NEWS

CLMP/MiCORPS Funding is Still Possible

November 21, 2019 13:58

Attendees at the 15th Annual MiCORPS Conference report that NO end of the CLMP/VSMP program was announced on November 19, 2019. If the future of the valuable program, was “hopeless” then the conference would have most likely explained how any “shutdown” would be handled. In fact, our Riparian Reporter on location indicated attendees were enthusiastic and all were making plans to monitor lakes and streams in 2020.

MLSA is encouraged that funding for the second longest Citizen Scientist/Volunteer Monitoring Program in the USA remains a possibility in 2020. Nothing “official” about 2020 funding has been announced, so we all must wait and hope for a positive development.

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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 info@mlswa.org.

Submitted by: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director



EGLE to ease permitting process for sandbags as temporary measure against shoreline erosion

November 21, 2019 13:56

Nick Assendelft, EGLE Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(FOR GREAT LAKES PROPERTIES ONLY, INLAND LAKES ARE NOT COVERED BY THIS EXPEDITED PROCESS ) (MLSA Editor’s Note)

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today announced a new Minor Project category that will make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get a permit for the temporary use of sandbags as immediate stabilization measures to protect homes and other critical infrastructure.

The Minor Project category will provide for faster permit processing for homeowners and a reduced permit fee of $100. Under the new category, a public notice will not be necessary for stabilization projects meeting review requirements.

EGLE emphasizes that sandbags are not a permanent solution to erosion problems and the bags eventually must be removed. Property owners should work with a contractor to design a more permanent solution, such as boulders, riprap, or even moving homes and other infrastructure farther inland.

Property owners who seek to take measures to protect their property from record high water levels still need to file a permit application through EGLE’s MiWaters portal. EGLE is expediting permits where there is a risk to structures, human health, and safety. In many cases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also needs to review the permit application, which is filed jointly through MiWaters.

Since Oct. 1, EGLE has issued more than 100 shoreline protection permits across the state. Of these, 60 percent were issued within three days of receiving a completed application. Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, EGLE issued 730 permits for Great Lakes projects, some of which were non-emergencies. Fifty percent of the 730 permits were issued within 30 days of receiving an application and 21 percent were issued within 10 days.

In October, EGLE announced it would expedite permit applications to protect homes or structures that are in danger due to record high water levels. Permits can be approved within days of a completed application being filed, when under normal circumstances the process takes 60-90 days. The shoreline permitting process ensures a balance between protecting property and freshwater dunes and shorelines.

EGLE has made a number of resources available for shoreline property owners:

  • A new website – Michigan.gov/HighWater – where property owners can search for the latest information, find links to helpful topics, begin the permitting process, and search a list of contractors.
  • Added staffing to take calls through the Environmental Assistance Center — 800-662-9278 –between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and answer inquiries at EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov.
  • Increased overtime for field staff to quickly process shoreline permits.
  • A webinar that explains the reasons behind high waters and shoreline erosion, and EGLE’s rule and permit changes.
  • Go to Michigan.gov/MiWaters to begin the permitting process and find related links.


Update from the 2018 Memorial Scholarship Recipient

November 21, 2019 13:53

Congratulations to Paige Kleindl on the defense of her thesis project titled, “Shoreline Restoration and Source of Nutrient Enrichment Impacts on Macrophyte and Epiphytic Algal Communities.” Paige was MLSA’s student recipient of the 2018 Megan E. Cook Memorial Scholarship which was awarded at MLSA’s 57th Annual Conference. Her project involved monitoring Muskegon Lake. Paige says, “The historical industrial development, past environmental degradation, and designation as a Great Lakes Area of Concern prompted shoreline restoration and subsequent socio-economic and environmental monitoring. For my thesis research, I continued macrophyte [aquatic plant] monitoring in July 2018 at two of the restored habitats and one reference habitat. Monitoring included measurement of: macrophyte biological variables (e.g., density, biomass, and richness); shoreline habitat characteristics (slope and exposure to wind and wave action); and other environmental variables (e.g., water level, precipitation, and air temperature).” She was able to find that “habitat quality improvement at the restored habitats from 2012 to 2018, based on Michigan’s Coefficient of Conservatism values, suggested restoration has positively influenced shoreline macrophyte communities.” Paige’s study shows that shoreline restoration improves habitat for native aquatic plants that contribute to diversity and health of lakes like Muskegon. For Paige Kleindl’s full summary please visit this link: https://www.mymlsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Paige-Kleindl-Summary.pdf



Part 2 – Middle School Students Use Zebra Mussels to Measure Microplastic Pollution in Lakes

November 21, 2019 13:52

by Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The October MLSA eNewsletter carried Part 1 of the news about Quinn Hughes and Tyler Clair, both seventh-graders at Minnetonka, MN – Middle School West, and their science project titled “Microplastics in Our Water; a Study of Minnesota Lakes indicated by Dreissena polymorpha (Zeba Mussels)”

The students conceived the idea to study microplastics concentrations for inland lakes after watching a documentary about microplastics in Lake Superior. They then 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.

Many of our newsletter readers accessed the entire science project paper by following this link to the report on our website: https://www.mymlsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/RESEARCH-PAPER_Hughes_Clair.pdf

Follow-up contact with the students found the material cost of study was fairly low. The sample containers, test tubes, chemicals, etc. came to less than $100 in total for the 4 lakes involved. A hemocytometer (a slide device used in blood count tests) was required and the cost of one is in the range of $100-$150, and would be a ”one-time” expense since it is not a “consumable.” MLSA also learned each sample could be analyzed in a few moments with none taking more than 5 minutes to review. They also stated that after all of the biological tissue had dissolved the remaining solids were reviewed and classified as plastic or not which most were easily identified as plastic.

