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

October 10, 2019 17:46

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

October 10, 2019 17:44

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

October 10, 2019 17:43

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:

Start Planning Today for a Natural Shoreline Next Summer

October 10, 2019 17:41

By Mike Gallagher, MLSA President

Have you noticed that some shorelines have changed on the inland lakes of Michigan?  Thanks to the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, MNSP, many lakefront property owners are now choosing to have a natural shoreline rather than a vertical metal or concrete seawall.  They have found that a natural shoreline can be more beautiful and more beneficial to their lake while also being one that can be enjoyed by swimmers, guests and fishermen. 

This past spring the MNSP successfully trained and certified 77 landscapers who now know the best techniques, and have the skills for creating a natural shoreline.  Over the years, hundreds of professionals have been certified. A nearby Certified Natural Shoreline Professional, CNSP, to help you with your project can be found right here.   If you are considering a shoreline project next summer, now is the time to begin planning.  Give a CNSP a call today. Also, be aware that obtaining the necessary permits from the EGLE/DEQ is not a quick process.

Waiting for Summary Data on AIS/AIP Grant Applications

October 10, 2019 17:40

by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Sarah LeSage of the MI EGLE/DEQ states the 52 Lakes/Applicants have all been notified of the decisions on their grant applications. However, her office is not yet prepared to release the summary data at the current time because of the internal review process that EGLE/DEQ must first adhere to.  She expects that process to be complete in the near future.

LeSage further advised that the program guidelines were adhered to, which appears to mean only ANC Permits for the sole purpose of control/eradication of only AIS would be approved.

MLSA will continue to monitor this new grant process, and will develop findings and recommendations for the future once the results are fully announced.,5664,7-324-71276_92001—,00.html

You Told Us, We Listened

October 10, 2019 17:39

Our organization was formed in 1961 as the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, INC (MLSA).  MLSA was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation made up of organizations, corporations, associations, and individuals who share the goal of preserving and protecting Michigan’s vast heritage of freshwater resources and protecting riparian rights.  Through the years the dedicated work of MLSA members achieved much and “Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, INC” became a “brand name” for all things riparian, and the same was associated with the often used vernacular term of “Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, INC.”

In 2018, the then Board of MLSA voted to change our name to Michigan Lake Stewardship Associations, INC.  (Still “MLSA” and use of the plural for association). The reason in short was to focus on inland lakes and stewardship. 

Since then we have been faced with constant questions like the following small sample:

  • Are you still doing what the former MLSA did?
  • Where do individual members fit-in for an organization that says it is for “Lake Stewardship Associations”?
  • My lake association is so much more than just “stewardship.” How do we fit-in if we also do social, recreational, and community/neighborhood building?   
  • Can we still call you “Michigan Lakes and Streams” as that is what we called your for so long and see no reason for the change? 
  • Our lake has an inlet and an outlet, which are streams (as many lakes do), so aren’t you going to help me with those resources?

Accordingly, we have heard your concerns and respect the needs of our current and future members!   On August 8, the MLSA board held a Special Meeting and voted with a “super-majority” to change our legal name to “MICHIGAN LAKES AND STREAMS ASSOCIATION, INC” (MLSA) as it has been used by so many people for so many years.  We also committed ourselves to using a strategic plan to serve, educate and represent our members as in the past. We also resolved to take steps and initiate programs that significantly expand our educational efforts and focus on riparian rights. 

We appreciate the direct and critical input from so many of our members and other interested parties.  Without you, positive change would not be possible. You told us, we listened… we then took action, and the best of MLSA is yet to come!  Continue to join us, and work with us, as we as we expand MLSA! The waters we love will appreciate what we do!

Lake and Stream Leaders Institute (LSLI) Participants Enjoy “On the Lake” Training

October 10, 2019 17:36

BY: MIke Gallagher, MLSA President

It was a great couple of days in July to learn about what’s happening in our inland lakes and streams when the LSLI Class of 2019 visited the Kellogg Biological Station at Gull Lake.  Dr. Jo Latimore and Dr. Lois Wolfson took the class on boats to Gull Lake and in waders to explore Augusta Creek. 

Twenty-six (26) lake and stream lovers were in this year’s intensive, multi-session statewide leadership development program which is offered biennially.

