McNALMS Lunch and Learn Program Featuring Talks on Harmful Algal Blooms

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Registration is now open for McNALMS’ annual Lunch and Learn program on Harmful Algal Blooms: Ecology, Impacts, and Management Options.  This year’s session will feature two experts, Dr. Ann St. Amand of PhycoTech and Dr. West Bishop of SePRO Corp, speaking on HABs in inland lakes, their appearance, ecology and toxicity.  HABs consist of Cyanobacteria, formerly called blue-green algae.  Their occurrence and increased growth in many inland lakes and particularly Lake Erie have caused concern due to their ability to produce toxins. In addition, their presence can have an impact on the entire aquatic community, human health, property values, as well as the economy and result in declining water quality.
The program takes place on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI at 11:00am with lunch beginning at 11:30am. Presentations begin at 12:15 and run to 2:00pm.  The remaining half-hour will be an open question and answer session.  The cost, which includes the lunch is $30 for members, $35 for non-members, and $28 for students. Click this Registration link to register or download the flyer. For further information, contact Lois Wolfson at or at 517-353-9222.

Interesting Lake and Stream Events Happening Soon

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By: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director


The 15thAnnual MiCorps volunteer monitoring conference will take place Oct. 23 at the Kettunen Center. Conference sessions will focus on citizen science for coldwater resource protection, use of lake monitoring data, monitoring of streams, aquatic plant and insect identification, and volunteer recruitment. Presenters on the agenda include: Erick Elgin, Mike Gallagher, Julia Kirkwood, and  Dr Jo Latimore. Register by October 15 at


The 2019 Lake and Stream Leaders Institute (LSLI) will graduate 19 participants from a broad array of backgrounds at its final session at MSU in East Lansing on October 18. During that session, participants will present their independent projects. The implementation team (Erick Elgin, Julia Kirkwood, Lois Wolfson, and DrJo Latinore) valued the support of many individuals that contributed time and knowledge to LSLI, including Mike Gallagher (Michigan Lakes and Streams Association), Sarah LeSage (EGLE/DEQ), and former representative Brian Gunderman (MI DNR)

Middle School Students Use Zebra Mussels to Measure Microplastic Pollution in Lakes

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By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

After reading the title to this article, riparians might be wondering:

  • Can Zebra Mussels really be useful for something?
  • Is our lake/stream polluted with Microplastics?
  • Can Middle School Students do scientific work providing needed data?

The answer to all three questions is: YES!

Quinn Hughes and Tyler Clair, both seventh-graders at Minnetonka, MN Middle School West, care about the environment and have inquiring minds. One of their most recent projects — a research paper on microplastics in four Minnesota lakes, including Lake Minnetonka — earned them first place at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair held March 1-2, 2019, when they were sixth-graders.

In their project, titled “Microplastics in Our Water; a Study of Minnesota Lakes indicated by Dreissena polymorpha (Zeba Mussels)”, Quinn and Tyler discovered Lake Minnetonka is home to more micro plastics than Lake Superior, Lake Mille Lacs and Lake Pelican.

Quinn and Tyler conceived the idea to study micro plastics after watching a documentary about micro plastics in Lake Superior. They contacted a Loyola University professor who taught them how to measure microplastics in a lake by taking samples of zebra mussels and dissolving the mussels in a potassium hydroxide solution, which leaves any microplastics intact and floating at the surface of the solution. They then counted and viewed the amount of microplastics using a simple microscope.

The skill and ability levels needed for this science project are about equal to what a riparian needs to do all the testing involved with the Michigan Cooperative Lakes/Streams Monitoring Program (CLMP).  To read the entire science project paper prepared by Quinn and Tyler, follow this link to the report on our website:

MLSA will provide more info about the techniques used by the young scientists in a “Part 2” article in the MLSA November eNewsletter.

Thank You! AIS Survey Honor Roll

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by Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

As you may recall, we have been requesting that our lake association members complete a survey about AIS treatments on their lake. We have had over 130 responses and already received some staggering data.

  • More than 70% of the lakes that responded are treating for AIS.
  • A total of $2.1 million was spent in 2018 by these lakes.
  • On average each lake spent over $22,000 on AIS treatment last year.

