefront real estate transaction are beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, sellers and buyers should consult with the appropriate tax professional early on in the property sale or purchase process.



Dessert with Discussion: Protecting Michigan Lakes and Rivers from Invasive Species

March 17, 2017 19:16

Jo-Latimore-2016-214x300

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kellogg Biological Station – Auditorium
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060

 

Doors open at 7:00 P. M.
Event runs from 7:30 to 8:30 P. M.

COST: Free event, however registration is required

 

Aquatic invasive species, such as the zebra mussel and the Eurasian water milfoil plant, have caused severe ecological and economic damage in Michigan. Impacts include declines in fish populations, degraded water quality, loss of recreational opportunities, and property damage. New invaders are discovered regularly, and can spread at an alarming rate across the state.

Dr. Jo Latimore, MSU Outreach Specialist in the Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, will discuss:

  • How are these invaders reaching our lakes and rivers
  • How we can prevent new invasions
  • What options exist for discovering and responding to invasions that have already occurred

Enjoy coffee, tea and delicious locally sourced desserts provided by the KBS Conference Center. A cash bar featuring house wines and Michigan craft beer available prior to the event.

 

Registration for Dessert with Discussion:
Protecting Michigan Lakes and Rivers from Invasive Species is now open.

Register for the event by

Clicking Here

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 10, 2017.

 

 Accommodations

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

 

Contact Information

For information contact the KBS Community Relations office at communityrelations@kbs.msu.edu or 269-671-2015.

 



Title Insurance

March 15, 2017 06:09

ATTORNEY WRITES
By Clifford H. Bloom, Esq.
Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.bsmlawpc.com

In Michigan, it is foolish to purchase riparian or waterfront property without having a title insurance commitment done by a title insurance company for the prospective purchaser to review before closing and for the purchaser to have title insurance on the property once the closing occurs.

In the “old days,” there was no title insurance for purchasers of real property in Michigan. Rather, real estate buyers (or their attorneys) reviewed abstracts or attorney opinions regarding title. An abstract was generally just a listing of all prior recorded documents regarding the property involved going back a certain number of years. Abstracts told lay people very little. A lawyer’s opinion dealt with whether or not the seller had proper title and any limitations upon that title. Neither the old abstracts nor attorney title opinions were insurance as such, and they really did not constitute reliable guarantees of proper title to the purchaser.

Insurance companies eventually introduced a product often referred to as “title insurance.” Title insurance is very important for almost all real property purchases, but particularly so where a waterfront property is involved. The issuance of title insurance is a two-step process. Almost all real estate purchase/sales agreements require the seller to provide to the buyer a “title insurance commitment” before closing and a title insurance policy after closing. Typically, both are issued in an amount equal to the purchase price. A title insurance commitment is usually issued by a title insurance company before closing and allows the prospective purchaser (and potentially, his or her attorney) to see whether the seller has goodtitle, whether there are any encumbrances on the property, what the property taxes are annually, any requirements for closing, and similar matters. Before issuing a title insurance commitment, the title company does a title search of the property, looking for relevant documents recorded with the local county register of deeds regarding the property. Once a title insurance commitment is issued, the title company is affirming that it will issue a final title insurance policy in favor of the buyer after closing with all of the requirements, exceptions and limitations contained in the title insurance commitment. Typically, the seller pays for both the title insurance commitment and the eventual title insurance (although there is generally one overall fee for both), unless the purchase/sales agreement provides otherwise.

A formal final title insurance policy is usually issued (and sent) to the buyer a few months after the closing. The buyer should take great care to preserve the original of the title insurance policy forever. Furthermore, it is often prudent to make copies of the actual original title insurance policy and to store the copies at a different location than the actual original document for safe keeping (that is also true with the deed or land contract after closing and recording). Title insurance insures good title, lack of encumbrances, etc., apart from those items which are expressly “carved out” or exempted in the title insurance commitment and title insurance policy. Normally, the title insurance will pay for attorney fees and costs for an attorney provided by the title insurance company to the buyer to defend the buyer’s title if challenged as well as any damages that might be incurred by the buyer resulting from a title defect or other matter covered by the title insurance policy. It has also become very common for real estate closings in Michigan to occur at the offices of the title insurance company (or its agent or affiliate) and for the title insurance company to provide many of the closing documents (the deed or land contract, any mortgage, a closing statement, etc.) for additional fees.

Why is it so important for title insurance to be provided for riparian properties? There are multiple reasons. First, title insurance verifies that the prospective purchaser will have good and marketable title for the waterfront property involved. Second, it is not uncommon for waterfront properties to have encumbrances such as deed restrictions or an easement, which a prospective purchaser of a waterfront property should know before closing. Third, if the waterfront property is not located on a public road, it is always best to have the title insurance cover and insure any private road or access easement for the property. Fourth, title insurance insures the legal description involved and quite often legal descriptions are proof that a property is waterfront. Finally, title insurance helps give the prospective purchaser “peace of mind”.

