NEWS

Underwater Video of Starry Stonewort Available on YouTube

October 6, 2012 16:09

Starry Stonewort, (scientific name: Nitellopsis obtusa), is an aquatic invasive macro-algae that was first observed in a Michigan inland lake in 2005. Possessing the ability to completely cover the littoral benthic zone of inland lakes,Starry Stonewort frequently grows in large aquatic meadows of up to six feet thick. This invasive creates a robust benthic barrier that thwarts the growth of native aquatic plants and may cover critical fish spawning areas.

To view an underwater video which effectively represents Starry Stonewort’s ability to inhabit large areas of the shallow zones of inland lakes,  click here

 



Northern Michigan Lake Opts for Innovative Eco-Friendly Lake Management Plan

September 15, 2012 08:54

Paradise Lake in Carp Lake Michigan leads the way with a “green” environmentally friendly lake management strategy that includes a new and original approach called Laminar Flow Aeration.

To read more about this promising inland lake management technique, click here



Final Steps to Elect Riparian Minded Candidates

September 13, 2012 08:30

Final Steps to Elect RIPARIAN-MINDED Candidates

 by Paul J. Sniadecki, President, Eagle Lake Improvement Association, Inc.

As this e-newsletter is being distributed, the 2012 General Election is less than 2 months away. It is time to take the final steps that can help secure the “win” for riparian minded candidates who made it through the primary process, or who will appear as Independents on the General Election ballot.  All of these steps involve little to no cost. However, they do require your “personal” involvement in the election process. more »



Michigan House Bill 5690- Bad for Our Inland Lakes

September 5, 2012 14:06

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations adamantly opposes the passage of House Bill 5690 – a poorly conceived and ill advised attempt to de-regulate several potentially harmful and heretofore regulated activities on one of Michigan’s most valuable natural assets – our inland lakes.

First of all,  if passed, House Bill 5690 would eliminate the requirement to first acquire a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit before deploying the potentially harmful technique of diver assisted suction harvesting to remove aquatic native and non-native aquatic plants. Diver assisted suction harvesting, a new and relatively unproven method that involves the use of divers to manually remove native and invasive aquatic plants who then transport the harvested organic material to a boat utilizing high pressure suction hoses, may lead to the destruction of fish spawning areas and cause harmful algal blooms as massive amounts of nutrient rich bottom sediments are re-suspended during the intensely mechanical process. For more discussion of the potential harmful affects of suction harvesting, please read the detailed bill analysis by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

While we recognize that diver assisted suction harvesting may provide a viable alternative to conventional mechanical harvesting and aquatic herbicides in some well defined and limited situations, we are strongly opposed to unleashing this potentially harmful technique on Michigan’s inland lakes in an unregulated and not closely monitored environment. Past experience tells us that deregulation will lead to indiscriminate and widespread use of the technique to remove not only invasive aquatic plants but also to remove the native aquatic plants that are so beneficial to water quality and fish.

In addition, House Bill 5690 contains language that eliminates the requirement for a DEQ permit to create artificial beaches using transported sand.  Beach sanding contributes large amounts of phosphorus and sediment to our inland lakes which fuels the growth of aquatic plants and algae as well as destroys habitat that is critical to the survival of fish and other aquatic organisms.

The legislation also contains language that removes the requirement for DEQ permits for several other critical activities that have been previously regulated and monitored by the DEQ,  including inland lake water withdrawls.

Moreover, the bill analysis reveals “no equivalent exemption under federal law, this exemption would likely be determined to be inconsistent with federal law by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Michigan’s Section 404 Program must be consistent with federal requirements to continue administration of the program.”

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations urges you to contact your Michigan House Representative to indicate your opposition to this irresponsible legislation.  The future economic and recreational viability of our inland lakes is simply too important to squander on legislation that attempts to provide petty relief from simple and reasonable federal and state regulations that serve to preserve and protect our inland lakes from abuse and mismanagement.

To read a complete analysis of House Bill 5690, click here

To read House Bill 5690 in it’s entirety,  click here



Are Your Local Government Candidates Qualified to Serve?

August 9, 2012 13:23

The 2012 general election presents Michigan voters with an outstanding opportunity to inquire about the overall level of preparedness and qualification of candidates running for local government offices. The significance of this discussion is highlighted by the fact that very few local governments in Michigan have effectively exercised their state legislature granted authority to contribute to the preservation and protection of our inland lakes and streams. You and your neighbors are uniquely empowered to affect the outcome of local elections and the future of your favorite lake or stream! Michigan Lake and Stream Associations recommends that you do a little homework in order to determine the knowledge level and overall qualifications of those seeking election in your township or municipality.