Thank you to all the lakes that have participated so far! The list can be seen here:

It’s not too late! We want EVERY LAKE to participate, if you have not already taken our survey you can follow this link:

EGLE/DEQ Awards Only 13 Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Grants

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By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The EGLE/DEQ Water Resources Division has just announced it awarded $12,300 under the Aquatic Invasive Plant (AIS) Control Grant Program for 13 projects to control aquatic invasive plant species using chemical or physical methods. The grant application deadline was July 1, 2019, and the $12,300 in grants will be dispersed on or about April 2020.

The grants to lake associations and local governments in 12 counties will reimburse only permit fees for the inland lake projects. Work to control invasive species will take place for the following “grantees”:  Big Bass Lake in Lake County, Birch Lake in Cass County, Brownwood Lake in Van Buren County, Clark Lake in Jackson County, Duck Lake in Calhoun County, Higgins Lake in Roscommon County, Lake Lansing in Ingham County, Nepessing Lake in Lapeer County, Round Lake in Mason County, Sand Lake in Lenawee County, Thompson Lake in Livingston County, and West Twin and East Twin lakes in Montmorency County.

The final tally by EGLE/DEQ found 53 grant applications were submitted via the SIGMA system requesting a total of $44,400. However, the grant acceptance rate was only a small 24.5%.   EGLE/DEQ states applicants who were denied grants “included” in their proposals native aquatic plant treatment, or their applications were incomplete. EGLE/DEQ further claimed the law that established Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Grant Program specifies the money be used for invasive plant control.

MLSA is concerned about such a low grant application acceptance rate (24.5%), especially because in the real world, riparians and their lake managers generally apply for one ANC permit each year to control the full spectrum of AIS and nuisance plants. Being required to apply for 2 ANC permits (one for AIS and another for all other plants) is burdensome and incurs extra costs, with many lakes having to double their ANC Permit expenses.

EGLE/DEQ further announced the Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Grant Program will continue in 2020. For more information on the grant program, visit

MLSA will now attempt to work with state officials for the 2020 cycle to increase both the grant application submission rate (only 53 lakes in 2019), as well as the grant acceptance rate (only 24.5% in 2019).

Arriving Soon…Cliff Bloom Articles in the Fall Michigan Riparian Magazine

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By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The 2019 FALL Edition of THE MICHIGAN RIPARIAN magazine (Vol. 54, No.4) is being mailed this week.

The Fall issue features two timely articles by Attorney Cliff Bloom. The first article, “Three Important Michigan Appellate Court Decisions Regarding Deed Restrictions and Road Ends and Plats” reviews recent Michigan Court of Appeals decisions that have potential riparian property impacts. The second article, “Hazards to Navigability” discusses what riparians can do about hazards on their lake/stream, and some of the liability riparian property owners face if they create a hazard to navigation.

Magazine subscribers in Michigan will be the first to find the Fall issue in their US Mail boxes. Subscribers in other parts of the country (and, YES, we have many in other states), should look for delivery late in the week of October 21, 2019.

Not yet a subscriber to the only magazine designed and published for lake and stream front property owners and enthusiasts? It is easy to subscribe on-line at:

NOTE TO RIPARIAN MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBERS: Please call The Michigan Riparian office at 989-831-5100, or e-mail with any changes regarding your mailing address. If you subscribe through your Lake/Stream Association, please ensure they record your new mailing address information. THE MICHIGAN RIPARIAN is mailed at a postage rate that does not include “free” forwarding.  If you want the magazine to “follow you” we suggest enrolling in the pre-paid US Postal Service Premium Forwarding Service.

MLSA’s New Executive Director

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At our September 24, 2019 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, Inc. voted and selected Melissa DeSimone to become the Executive Director of MLSA. The Executive Director is responsible for carrying out the managerial functions of the MLSA Corporation and reports to the Board of Directors. Melissa comes to MLSA from the field of education with a masters degree in administration. She has 10 years of teaching experience, part of which was in Pennfield, MI. She is also a long time volunteer with MLSA’s region 3 and secretary of the Gravel Lake Association in Van Buren county.

Melissa DeSimone said, “I am very excited to be chosen as the Executive Director for MLSA and look forward to helping lead the way in the protection of Michigan’s waterways.”

MLSA President Mike Gallagher said, “Melissa’s experience as a science educator and her strong passion for working with riparians to help maintain or improve the quality of their lakes, will quickly be noticed by the MLSA members.”

