The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s 10th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference is happening next week—September 9-11—in Grand Rapids, Mich. The conference is a place for more than 300 Great Lakes advocates and stakeholders, including representatives of business, industry, academia and city, state and federal agencies to gather to celebrate the accomplishments of and discuss the threats facing the Great Lakes. Prior to the conference, we have gathered success stories from the greater Grand Rapids area that showcase the restoration work being done throughout the region. You can view a slideshow of all restoration success stories out of Michigan here.
New York State recently passed a law requiring all boats to be washed before entering New York waterways, reports the Star Gazette. The measure is intended to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species that can attach onto boats, such as hydrilla.
The Associated Press reports that Michigan’s Thunder Bay National Marine Santuary has received federal approval to expand from 450 square miles to 4,300 square miles. Located in Lake Huron, Thunder Bay is the nation’s only freshwater sanctuary.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is releasing almost three dozen juvenile lake sturgeon into the Kalamazoo River, reports MLive. The release will take place this Saturday, and will be open to the public.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide another $12 million for states and federal regulators battling harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The money will contribute to both monitoring for water quality and assisting farmers to alter some of their practices contributing to the blooms.
Environmental, Regional, News Websites and TV Stations to have Unlimited Access to Great Lakes Conference
DETROIT (September 3, 2014) – Detroit Public Television (DPTV) announces a renewed commitment to providing a high level of access to the public for the 10th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference, hosted by Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition. Great Lakes Restoration Conference sessions will take place in Grand Rapids, Mich. from September 9-11, 2014 and will explore the science, politics and future of the Great Lakes.
In case you missed this past week in Great Lakes conservation news:
The Toledo Blade reports that farmers in the counties surrounding western Lake Erie will receive government funds to help reduce fertilizer runoff. According to the Columbus Dispatch, reducing the phosphorus found in this runoff would significantly and rapidly decrease harmful algal blooms.
The Lake County News-Sun reports that Waukegan will be replacing over 100 infected ash trees. Waukegan lost 4,000 ash trees to the emerald ash borer, an invasive species of beetle. The current installation will be the first step towards replacing their ash population.
The Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing into the proposed removal of the Ballville Dam, according to the Toledo Blade. Environmental groups say removing the dam will restore the Sandusky River and enhance fish habitat and spawning grounds. , However, others claim that removing the dam would allow sediment contaminated with phosphorous, a key contributor to harmful algal blooms, to enter Lake Erie.
The City of Valparaiso, Ind. constructed a detention basin to collect and redirect stormwater from over 330 acres, most of which are highly developed or residential. Heavy rains wash the pesticides, fertilizer, sediment, and other pollutants used on these lands into the basin, but the basin was not designed to treat contaminated stormwater before redirecting it into the watershed. This sediment and nutrient loading has adversely impacted the water quality and aquatic habitats of the Salt Creek watershed; parts of it have even become contaminated with harmful E. coli bacteria that can cause illness in people and animals. Thanks to a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Save the Dunes and the City of Valparaiso have partnered to naturalize and retrofit the Thorgren Basin to treat stormwater and enhance wildlife habitat. Read more here.