Your local unit of government should be pro-actively engaged in land‐use and water resources associated planning and zoning. Under Michigan law, local governments possess the legal authority to regulate development and to pursue natural resources protection and preservation within their respective jurisdictions. However, Michigan Townships Association indicates that of the approximately 15,000 citizens presently serving Michigan local governments in an official and/or elected capacity, less than 40% have received any level of formal land use or natural resources management planning and zoning education or training. A deficiency of planning and zoning knowledge at the local government level has resulted in the fact that relatively few local governments in Michigan have created master plans and/or enacted zoning ordinances designed to protect or preserve local natural resources including inland lakes and their associated resources.

Before you decide which local government candidates are worthy of the support of you and your neighbors, we ask that you do a little research regarding their overall qualifications to effectively perform the official duties associated with the specific office they are seeking.  In our opinion, candidates for local government office who have not completed an officially recognized planning and zoning education and training program should be deemed unqualified and ineligible for your support.

Relatively inexpensive and readily available planning and zoning training programs such as the Michigan State University Citizen Planner and comparable programs offered by the Michigan Association of Planning or the Michigan Townships Associations, have been offered at statewide venues for many years.  We question the commitment of candidates and incumbents alike that have not devoted the time and effort necessary to become knowledgeable about the increasingly complex public position they hold or seek! The economic, ecological, recreational and aesthetic value of the inland lakes and streams in your community are increasingly valuable. The long term ecological health of your local inland lakes, streams and wetlands may depend on how well your local unit of government has managed these vital resources.

As a general guide to assist you in formulating good questions to ask local unit of government candidates (and incumbents) to determine their overall qualification to hold office, here are a few examples of relevant questions:

1.  Have you completed a Michigan law specific planning and zoning training course?

2.  Can you provide a basic definition of the concept of watersheds?

3.  Can you provide a basic explanation of the importance of the United States Clean Water Act of 1972?

4.  Can you provide a  basic explanation of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of 1994?

5.  Can you discuss the various Michigan Township Zoning Acts that authorize local townships to enact ordinances to protect local inland lake and stream resources?

6.  Can you describe the mission and roles of the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources?

7.  Can you provide a basic explanation of the various threats to inland lake and stream resources including the role of soil erosion and sedimentation, impervious surface area, aquatic invasive plants and animal species and how local planning and zoning can help minimize these threats?

8.  Finally, you may want to query local candidates to assess their primary reason for seeking local elected office.  Do they seem to be concerned with only one issue? Do they seem to favor economic development at all cost? Do they seem to value your local inland lakes and streams? Do they seem to possess a well rounded, thoughtful and balanced perspective regarding economic development and protection of local water resources?

To learn more about the critical role of local governments in effectively managing Michigan’s treasure of inland lakes and streams and how to get directly involved running for or supporting various local candidates, we highly suggest that you take time out to read the outstanding series of articles written by Mr. Paul Sniadecki, Milton township zoning official and President of the Eagle Lake Improvement Association. This series of articles can be accessed by clicking here…



Did You Make Progress With RIPARIAN-MINDED Candidates?

August 8, 2012 16:15

by Paul J. Sniadecki

President, Eagle Lake Improvement Association, Inc.

 As this e-newsletter is being distributed, the 2012 Primary Election is wrapping up. The last and crucial step ahead is the General Election which is only 3 months away. So, now is the time to assess if you have made any progress at the local municipality level (township, county, city, or village) to elect riparian-minded candidates to protect local lakes and streams. We will do this by answering some questions with simple YES/NO answers (when doing any assessment, you either reached the benchmark, or you didn’t…. “close” only counts in a game of horseshoes).

Here are the assessment questions, based on suggested actions in previous articles:

1)    Did you identify any riparian-minded, potential candidates in your area, YES or NO? ___

2)    Did you assist any potential candidates to “file” for the Primary Election, YES or NO? ___

3)    Did you assist any potential candidates to “file” as independent candidates for the General Election, YES or NO? __

4)    Did you review your local municipalities’ “track record” for gaps in governance, fiscal management, transparency, and/or riparian-friendly initiatives, YES or NO? ___

5)    Did you survey your Lake Association or neighborhood’s concerns to develop “real data” to share with elected office candidates, YES or NO? __

6)    Did you raise awareness of local issues by writing OP-ED articles, posting data on websites, or organizing a Town Hall type meeting, YES or NO? ___

7)    Did you selectively vote in the 2012 Primary Election, for candidates you knew (based on the record) would represent your riparian interests, YES or NO? __

8)    For elected positions on the ballot which provided the option to “Vote for 2, 3, or More”, did you withhold voting for the permitted maximum, to avoid supporting an adverse candidate, YES or NO? __

 Now, let’s determine how successful you were.  If you were able to record 6-8 YES answers, you are proactive and organized. There is a strong chance of effecting real change, at the local level, to protect your lake(s) or stream. If you scored 3-5 YES answers, you have made some progress, but more effort needs to be done in making the electoral process work to protect your riparian interests. If you recorded 2 or less YES answers, you have missed a great opportunity to effect real change. You will most likely suffer “more of the same” if your current elected officials do not account for riparian interests as they conduct their governmental activities. It takes planning and effort to elect the right kind of candidates.

