March 7, 2014
Originally posted on THE WMEAC BLOG:
In a recent post here on The WMEAC Blog, we wrote about the presence of microplastic beads in the Great Lakes. These beads are attributed to personal hygiene products, as outlined in a groundbreaking study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin. Here at WMEAC, however, we were struck by an additional finding within research—coal fly ash.
The research team initially misidentified fly ash particles as microplastic, because of its similarly round shape. However, upon closer examination using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the research team discovered that 20% of the particles found in their samples were, in fact, fly ash.
March 2, 2014
Originally posted on The Dynamic Great Lakes Blog:
The Great Lakes are famous for world class fishing, their shores are famous for their beaches and hiking trails. Right now, skiing is in, both downhill and cross country. Luge and ice skating outdoors is for the hardy.
With the change of seasons, sail boats, surf boards, sail boards, kite boards, boogie boards and power boats will enjoy the freshwater seas.
February 28, 2014
Feed the Birds
Last night the temperature was below zero and it is still very cold today even with the sun shining. We give the birds suet and sunflower seeds so they can refuel in this astonishing weather. Michigan and many other states around the Great Lakes have record breaking cold. The
water flowing over Niagara Falls is frozen in place.
February 27, 2014
Rachel Carson is credited with starting the Environmental Movement. Her book Silent Spring showed how economic poisons such as DDT were destroying the ecosystems. I read this book when my children were very young. We lived across the street from the city park in Grand Haven, MI. The city fathers were trying to prevent the loss of elm trees from Dutch elm disease by bombarding the park with DDT. When the children went out to play, everything was coated with sticky DDT.
We saw robins trembling on the grass in their death throes. The poison quickly builds up in food chains and the worms they fed upon were laden with the poison. We live near Lake Michigan and so when it rained, the long lasting pesticide washed into the lake and built up in food chains. Food chains in water are long and poisons magnify. The fish became unhealthy to eat. Eagles that fed upon fish were not able to reproduce. Their eggs broke in the nest. Eagles, ospreys and peregrine falcons were disappearing.
“How can you read this book and not do something,” my husband said to me. He marched down to City Hall and asked the city council to stop the spraying. They thought he was not believable. For 20 years, the Ag Department at MSU had taught that DDT was the best and cheapest solution for both farmers and cities. But my husband, Norm Spring is persistent. He didn’t give up. He went to every city council meeting for three years He went back for three years with the same request. He quoted experts. The city brought Ag Department experts.
Finally the city stopped the wholesale spraying in Grand Haven, MI. People from Holland, MI came to him and asked how he managed to do this. Together they formed the Michigan Pesticides Council and met at MSU with both university professors, government officials and ordinary people like my husband and myself. Michigan was one of the first states to stop the widespread use of DDT and like pesticides. These were banned nationally in 1972.
Grassroots movements work. I wrote my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes inspired by Rachel Carson and by what we were able to accomplish. We see eagles on our lakeshore again. It took many years for DDT to purge out of the ecosystem, but today the raptors are nesting and flying. I’m thrilled.
<img class="size-full wp-image" id="-2551″ alt=”Image” src=”http://bjspring.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/dgl1.jpg?w=60″ />
Norm will be at the Gerald R. Ford Museum on April 10, 7.p.m. 2014 to be inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame. https://www.google.com/url?sa=D&oi=plus&q=https://maps.google.com/maps?expflags%3Denable_star_based_justifications:true%26ie%3DUTF8%26cid%3D12120839919167263999%26q%3DFord%2BMuseum%2BParking%26iwloc%3DA%26gl%3DUS%26hl%3Den-US
Four nuclear power plants on the Great Lakes rank among the nation’s worst for high level safety violations
February 22, 2014
Originally posted on All Things Great Lakes:
The report by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, revealed several problems with how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission enforces safety regulations at the nation’s aging fleet of nuclear power plants. The Associated Press, which broke the story, said the GAO study ”showed that the number of safety violations at nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses. Read the entire AP story here.
February 19, 2014
Maybe the Manitous
Eastward rolling water
pellucid dense and slow
Karo syrup gloss or
flowing molten glass.
One crystal grabs
one grain of sand and
the beach blooms
with frost flowers—
a stiff white collar grows
all along the sandy shore.
Icy winds blast.
Ice balls bob, wink, crash.
An eagle’s cry hangs
above a white horizon line—
when sweetwater seas
Late afternoon sun—
deep blue shadows on snow
manitous whisper to ice shelves
sibilant spirits speak —
murmur to structures below.
From Milwaukee to Muskegon
cold rollers flow, then splash through
ice volcanoes on the shore
troll caves and canon balls
shot from polar storms…
or maybe the manitous.
Excerpted from The Wilderness Within
Link above to today’s news about the Manitous
February 18, 2014
Today 2/18/2014 open water has opened up in front of the Grand Haven Pier. The ice is costantly moving–the Great Lakes are Dynamic..below see the report from yesterday.
GRAND HAVEN DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
DATE: 17 February, 2014
TO: Media Representatives
FROM: Jeff Hawke, Director of Public Safety
RE: Incidents Related to Unsafe Ice Conditions
“Unsafe Ice Conditions Lead to Several Incidents”
Officers from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety responded to several ice related incidents over the weekend.
Saturday, 2-15-2014, Early Morning
A man fell through the ice between the piers while setting up a camera tripod. He self-rescued and was assisted by others in
the area. (Reported to the department by a witness via e-mail)
Saturday, 2-15-2014, 2:47PM
Officers responded to the North Pier to assist a man who had fallen through the ice.
Saturday, 2-15-2014, 4:41PM
Officers were dispatched to a parking lot near the North Pier on the report of a wet, cold, disoriented man. Further
investigation revealed that the man had fallen through the ice while walking between the piers.
Sunday, 2-16-2014, 3:16PM
A 45 year old Rockford woman fell from the North Pier, breaking her ankle. She was transported to North Ottawa
Community Hospital by NOCH Paramedics.
Sunday, 2-16-2014, 3:29PM
A 15 year old Grand Rapids Teen fell off the North Pier on the channel side and became stuck in the snow. He was lifted
back onto the pier by Public Safety Officers. Officers were assisted by several citizens.
Sunday, 2-16-2014, 3:45PM
An 8 year old girl fell from the North Pier on the channel side. She was lifted back onto the pier by Public Safety Officers.
The ice is not safe. Those that walk on the ice are putting themselves and rescuers at risk.
Director Jeff Hawke
February 17, 2014
Click on the link above to see a video of the beautiful ice formations on the caves of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands The Great Lakes are 88% frozen at this date.