RBFF Introduces New Video Documentary to Encourage Hispanic Participation in Boating & Fishing

RBFF-Header-Icon-Resized3ALEXANDRIA, VA (August 20, 2014) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced a new video documentary on VamosAPescar.org

to encourage Hispanic participation in fishing and boating. Produced in partnership with Discover Boating, the bi-lingual documentary profiles the Vazquez family, who says time spent on the water boating and fishing was the catalyst in enabling them to truly discover themselves and each other. RBFF research has identified several voids it hopes to address in its efforts to grow boating and fishing participation among the nation’s fastest growing population segment including an absence of Hispanic role models, as well as a lack of messaging and imagery that the Hispanic audience can relate to.







6af7984f-e4af-48c6-bcbc-a3af6abd99deBy MIKE NORTON

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — Among the many pleasant surprises encountered by new visitors to this northern Michigan town is the sight of graceful schooners, sloops and other sailing vessels gliding majestically across Grand Traverse Bay.

And they’ll have a chance to see, tour and sail in six of those stately vessels during the 2014 Michigan Schooner Festival, a  three-day celebration of Great Lakes “tall ships” to be held Sept, 19-21.

Four of Traverse City’s own tall ships — Manitou, Inland Seas, Madeline and Champion — will be on hand for the festival, as well as two visiting ships: the three-masted schooner Denis Sullivan of Milwaukee and the replica sloop Friends Good Will from South Haven. All six will sail down West Grand Traverse Bay to the city’s waterfront Friday afternoon in the traditional “Grand Parade of Sail” that opens the festival.

For ticket and schedule information about the 2014 Michigan Schooner Festival go to http://www.maritimeheritagealliance.org/calendar/35 or call (231) 946-2647. To learn more about other winter attractions and events in the Traverse City area – and for a complete listing of lodging and dining options – contact Traverse City Tourism at 1-800-TRAVERSE or on line at www.TraverseCity.com

USDA Invests New Conservation Funds to Improve Lake Erie Water Quality

WASHINGTON, August 19, 2014–Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that $2 million in conservation funds will be sent to Ohio to help implement conservation techniques that will help improve water quality. The Secretary said USDA is also partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand “boots-on-the-ground” capacity in the area and will be contributing an additional $1 million in technical assistance which will in turn be leveraged by the NFWF along with other public and private entities. Earlier this month, water service in Toledo, Ohio was disrupted by algae blooms in Lake Erie.

The new funding is the latest contribution of resources to the Lake Erie watershed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has invested $46 million in the watershed since 2009.

“The voluntary conservation efforts supported by this new funding will help improve water quality in Lake Erie,” Vilsack said. “Many farmers have consistently stepped up to the plate on efforts to protect our water and we want to provide support and incentives for continued action. Along with these resources, we will be offering technical and financial assistance through our direct relationships with farmers, and by partnering with private and public groups on continuing conservation efforts in the Great Lakes basin.”

The Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is accepting applications from farmers this week for resources that will help with the planting of cover crops, which experts agree offer the best protection to prevent soil and nutrient erosion in the next season. The funding will be allocated to the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) to help farmers and partners accelerate water quality conservation activities to benefit Lake Erie. NRCS will be providing up to $2 million in Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds in Ohio for a targeted, one-week signup. This signup will be focused on planting cover crops on vulnerable soils this fall in order to reduce soil and nutrient loss from farm fields.

A number of factors contribute to algae blooms. Warm water, lack of agitation, rainfall and runoff from farms, lawns, and other sources can all contribute to the problem. Members of the scientific community believe that global warming is contributing to earlier blooms, not just in waterways in the United States but elsewhere. Conservation practices such as no-till reduce the amounts of sediment and nutrients in run-off, which is also influenced by the amount of precipitation and the time precipitation occurs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA are working together to assist producers in efforts to reduce runoff by planting cover crops, controlling drainage and constructing systems like anaerobic digesters to reduce the amount of untreated effluent entering ditches, streams, rivers and lakes.

Last week, NRCS leadership met with more than 100 farmers, agricultural groups and fertilizer dealers in Ohio to talk about the expertise USDA can offer and to spread the word about the best conservation practices for the watershed.

“Farmers understand how recent events may impact them and are motivated to work with us to reduce phosphorus run-off, starting now with the planting of additional cover crops,” NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. “We created this opportunity for farmers who want to get cover on their fields quickly, and we will continue to create complete nutrient management plans for long-term water quality and sustainability practices.”

Along with its ongoing conservation efforts that have contributed $46 million since 2009, in May the Great Lakes Basin was also designated by Vilsack as a critical conservation area, or CCA, in the new 2014 Farm Bill Regional Conservation Partnership Program. That new program will invest $1.2 billion in innovative conservation efforts through partnerships with non-federal entities, who are expected to match the federal investment for a total of $2.4 billion in conservation resources.

Salmon numbers dip in Lake Michigan

Steve Geving, Minnesota DNR

Steve Geving, Minnesota DNR

by Dave Golowenski, The Columbus Dispatch

LUDINGTON, Mich. — A mystery is unfolding on Lake Michigan.

“This reminds me of Rogers City,” said Tim Kompier, a longtime fisherman from Cleveland who years ago abandoned that Lake Huron port on the northeast coast of lower Michigan when the lakewide salmon population crashed. “I’m not saying that’s what’s happening here, but it feels like it.”


Here’s toxic tale of Annie, Fannie, Mike



by Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

Blue-green villains behind Lake Erie’s history of algae woes

We begin today’s attempt to sort out the highly arcane, often-confusing science of Lake Erie algae with three simple names: Annie, Fannie, and Mike.

They’re not your friends.

Take a deep breath and hang with us as we throw a little gobbledygook your way:

Anabaena, known to Great Lakes scientists as “Annie,” can attack your central nervous system.

So can Aphanizomenon, which scientists euphemistically call “Fannie.”

Both have the same toxins found in red tides that kill ocean shellfish.

Microcystis, which scientists refer to as “Mike,” goes after the liver.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/18/Here-s-toxic-tale-of-Annie-Fannie-Mike.html#pdqTqqZI1qZ4DXiP.99

White Lake rising: ‘Toxic’ label bad for Muskegon County community’s image, good for cleanup

by John S. Hausman, Michigan Live

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – Was being on an international list of “toxic hot spots” on balance a good or a bad thing for the White Lake community?

When it comes to image, probably not so good, at least in the early years.

But the label was a spur to action and a big help in getting needed federal and state cleanup grants, local leaders and others say. Viewed from that angle, the “hot spot” label was not the problem, it was a big part of the solution.


Ballville Dam’s fate takes on new urgency in wake of water crisis



by Vanessa McCray, Toledo Blade

FREMONT — Toledo’s recent water crisis heightened concern from some who want to make sure the proposed removal of the Sandusky River’s Ballville Dam doesn’t worsen algal blooms.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in an environmental study released earlier this month, recommended the incremental removal of the dam and installation of an ice-control structure.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/08/17/Ballville-Dam-s-fate-takes-on-new-urgency-in-wake-of-water-crisis.html#xEyDVewz8mqOT8so.99

Kite boarders bring new conflicts to Great Lakes beaches

Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

by Lacee Shepard, Great Lakes Echo

A Lake Huron beach in Ontario has created a separate launch area for kite boarders to keep them from crashing into swimmers.

Attempts to avoid such recreational conflicts are growing with the popularity of the sport that pulls people across water or snow with a giant kite attached to 90 feet of rope. Swimmers can get tangled in the rope or hit with the kites that can be larger than 40 feet across.

Illinois company is latest to test market for carp

by Jim Suhr, Associated Press

GRAFTON, Ill. (AP) — When they arrive at the processing plant, the fish that have been cursed as a menace to American lakes and rivers are raked onto a conveyer belt, some of them still flopping.

Brought by the boatload to this facility north of St. Louis, the Asian carp quickly meet a gruesome fate: They are ground to a bloody pulp in a maze of machines that churn their bony bodies into dehydrated meal and fish oil.

A company called American Heartland Fish Products is the latest to venture into the small but growing business of carp-rendering, and their experiment offers another test of whether private enterprise can help reduce invasive species by turning them into food, be it for humans or more likely livestock.



MC8760_8c9509cb130e15aSaugatuck, MI – The 27th Annual Taste of Saugatuck will be held on August 24, 2014 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Wicks Park on Water Street in downtown Saugatuck. This year proceeds from the event will benefit Saugatuck Public Schools and provide a scholarship for one student entering the Hospitality and Culinary Arts field.