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

March 17, 2017 19:16


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.



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

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

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

MiCorps Creates New Blog for Website

January 25, 2017 15:38

By Paul Steen
MiCorps Program Manager
Huron River Watershed Council

Stop invasive plants before they harm your lake!  Dr. Jo Latimore has written a new blog for the MiCorps website.  Included in the blog is a video that describes the Exotic Plant Watch program.  Check it out!  https://micorps.net/blog/stop-invasive-plants-eapw-2017/

Speaking of exotic plants, that is one of the parameters that the MiCorps teams trains volunteers on at our annual training (along with Secchi Disk Transparency, Phosphorus, Chlorophyll, etc).   This year, there will be two trainings!  One in the Lower Peninsula, and one in the Upper.

Info on Lower Peninsula lake training (April 21 and 22): https://micorps.net/events/2017-clmp-training/

Info on Upper Peninsula lake training (May 3):  https://micorps.net/events/2017-clmp-training-up/


Annual Great Lakes Conference Upcoming in March

January 25, 2017 10:23

By Lois Wolfson
MSU Extension Senior Educator

The 2017 Great Lakes conference, “The Great Lakes: Moving Michigan Forward” is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI.  The one day conference, beginning at 9:00 AM incorporates ideas generated by Michigan State University’s Water Moves, a university-wide initiative fostering scientific innovation and cultural and artistic expression inspired by water.  Keynote addresses will be given by Dr. Joan Rose, Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and recent recipient of the 2016 International Stockholm Water Prize, speaking on global public health issues, and Mr. Jon Allen, Director of the Office of the Great Lakes, presenting the next steps in Michigan’s Water Strategy.  Other talks will focus on phosphorus, agriculture and Lake Erie; water monitoring using drones; rip currents and safety; green infrastructure and “arts in the wild,” and acoustic telemetry in the Great Lakes.  Registration fee is $10. The conference is co-sponsored by Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research; Michigan Sea Grant Extension, and the Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  To see a complete agenda and register, visit: www.iwr.msu.edu/events/ANRWeek or call (517) 353-9222.

Wanted! Leaders to Protect Michigan’s Lakes and Streams

January 13, 2017 20:09

By Jo Latimore, Aquatic Ecologist and Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University

Have people in your community ever disagreed about what is best for your lake? Do you ever wish you knew more about how lakes and rivers work? Have you wondered what resources are available to help protect and manage your lake or waterway? Here in Michigan, lake and stream protection decisions begin at the local level. However, members of the local community may not have a strong background in water resources or the rules and regulations that govern them. Lake and watershed management issues may lead to conflict within communities, and those involved may not have the skills to resolve those conflicts and arrive at decisions that the community can support.

Good news! The Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute provides an opportunity for citizens, local leaders, and water resource professionals to develop these necessary skills. The Class of 2017 will be the 7th session of this popular program. Participants develop their technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, and camaraderie, with guidance from expert instructors. Citizens, students, and professionals are all encouraged to apply.


• Study fish, insects and habitat in Michigan lakes and rivers

• Develop conflict resolution and communication skills

• Discover new resources and partnership opportunities

• Explore Michigan water law, regulations, and programs

• Apply your new knowledge and skills in an independent project

Each participant conducts an independent project outside of class. These projects give you an opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest and exercise your new leadership skills. Examples of past participant projects include:

• Developing and delivering an educational program about the benefits of natural shorelines for lakefront residents

• Investigating and promoting the construction of a boat washing station to prevent introduction of aquatic invasive species

• Training elementary teachers how to explore lakes and streams with their young students

• Sharing results and benefits of participation in the volunteer Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program

• Recruiting volunteers to mark storm drains in an urban neighborhood to raise awareness about non-point source pollution

The Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute is sponsored by Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc., Michigan State University Extension,
and the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and is endorsed by the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership.

To download a 2017 Lake and Stream Leaders Institute Flyer, click here


The Institute is conducted in three sessions that include classroom learning and field experience.

June 2-3: Kettunen Center, near Cadillac

August 18-19: Kellogg Biological Station, near Kalamazoo

October 6: Michigan State University, East Lansing

Sponsors cover most of the costs of the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute. The participant registration fee of $400 covers the remainder of the cost.

Scholarships are available.

Applications and more information are available online: http://www.bit.ly/MSU-LSLI. You can also contact Dr. Jo Latimore at MSU: latimor1@msu.edu or 517-432-1491.

The application deadline is March 30, 2017.


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