Participants develop their technical and people skills in an atmosphere of openness, trust, friendship and camaraderie. Classroom and field studies make up the agenda for three weekends this summer which began at Higgins Lake in June and will finish up at Michigan State University this fall.

Regional Meetings of MLSA

October 10, 2019 17:34

by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

For decades, Region 3 of MLSA (comprised of lakes in the SW Michigan Counties of Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph) has met three times a year.  Two meetings have been “Lake Rep” meetings, and one has been a Short Seminar type meeting, usually in early fall. The meetings provide networking opportunities for the area lakes, and helped address issues unique to their geographical area.  The Region 3 meetings have helped lake associations who could not afford to attend the MLSA Annual Conference, as well lake associations needing “help/suggestions” now, and could not wait up to 365 days until the next Annual MLSA Conference. 

Dennis Babjack of the Coldwater Lake Association organized a Regional Lake Meeting in the South East area of Michigan. The meeting was open to All Lake Associations (regardless of geographic location) for educating, informing and helping each other to better manage your Lake resources. 

The meeting was held on Saturday August 10, 2019 in the Coldwater Lake Association building. 516 Warren Rd, Coldwater MI. Attendees from 18 area lakes participated and all enjoyed the event.  MLSA will work with Dennis to hold future Regional Meetings in that area of our state,


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 Northeast Michigan.

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

Recent EGLE/DEQ Permit Requires AIS Protections

October 10, 2019 17:33

By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Texas Township, in the SW corner of Kalamazoo County, has experienced flooding problems due to changes in weather patterns and rainfall amounts.  The township has many expensive riparian homes and near-by roads that have become unusable due to rising water levels.

After a series of emergency meetings in late 2018, The Township established a Special Assessment District to initiate a major “water pumping” system to drain the flooded areas. A EGLE/DEQ permit was applied for to pump thousands of gallons per minute from one lake to another, and then on to other drains and wetland areas with capacity to accept the water flow additional  and volume.

During the Part 301 and 303 Permit Review an issue was encountered because the lake, from which pumping was to start, was contaminated/infected with Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).  To prevent the spread of AIS to other water bodies in the area, the EGLE/DEQ permit required significant safeguards to be in place before the needed water pumping (really water relocation) could start.

The permittee was required to install a filtration system with a filter mesh of 40 microns or less, and to run all water from Crooked Lake through the filter before it was pumped to the downstream water bodies.  The permit also added that a Riverscreen type intake screen with 0.0277 inch sieve size may be used in addition to the filtration. The screen was required to “prevent the movement and potential spread of AIS.”  The permittee and all contractors were also required to follow strict operational protocols to “minimize the risk of spreading terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.” The required protocols mirror the steps EGLE/DEQ personnel are required to follow when working in the field.

Even though Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPBP9 was approved on March 29, 2019, the actual pumping did not start until much later because of the challenge in finding and acquiring the required filtration/screen equipment. 

MLSA considers the AIS safeguards required by this permit to be significant. If you are aware of other such permits please contact us with specifics.

For more information the MIWATERS website can be searched for Permit Submission HNH-TFMB-YPB9.

52 Lakes Submit AIS Grant Applications

October 10, 2019 17:30

by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The ELGE/DEQ system which was open through July 1, 2019, recorded 52 lake applicants for grants under the new Michigan AIS Control and Eradication initiative.  Grants are for eligible applicants for the control or eradication of aquatic invasive plant species in inland lakes. This new grant program, for the 2019 grant cycle, is to cover only necessary permit fees for eligible projects undertaking chemical, physical or biological control of aquatic invasive plant species, or a combination of these methods. 

Sarah LeSage of the MI EGLE/DEQ states 52 Lakes successfully used Michigan’s Statewide Integrated Governmental Management Applications (SIGMA) Vendor Self Service (VSS) ( to apply for the new grants.  (NOTE: SIGMA is the only way for application submission, notification of award, reporting, and subsequent reimbursement).  LeSage also stated the applications are being reviewed and the EGLE/DEQ is on schedule to announce grant recipients by the September 1, 2019 target date.  LeSage further advised that the program guidelines would be adhered to, which appears to mean only ANC Permits for the sole purpose of control/eradication of  AIS would be deemed eligible for consideration.

MLSA will continue to monitor this new grant process, and will develop findings and recommendations for the future once the initial results are announced.,5664,7-324-71276_92001—,00.html

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