Unfortunately, title insurance policies almost never warrant or guarantee riparian rights or the riparian nature of the parcel involved. On occasion, a special rider on an insurance policy can be purchased to cover riparian issues, but those riders tend to be fairly rare and can be quite expensive.

In Michigan, one should almost never buy waterfront property without obtaining a title commitment prior to closing and title insurance for the property that becomes effective at and after closing.



4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz Scheduled for July 1 – July 9, 2017

March 14, 2017 19:36

The Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Natural Resources (MDNR), and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are planning the 4th annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz outreach event for July 1 through July 9, 2017, as part of Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week and you’re invited to participate!

The Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through recreational boating and related activities. Local volunteer partners will deliver consistent messaging about preventing the introduction and spread of AIS from the movement of watercraft and equipment between water bodies at both public and private boating access sites throughout the state. Media involvement (press releases, local news stories, etc.) will also be used to create a larger impact.

More specifically, local partners such as lake associations, conservation districts, Cooperative Invasives Species Management Areas (CISMAs) and others will be empowered to meet with boaters during the event period to deliver messaging that includes:

  • Clean, Drain, Dry” and “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!”
  • Clean Boats Clean Waters program awareness and principles
  • Boat washing & equipment decontamination procedures (with and without a mobile or permanent wash station)
  • Reporting protocols for watch list species and others
  • Awareness of specific regulations (Part 413 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act PA 451 or 1994, Fisheries Order 245 Fish Disease Control, etc.)
  • Proper bait disposal

We’re inviting you and/or your organization to partner with us to host a Landing Blitz at a boating access site in your local area on at least one day during the event period (July 1 – July 9). We will provide talking points, information for press releases, and host an informational teleconference call in the weeks prior to the event for all interested participants.  Additionally, we will provide a limited quantity of “Clean, Drain, Dry” branded outreach materials (water bottles, microfiber towels, can coozies, key chains, etc.) to the first 50 locations/organizations to sign up for the event (see below). Registration as a location host is open until May 31, 2017.

As a participant, you’ll need to commit to hosting the event at a local boating access site on the date/s and time of your choosing within the event period and provide at least a couple volunteers to interact with boaters and deliver messaging during the event.  You can view a brief video recap here from a previous event.

With your help, the AIS Landing Blitz will encourage recreational boaters to take action to prevent AIS and help raise awareness for this important issue in Michigan.

Please contact Kevin Walters of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Water Resources Division to officially sign-up for the event and be kept in the information loop as we move forward. Kevin can be reached at 517.284.5473 or by emailing Waltersk3@michigan.gov

 



MNSP Shoreline Educator Network Training Opportunity Scheduled for Oakland County

March 10, 2017 15:08

Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership
Shoreline Educator Network (SEN) Training
Cranbrook Institute of Science- Library
39221 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills MI 48304
Registration 8:30 – 9:00 AM
Workshop 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

 

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership (MNSP), in partnership with Michigan State University Extension and Freshwater Forum of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, is offering a professional training for individuals interested in becoming part of the MNSP Shoreline Educator Network (SEN). Participants will learn about the benefits of natural shoreline landscaping, bio-engineering and erosion control. Participants will a Shoreline Homeowner Tool Kit, which includes everything needed to host natural shoreline workshops for homeowners.

Course content:

  • Healthy lake ecosystems
  • Problems with high impact landscape and erosion control
  • Concepts for lake healthy landscapes and erosion control methods
  • Use of native plants in shoreline landscapes
  • State of Michigan rules and regulations
  • MI Shoreland Stewards Program
  • Shoreline Homeowner Workshop Toolkit

Early Registration: $65.00 ends March 24

Late Registration: $75.00 ends April 7

Registration includes refreshments, lunch, and educational materials.

Cancellations received on or after April 7 will incur a $40 cancellation fee.

Pre-registration is required.

To register: https://events.anr.msu.edu/2017shorelineeducatortraining/



Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Awarded 2016 MISGP Grant to Fund Expansion of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program

February 16, 2017 11:19

MI CBCW Website Screen Shot ImageMichigan Lake and Stream Associations (ML&SA) is pleased to announce that we have received a 2016 Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program award from the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development administered program that will allow our water resources conservation focused organization to expand the operational footprint of the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program. The State of Michigan funded Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program provides funding to various statewide projects aimed at preventing, detecting, eradicating, and controlling both terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants and animals.

The recent grant award will allow ML&SA, and our primary collaborative project partner, MSU Extension, to continue various initiatives established since the inception of the program, and implement new strategies designed to enhance the self-sustaining nature and geographic scale of the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters program. The MISGP funded project will allow us to use new materials, including a series of high quality training videos that were produced over the course of the last two years, to support additional AIS prevention leadership development events for volunteers and staff members representing regional Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs). In addition, the new funding source will allow the Michigan CBCW program to expand outreach activities that will include on-site AIS prevention training for county sheriff marine patrol unit personnel, and fishing tournament organizers and participants.

The Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program is designed to promote water resource conservation by pro-actively supporting the efforts of citizen volunteers in helping to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) at local public boat launches. The program directly supports volunteer efforts by offering statewide volunteer training workshops, on-line volunteer leader development, and AIS prevention focused educational materials. CBCW program methods are well established, and are currently being implemented in several other Great Lakes region states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, and New York. The CBCW program compliments other water resource protection focused efforts such as the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch program, Clean Drain Dry Initiative, Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!, and the Michigan DEQ AIS Landing Blitz. The CBCW program message parallels the AIS prevention message used by these programs to provide complementary protection efforts that take place at popular boat launches, and other areas with high recreational boater traffic.

 To learn more about becoming a volunteer for the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, visit our website at www.micbcw.org.



Search for articles in the Michigan Riparian magazine archives – now available!

February 15, 2017 14:03

by Alisha Davidson, PhD
ML&SA Research and Development Coordinator

riparian_magUntil recently, past issues of the Riparian were available at The Michigan Riparian website (http://www.mi-riparian.org/) but did not have a search function to find specific articles. As there is a diverse array of knowledge contained in these articles, we wanted to make this knowledge easier to find for our members. As such, we have assigned each issue keywords that are searchable using the search box in the “Archives” page: just enter in your search term, and the issue(s) with the relevant article will be displayed. Download the issue, and scan through until you see the appropriate article (due to resource and logistical constraints, separating out each article wasn’t possible). This feature is available for issues dating back to 1990 and includes articles on common topics such as road ends and Eurasian watermilfoil control, to less common topics such as descriptions of native turtles and lake classifications. See if your lake is featured in any of the articles – or check out the articles on Michigan’s most picturesque waterfalls. If you can’t find the topic you are looking for, suggest the idea to Alisha Davidson (ML&SA’s Research and Development Coordinator). She will look to find any existing articles – and if there aren’t any – perhaps write one! She can be reached at alishad@mlswa.org.



ML&SA 56th Annual Conference Information and Registration Site Now On-line

February 1, 2017 13:23

For Immediate Release
Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.
Contact: Scott Brown, Executive Director
Phone: 989-831-5100 Ext. 105
E-mail: sbrown@mlswa.org
Website: www.mymlsa.org

Friday and Saturday, April 21st & 22nd, 2017
Crystal Mountain Resort
Thompsonville, MI

 

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Annual Conference Represents a Great Opportunity for
Lakefront Property Owners to Learn How to Work as a Team to Prevent and Manage
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and Improve the Quality of Their Lake!

Michigan Lake & Stream Associations (ML&SA) 56th annual conference “Bridging the Resource Gaps: Enhancing the Ability of Lakefront Communities to Prevent and Manage Aquatic Invasive Species” is dedicated to providing participants with the knowledge, information, and ideas they need to improve the collective ability of their lakefront communities to prevent and/or manage aquatic invasive species. The ML&SA conference also represents an outstanding opportunity for participants to learn about the latest efforts to control invasive mussel populations, the status of starry stonewort in Michigan waters, purple loosestrife management initiatives, and the efforts of the Michigan Swimmers Itch Partnership in working to find a solution to a serious problem that has plagued lake users for decades.

The conference will open on Friday, April 21st at 10:00 AM with keynote addresses by Jon Allan, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, and Lisa Brush, Executive Director of the Michigan Stewardship Network who will discuss state and local efforts to prevent and manage aquatic invasive species. Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to attend workshops and sessions ranging in topic from applying for invasive species prevention and management grants from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) to working effectively with local government officials, and lake management professionals.

Conference attendees are also encouraged to participate in open panel discussions dedicated to exploring issues related to Michigan’s need to establish an equitable and sustainable system of public funding for aquatic invasive species management projects; and to learn about preventing and managing invasive species from regional water resource commissioners, and lake association leaders.

Participants can also learn about the latest federal, state, and district court cases that have had an impact on riparian rights and water law from noted Attorney-at-Law Clifford H. Bloom, senior partner in the firm Bloom Sluggett Morgan Law of Grand Rapids.

Created in 1961, ML&SA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and wise use and management of Michigan’s vast treasure of high quality inland lakes and streams. ML&SA achieves its mission by supporting the educational, stewardship, and conservation focused initiatives and goals of our public and private collaborative partners, members, and affiliated organizations.

For more information contact Scott Brown at 989-831-5100 Ext. 105, or E-mail: sbrown@mlswa.org.

To register for the ML&SA conference, visit http://www.mymlsa.org/2017-mlsa-annual-conference



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