Lisa:Who were your mentors?

Barbara: My first mentor was my father, E. P. Reineke, a research scientist at M.S.U. in the physiology dept. He did some important original research there. I learned to love and appreciate nature from him. My husband, Norm Spring has been a long time outdoorsman and conservationist. I have learned a great deal about nature and the democratic process from him.

Lisa:What are some books that have changed your life?

Barbara:Silent Spring by Rachel Carson opened my eyes to what we are doing to the environment. After reading the book and recommending it to my husband, we both became activists on behalf of the environment before the first Earth Day in 1970. I also loved A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I required my students to read it when I taught writing classes at Grand Valley State University.

Lisa:Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?

Barbara:I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes for a general audience.

I spoke to school children this week. I opened my talk with a space photo of Planet Earth and explained that the water they saw was 98% salt water-only about 2% is freshwater. “Dang!” said a kid in surprise.

The audience for my book is really adults, but school age kids will find it interesting, too. It is an up to date reference to the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters: their fishes, dunes, wetlands, seasonal changes and changes caused by people. The Dynamic Great Lakes will be an eye-opener for anyone.

Lisa:Why is the Dynamic Great Lakes an important book?

Barbara:The Great Lakes are important but often misunderstood. They are about 20% of all the fresh surface water on this planet. People need to understand their dynamics in order to make sound decisions about them. Recently a grassroots movement in Michigan blocked oil companies from further oil exploration under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The risk of polluting the lakes with oil and noxious gases was intolerable. There will be more schemes that threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Armed with knowledge, people will demand the right thing of their government. They will also be careful of what they do in their personal decisions. The lakes’ water is low this year, but it will rise again. People who know this is a natural cycle will not build too close to the water.

Lisa:Why is this book a good choice for Earth Day?

Barbara:The book encourages people to think globally and act locally. Everything is connected to everything else. This means that what we burn, what we release in the water and land and what we eat are all connected. We often forget that we are part of the whole and flowing web of life. Our actions will affect us now and in the future.

Lisa:How is your book different from other books about the Great Lakes?

Barbara:I limited my topic to changes in the Great Lakes, both through natural forces and through changes caused by people. There have been a great many changes and I believe people will be interested in learning about the Pacific salmon planted in the lakes to feed on the pesky alewives that invaded them through the canals around Niagara Falls. They will be interested in other exotic species such as the zebra mussels and how they got into all five Great Lakes

Lisa: How did you research the book? Barbara:I began with observations. We live within view of Lake Michigan. I can observe the change of seasons and what kinds of fish are being caught. I have also observed all the other lakes and their connecting waters. I then set out to find out authoritative information about the lakes by interviewing experts. The book is interdisciplinary. I interviewed a geologist, fish biologists, and naturalists. I asked them for good sources in print. I went out on Grand Valley State University’s research vessel, Angus to see what research was being done. I enjoyed working on the Dynamic Great Lakes because there was always something new.

Lisa:What else have you written? Barbara:As a journalist, I have written articles for the Grand Rapids Press, a major newspaper in West Michigan. These articles were about travels, profiles of interesting people, and outdoor subjects. I also have had articles published in Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Muskegon Magazine, Field & Stream and many other publications.

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Upper and Lower Great Lakes podcast  Please click the link to hear my podcast about the Great Lakes in which I read some passages from The Dynamic Great Lakes.DynamicGreatLakes-Independent_FullCover copy


The Dynamic Great Lakes Blog

We just saw an American Bald Eagle flying over Lake Michigan and it’s always a thrill to see this.

Years ago there were practically no eagles around the Great Lakes due to DDT. Their eggs would not hatch. After reading Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, Norm Spring and I worked to ban DDT in our community and then the state. It took a long time for DDT to purge out of the Great Lakes system, but now we rejoice every time we see an eagle fly. This environmental success story was the inspiration for me to write The Dynamic Great Lakes.
It may be ordered from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and the book may be found in many independent bookstores.

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Podcast: Great Lakes Book  click the link.

March 26, 27 go to my podcast on Bookmarkedradio.  I am interviewed by Kevin Collier about how I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes.  I also read a few poems from my other books: Between Sweetwater and Sand, Sophia’s Lost and Found and The Wilderness Within.

 

DynamicGreatLakes-Independent_FullCover copy


The Dynamic Great Lakes on Kindle    

click the link above

This critically acclaimed book is also available in paperback from many bookstores and online at Amazon.com, bn.com and many other places.

 

DynamicGreatLakes-Independent_FullCover copy


Great Lakes

There is a threat near the tip of the mitten where Great Lakes waters flow under the  Mackinac Bridge: An oil spill there is an accident waiting to happen.  The Huffington Post explains.  Follow the link below.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/22/michigan-enbridge-pipeline_n_7308734.html  Here is a revealing story about the threat to the Great Lakes system: oil.


September 4th, 2014 at 9:28 pm by under Bill’s Blog, Weather

Seiche Petoskey 9 4 14 Petoskey City Marina and upnorthlve   A rare seiche occurred on Lake Michigan this morning.  The strong, thunderstorm induced S-SW wind blew surface water toward the Michigan side of the lake, causing the water level to rise.  The picture shows a significant rise in the water level of Lake Michigan at the Petoskey Marina, where the water rose over the docks!   At the same time the water level fell in Wisconsin.  As the winds die down the water sloshes back toward Wisconsin and can rise and fall several times before leveling off.  There were a number of fatalities in Chicago due to a seiche in 1954.   Seven people lost their lives in a seiche here in SW Michigan on July 4, 2003.   Strong low pressure centers can create a “standing seiche”.  

There was also a seiche on Lake Superior on the same date.

 

In my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, seiches on the Great Lakes are explained.  The Dynamic Great Lakes shows interesting facts about the Great Lakes system, their fishes, invasive species, and encourages people to seek solutions to their problems.


Oil Spill Threatens Great Lakes  Click on the link for information about an aging oil pipline that is a threat to the freshwater Great Lakes.

 

satgl


Announcing the Asian Carp Doomsday Clock — a new way to convey the risk of these invaders storming the Great Lakes

Jeff Alexander has reported on Great Lakes matters for quite a few years.  He is an excellent journalist.


 

The Dynamic Great Lakes

When I think of the 500 year old white pines that used to be where I live, I feel a sadness. White pines were called white gold and used for the masts of ships, and in West Michigan, these trees rebuilt Chicago after the great fire.

When I think of the sturgeon that were killed and burned like cordwood because they fouled fishermen’s nets, I want to cry.

Glacial relics remain in the dunes and wetlands such as the arctic primrose. The names of flowers are lovely: grass pink, lady’s tresses, ramshead ladyslipper. The fragrances of these flowers are in my imagination. Very few are really found.   Few are found because dunes and wetlands have been leveled.

When Jaques Cartier reached the Great Lakes, his men had scurvy. The Native Americans taught the French how to get vitamin C by making arbor vitae tea. The tea was made by pouring hot water over the leaves of this tree. They learned of a natural pesticide from the aroma of white spruce.

Now harmful chemicals are found in the air, water and soil and this is really something to grieve. This was my motivation for writing The Dynamic Great Lakes. I care about the environment so much that I had to do something. This book shows what some people working on grassroots committees have been able to do. It is a hopeful book. It is a beginning. Without basic knowledge about the Great Lakes it is impossible to make the right decisions about them.

The book is updated and is available at bn.com and Amazon.com and also is available on Amazon’s Kindle for $9.95.