The protection of natural shorelines and their ecosystems is vital to the preservation of the watersheds and lake water quality in Michigan. Over the past two years, Long Lake Township has taken a major step forward in addressing a new threat to northern Michigan shorelines.

Read about the work to prevent dredging on Long Lake.

Update: January, 2018

The Traverse City Record-Eagle   December 31, 2017 page A08 -- Letter to the Editor

Natural buffers needed 

For more than 10 years I have led an urban stormwater walk for watershed students. The walk starts at Hull Park and continues to where the Ottaway (Boardman) River discharges into Grand Traverse Bay. Pointed out is the existing riparian tree cover and natural riparian vegetative buffering of the river. This is essential for water quality and must be greatly valued. For an urban waterway, this is unique.

At Hannah Park, I point out the created vegetative buffer made possible by a partnership of the city, the Watershed Center and the Grand Traverse Conservation District. Many dollars, time and effort was expended to heal a highly-degraded river bank. Ironically, across the river the trees, root systems and vegetation were removed, as well as the riverbank hardened with sheet pile — all to accommodate a “river walkway.” As the Downtown Development Authority moves forward with a design by Gourdie- Fraser, Inc. to continue the river walkway, it is essential that the existing vegetation be valued and actually must be enhanced with additional natural buffering.

Once an over-engineered river with sheet pile and concrete is created, the natural river is gone forever.

John A. Nelson, Grand Traverse Baykeeper, Emeritus Traverse City

NMEAC note: Nelson is also a long time member of the NMEAC Board.   

NMC's new water studies programs are energizing students and community understanding!

our view       Editorial, January 8, 2018   http://record-eagle.cnhi.newsmemory.com


"To students who have completed a relatively new program at Northwestern Michigan College and are receiving their bachelor’s degree and multiple job offers. The bachelor of science in marine technology degree was created two years ago to follow the associate degree in marine technology.

“We are essentially providing a continuation in the education to cover advanced skills to help make our students ready for project management and more technical work,” said Hans VanSumeren, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute director. “Because of this, our graduates, even before they graduate, are finding job offers within the field.”

Multiple students have accepted job offers to work on renewable ocean technologies, hydrographic surveys and mappings of lakes and oceans, creating bridges and more."


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