If any lake, or collaboration of lakes, undertakes a study of microplastic concentrations in their lake(s) in 2020, please share your data with MLSA. We will share your information if you grant permission. The impact of microplastics in our environment and food is being studied by many scientists worldwide. One thing for sure is they agree it is “Not Normal” for such plastics to be in the environment and knowing what the concentrations are is worth researching.



Lake and Stream Leaders Institute

November 21, 2019 13:51

By Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

In what made for a wonderful experience, MLSA President, Mike Gallagher, and I were able to attend the graduation for this program and meet the 19 individuals who participated in this year’s LSLI. These are people dedicated to the lakes and streams of Michigan who spent the better part of the year learning and working on projects to improve our waterways. MLSA believes in this program; we provide financial and volunteer assistance because this type of program gets to the heart of our organization. The participants presented their culminating projects for us and we were able to share in the excitement of their accomplishments. There was a wide variety of projects dealing with educational activities for children, applied initiatives for property improvement, and lake association education, just to name a few. Each participant has already contributed so much to the quality of Michigan’s lakes and streams; we are proud of what they have done and look forward to what they accomplish in the future!

Participants and their projects:

  • Elizabeth Christiansen – Invading Our Classrooms: Reducing Aquatic Invasive Species Use in Education
  • Terry Dugan – The Six Commandments for Lake Residents
  • Ryan Eisley – Best Lake Life Practices
  • Ian FitzGerald – Watershed and Future Conservationists
  • Madeleine Gorman – Benefits of Using Nature-based Solutions to Manage Flooding on Michigan’s Coast
  • Karla Hammond – Salmon in the Classroom
  • Benjamin Jordan – Water Quality and Habitat Improvement at the Coopersville Public Schools
  • Gregory Kindig – Lakeshore Management on Wildwood Lake
  • Janee Kronk – Varsity Day Camp Natural Shoreline Demonstration Project
  • Jacklyn Lenten – Stream Monitoring on the Whetstone Brook in Marquette
  • Rachel Mackson – For the Good of the Lake: Preserving Lake Ecology and Bringing Communities Together
  • Stewart McFerran – Study of Aquatic Plants of Bronson Lake
  • Kate Mehuron – Let’s Protect Letts Creek
  • Caroline Moellering – LTBB Boat Wash Project
  • Erin Parker – Algae Academy
  • Shane Preston – Fish Stocking at Thompson Lake in Howell
  • David Putt – Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring in Northern Macomb and Oakland Counties
  • Sharon Stone – Phasing in Natural Shorelines for Wetland Protection
  • Alex Svoboda – MDARD Well Water Screening Program


A Bridge that Made Waves

November 21, 2019 13:49

By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The summer of 2019 saw a large bridge installed on Lobdell Lake in Argentine Township near Fenton, MI.   The bridge owner connected a private lakefront property off of Whitehead Drive to the property owner’s island in the lake known locally as Turtle Island. The bridge had a drawbridge feature but it did not pull up completely vertically and was situated in a marshy area of the lake. The entire span was in excess of thirty (30) feet.

Lake residents were surprised when the major bridge construction project started and made inquiries to local township and state EGLE/DEQ officials. It turned out that the bridge owner did not submit any permit applications to the township or state which are required to build the bridge. As the bridge was being constructed the township issued a “stop work order” because of local ordinance violations which was ignored by the property owner.

The EGLE/DEQ Water Resources Division (WRD) also conducted an inspection on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 that found the bridge was installed in violation of Parts 301 and 303 of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). Those parts of the NREPA apply to inland lakes and streams as well the wetland protection laws. As is fairly common practice of the WRD, state officials even tried to find a basis to commence an “after-the-fact” permit process for the bridge. However, the violations of Part 301 and Part 303 were so massive WRD determined a state permit would not have been granted even if the owner had applied for one. Subsequently, EGLE/DEQ/WRD issued a violation notice and ordered the bridge removed.

The bridge was long and it was massive in size, but it has been removed.  Everyone in the area is aware of the need to check on any required local/state permits prior to commencing construction on or near riparian property. Riparians state-wide should take notice of this costly blunder that could have been avoided.



Intro to Lakes is back!

November 21, 2019 13:48

www.canr.msu.edu/lakesonline



It’s “Shore” Time to Protect Your Lakeshore

November 21, 2019 13:45

Excerpt from a MI Environment Article, see link below

Check out the new Michigan Shoreland Stewards Video Series that focuses on helping inland lake property owners understand what they can do on their property to protect their inland lake. The videos are designed to provide an overview of the program and help people identify best practices to maintain clean, safe water for recreation and wildlife.

The Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program is a voluntary web-based survey designed to:

  • Allow inland lake property owners to assess their property management.
  • Encourage property owners to use natural shoreland landscaping techniques.
  • Provide educational resources to help property owners manage their property for a healthy lake.

Qualifying properties are awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze level of recognition.

Watch the video series here:  https://youtu.be/4DqZJCGuyEU

Full article here:  https://www.michigan.gov/mienvironment/0,9349,7-385-93394-510373–,00.html



McNALMS Lunch and Learn Program Featuring Talks on Harmful Algal Blooms

October 14, 2019 21:15

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 wolfson1@msu.edu or at 517-353-9222.


Interesting Lake and Stream Events Happening Soon

October 14, 2019 21:11

By: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

MiCORPS CONFERENCE BEGINNING SOON

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 https://micorps.net/resources/conference-registration/

LSLI GRADUATION ON OCTOBER 18, 2019

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)



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