Melissa DeSimone can be contacted by:


Phone: (989)831-5100 x103

Governor’s Office Vetoes CLMP Funding Line Item in FY2020 Budget

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office vetoed 147 Budget Line items totally almost $1 Billion in budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2020, starting October 1, 2019.

Unfortunately, the $150,000 CLMP funding line item was cut from the budget, even in view of full support for CLMP funding by both the Michigan House and Senate. There were other major vetoes in the EGLE/DEQ operating budget. For a full list of line item vetoes, follow this link, with special attention to page 2:

MLSA had planned for possible adverse results, and has several options going forward to continue the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP) for 2020.

Right now it is best for the “dust to settle” for a few days, and then we can move forward to determine which of our contingency plans provide for the best situation moving forward.

The Board of MLSA is disappointed in the line item veto, but we are not discouraged in that the second longest Citizen Scientist/Volunteer Monitoring Program in the USA will continue.

Stay tuned to this MLSA eNEWSLETTER for the latest about CLMP and all things Riparian. MLSA remains the voice and action leader for all matters involving Michigan’s Lakes and Streams. To share your thoughts, or for more info, contact us at

Submitted by: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Roll Back of Water Rules – WOTUS

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by:  Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

September 12, 2019, marked the repeal of one of the most sweeping environmental rules — a set of pollution protections for small streams and wetlands that had riled up opposition from coal miners, home developers, farmers and oil and gas drillers.

The action creates instant doubts about the legal status of myriad seasonal or isolated wetlands and thousands of miles of waterways, including vast swaths of the arid West. And it clears the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to finish a follow-up regulation in the coming months that could leave most of the nation’s wetlands without any federal safeguards.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the repeal at the D.C. headquarters of the National Association of Manufacturers, one of the industry groups that had opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS). That 2015 regulation, also known as the Clean Water Rule, had cemented federal protections for head water streams, Western rivers and nearby wetlands, in an effort to resolve questions raised by two muddled Supreme Court decisions.

Environmental groups and state attorneys general vowed to challenge the rollback, arguing that it jeopardizes drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans. States can always implement their own water rules that are more stringent than federal regulations, but that can also cause a patchwork of non-aligned regulations.

The rule rollback is unlikely to create major changes on the ground immediately because courts have put the WOTUS rules on hold in more than half the states  Nonetheless, the move represents a big win for industry groups that say that the Clean Water Act permitting process is often one of the most onerous aspects of their projects. Permits to fill in streams and wetlands can require developers to shrink or change the footprint of a project and pay to counteract the damage they do to waterways.

Region 3 Fall Meeting Report

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by Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

Representatives from 16 lakes in Southwest Michigan came together on Saturday, September 14th for their semi-annual region meeting held at the Porter Township hall in Van Buren County. The group was led by Craig DeSimone of Gravel Lake and saw many other returning faces as well as some new ones from area lakes.

There was even representation from Harwood Lake that just voted to create a lake association weeks before our region meeting. We were also visited by Rex Vaughn from Cedar Lake in Alcona and Oscoda Counties, who traveled 5 hours to visit with our region so he can start a similar meeting in his area.

Some of the topics on the minds of the representatives included lake levels (drains, spillways, etc), boating etiquette, legal fund/legal issues, insurance, funneling/key-holing issues, membership growth, and swimmers itch. The meeting was held in a round table fashion where each lake had the opportunity to talk about their issues and offer their thoughts on the issues facing other lakes while enjoying some coffee, donuts, and networking.

The group was joined by Paul Sniadecki and Dave Maturen, both directors of MLSA and members of lakes in the region, who provided an up-to-date report of the work MLSA is doing regarding issues of CLMP funding, short term rental operations, and our AIS database.

The next Region 3 (southwest Michigan) meeting will be May 16, 2020 and all are invited to come join the discussion. You can contact Craig DeSimone ( or Melissa DeSimone ( to be added to the region email list or for more information about the meeting.


Several Lake Associations in NorthEast lower Michigan have expressed a possible interest in having MLSA Regional meeting in their area. MLSA has agreed to explore the level of interest.  If you would like to participate in such a meeting contact MLSA at:  Additionally, Rex Vaughn, Cedar Lake, in Alcona/Iosco County, cell 810-516-6686, has agreed to facilitate questions and answers for lakes in his area. If there is a sustainable level of interest, MLSA will assist in coordinating Regional Meetings in Northest Michigan.

If other parts of the state have a similar interest, please contact MLSA at: