CATAWBA ISLAND — Like Lake Erie, the East Coast’s Chesapeake Bay is a major attraction for beach-goers, boaters and nature enthusiasts.
People come from across the country to vacation at Chesapeake Bay, inland from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by Maryland and Virgina. Its an estuary where fresh and salt waters meet, and its watershed covers six states and Washington, D.C.
Visitors from across the country fish Lake Erie for its prized walleye and visit its islands, beaches and attractions.
A Department of Natural Resources (DNR) early warning program is preventing the invasive species frog bit from destroying native aquatic plants.
“Essentially, frog bit is an invasive plant that’s come into Michigan from Canadian waterways,” said Holly Vaughn, a DNR wildlife outreach technician. “It’s roughly the size of a quarter or half dollar, it looks like a mini- water lily but forms really dense mats of leaves on the surface of the water and ends up choking out native species of plants.”
European frog bit is Photo: Department of Natural Resources.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Snow and freezing temperatures this week provided ideal conditions for members of the U.S. Coast Guard participating in an ice rescue training course.
Members from Coast Guard response crews throughout the Great Lakes region met in Portage this week for a cold, three-day session.
Great Lakes crews haven't been called to rescue a person from the ice yet this winter season, according to a Coast Guard news release. Yet, the latest wave of freezing temperatures across the region prompted the Coast Guard to remind people to practice caution when enjoying recreational activities on or near cold and frozen water.
DUNKIRK – The City of Dunkirk and its northern Chautauqua County neighbors stand to benefit from three state grants announced this week by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The grants include $1 million for the northern Chautauqua County water district and $65,000 in planning funds for the Lake Erie Waterfront Revitalization Program.
Another grant – $540,000 – will go toward an ambitious seawall and bike path project in the City of Dunkirk.
Mayor A.J. Dolce said the funding for replacement of the seawall along Lake Front Boulevard will not only enhance safety but make the area a destination.
“We think our plans to make the waterfront area a destination with splash pools and other recreational activities really impressed the decision makers,” Dolce said. “The new seawall will be attractive and functional, but the added playground and family recreation areas will make the area more popular than it is now.”
NORTH EAST, Pa. — The newest environmental threat to the Great Lakes is very, very small. Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. There, fish and other aquatic life eat them along with the pollutants they carry — which scientists fear could be working their way back up the food chain to humans.
Scientists have worried about plastic debris in the oceans for decades, but focused on enormous accumulations of floating junk. More recently, the question of smaller bits has gained attention, because plastics degrade so slowly and become coated with poisons in the water like the cancer-causing chemicals known as PCBs.
Water samples collected from Sturgeon Bay last month and analyzed for evidence of Asian carp DNA have come back negative, state officials announced.
"We're obviously happy that the results came back negative. It's a good indication that there are not Asian carp in the bay and underscores the importance of continuing our efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes," says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and DNR had collected 150 water samples from Sturgeon Bay on Nov. 12 and 13 as a follow up to a single positive detection of Asian carp DNA in samples collected from the bay earlier in the year.
"Sampling was completed as part of a Great Lakes wide early detection program intended to monitor for many different invasive species, including Asian carp," says Todd Turner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Assistant Regional Director for Midwest Fisheries.
A fish that was almost wiped out in the Great Lakes is making a comeback in Lake Huron.
Lake trout are suddenly doing what biologists have been trying to get them to do for more than 40 years: They’re making babies.
Lake trout used to be a mainstay of Great Lakes commercial fishing in the first half of the twentieth century. The Lakes would produce 15 million pounds of the fish every year.
PORT HURON, Michigan — More than 25 years ago, Wayne Brusate sifted through piles of matchsticks and crates of supplies to recover bottles, spoons and coal inside a sunken package freighter at the bottom of Lake Huron.
Now, those artifacts from the steamship Regina are finding their way to homes and museums in the United States and Canada, according to the Times Herald of Port Huron ( http://bwne.ws/INLhDn ).
Brusate, a commercial diver who discovered the Regina in 1986, donated 50 to 60 legally recovered items from the SS Regina to Port Huron Museum, and additional artifacts to the Great Lakes Maritime Institute and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit.
WASHINGTON — Michigan’s U.S. senators want federal regulators to assure them that a 60-year-old pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac is safe, despite a recent spike in the amount of oil moving through it each day.
U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Democrats, sent a letter today to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration raising concerns about Enbridge Energy Partners increasing the amount of crude oil running through Line 5 by 1.2 million gallons of oil a day.
A national travel site has put Oval Beach in Saugatuck at the top of its list.
The popular lakeshore destination helped earn Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast and Grand Rapids the shared No. 1 spot on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2014” rankings of the top 10 places U.S. travelers should put on their radar next year — if they haven’t already been there to splash around.
The Lonely Planet report described Oval Beach as having the “smoothest sands” along the Lake Michigan coastline.
Snowy owls are moving through Wisconsin from northern Canada, and the state Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin eBird say the birds are staging a possibly historic movement from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast.
As of Sunday, there were 55 reports of the birds in Wisconsin. That compares with about 115 at the same time in 2011-'12, but it's ahead of the pace of last year at this time, when 30 to 35 snowy owls had been observed.
Ryan Brady, a DNR research scientist, said the arrival of the owls got off to a slow start this year, but the sightings are picking up.
Snowy owls have been seen along the Lake Michigan corridor, including the Milwaukee area.
For the past three weeks, a pair of researchers -- one from the Nature Conservancy, the other a Cornell graduate student -- have been on a frigid mission on Lake Ontario's Chaumont Bay.
"We're here to capture and tag male and female ciscoes with radio receivers," said Mathew Levine, Northern New York field representative for the Nature Conservancy.
Lake Ontario ciscoes Researchers are attaching radio transmitters and tracking native ciscoes in Lake Ontario to see where they spawn.
On Tuesday, the two announced they had finished part of their task. They tagged 15 females that day, in addition to the nine males they tagged previously.