 Next month’s article will deal with the final steps that can help secure the “win” for riparian minded candidates who made it through the primary process, or who will appear as Independents on the General Election ballot. In the interim, we need to work at voter registration, getting out the vote, and voting…even via absentee ballot. Waiting until the end of October will be too late. The General Election is only 3 months away!



EPA Creates New Harmful Algal Bloom Focused Web Resource

August 7, 2012 12:03

The United Photo of Microcystis bloom at Ohio River, 2008. Photo by Jim Crawford, Ohio EPAStates Environmental Protection Agency has created an information rich and useful on-line resource dedicated to Cyanobacteria associated Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB). Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are of particular concern because of their potential impacts on drinking and recreational waters. In freshwater based resources, cyanobacteria can produce unsightly conditions along  shorelines and in open waters degrading aquatic habitats and posing a health risk to humans, pets or wildlife.

The newly created on-line resource includes information on freshwater harmful algal blooms and their various effects to help inform the general public about potential impacts of toxic algal blooms in freshwater.

This information rich resource can be accessed by clicking here



MNFI & DNR Seek Your Help in Identifying Aquatic Invasive Plants

July 5, 2012 15:48



An Update on the Public Road Ends Law

July 3, 2012 10:07

New Michigan Public Road Ends Law Invokes
Enforcement, Resentment and Confusion

In hundreds of lakefront communities throughout Michigan, local  government officials, lakefront property owners, law enforcement officials as well as those with a long history of using publicly owned road ends to install their docks, boat hoists and other boat associated equipment are struggling to come to terms with the letter and intent of  Michigan’s new public road ends law, known as Public Act 56.

Signed by Lieutenant Governor Calley on March 22, 2012, Public Act 56 provided statewide codification of now twenty year old court rulings that limit public road ends to one seasonal public dock (if approved by the local unit of government and the issuance of an MI DEQ permit), forbids overnight mooring as well as the  installation of boat hoists. Please read Public Act 56 in its entirety on page two of this newsletter.

Based on our recent conversations with various township officials, law enforcement agencies as well as the with DEQ Water Resource Division officials, here is a synopsis of various activities that have ensued as a result of the passage of Public Act 56:

  • Individuals who have attempted to install seasonal docks and/boat hoists on publicly owned road have been warned by state, county and township law enforcement officials to cease and desist.  ML&SA is not aware of any case where law enforcement officials have issued the $500.00 dollar per day fine specified for violations under  Public Act 56.
  • The MI DEQ has just completed a public comment period regarding a proposed Minor Permit category for which local units of government would have to apply for and gain issuance of a DEQ permit before installing a seasonal “public dock at a public road end” under the auspices of Public Act 56.  The proposed Minor Permit category has not yet been finalized by the MI DEQ; nor has it yet been determined whether the DEQ will issue such permits without first requiring public notification of  affected lakefront communities.
  • Under the proposed MI DEQ Minor Permit category covering installation of seasonal public docks, only local units of government will be able to apply for and receive MI DEQ permits for the installation of public docks at public road ends or on publicly owned lands. Permits will not be issued to private individuals or groups for the installation of public docks on public lands.
  •  Local units of government may not yet be aware that an MI DEQ permit will be required for the installation of “of one seasonal public dock at public road ends”. ML&SA strongly suggests that our members seek to educate their respective local officials regarding this requirement.
  • Public Act 56 does not apply to privately owned road ends or easements owned by individuals or lake associations or to those who possess legal “recorded deed, recorded easement, or other recorded  dedication.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



MLSA and MI Riparian Central Office Re-location

May 17, 2012 18:54

The Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.,  Michigan Lakes and Streams Foundation, Inc. and The Michigan Riparian Magazine Central Office will be moved to a new location within the Village of Stanton, Michigan effective the week of May 21, 2012.  All United States Postal Service deliverable mail should now be addressed as follows:

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.
300  N.  State  St.   Suite A
Stanton, Michigan  48888

Michigan Lakes and Streams Foundation, Inc.
300  N.  State  St.   Suite A
Stanton, Michigan  48888

The Michigan Riparian Magazine
300 N. State St.   Suite A
Stanton, Michigan  48888



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