Category Archives: General News

Registration Now Open for MSU Extension Introduction to Lakes Online Course

The Michigan State University Extension Introduction to Lakes course is being offered online January 2018 and registration is now open!

This popular six-week course is offered in a convenient self-paced online format and is designed for anyone interested in lakes, including lakefront property owners, lake users, local government officials, lake managers, and educators. Over the last two years, 235 lake enthusiasts across Michigan and surrounding states participated in the class.

The online format allows you, from the comfort of your home or office, to have week-by-week, 24/7 access to six online units — complete with video lectures, activities, resources, discussion forums, quizzes, and Ask-an-Expert webinar sessions with Michigan State University Extension. Through this convenient format, you can increase your knowledge and understanding of lake ecology, lake and their watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management, and citizen involvement. The course schedule allows for regular online communication with classmates and course instructors.

  • The 2018 course runs January 23 – March 9. Ask-an-Expert webinars are scheduled from 12 to 1 p.m. February 7, February 21, and March 7, 2018.
  • The cost of the course is $115 per person.
  • Register by December 22, 2017 for an early bird discounted price of $95 per person. Registration ends January 16, 2018.

For more details about Introduction to Lakes and to register visit the MSU Extension Introduction to Lakes web page.

Fourteen Michigan Department of Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Recertification credits, 14 Michigan Department of Education State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH), and 6 Master Citizen Planner Education Credits are available for this course.

Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan State University are working on a project about the importance of our coastal dunes

Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan State University are working on a project about the importance of our coastal dunes.
As you probably know, Michigan has more miles of freshwater coastline than any other state in the US and the Great Lakes host the largest collection of freshwater sand dunes in the world.
There are approximately 275,000 acres of these coastal sand dunes in Michigan and they provide a range of ecological, cultural and economic value to the state and its coastal communities.

Most of the state’s dunes are comprised of wind-blown glacial sand and are located along Lakes Michigan and Superior.
They include diverse features such as hilly foredunes, forested backdunes, inter-dunal wetlands and sandy beaches.
Their beauty and rich diversity of plant and wildlife attract residents and millions of visitors to Michigan shorelines to live, work and play.
In doing so, they challenge us to weigh our enjoyment of the dunes against the need to protect them and to live in greater harmony with their dynamic, ever-changing nature.

Michigan State University is working with MEC to conduct a survey intended to gather information about the value and uses of Great Lakes coastal dunes.
To participate, please click here: Survey

Feel free to share this link with anyone else you know who might be interested!

Check out the October/November 2017 WMSRDC Newsletter

October/November 2017 WMSRDC Newsletter

The Muskegon Lake Resiliency Plan is Complete and Ready for Implementation

This subarea plan was developed to guide local governments in the adoption and implementation of climate adaptation and resiliency strategies along the Muskegon Lake shoreline. The plan outlines strategies and principles to be incorporated into future shoreline development and restoration work. While it is a stand-alone plan, it can be incorporated into future municipal master plan updates and broader plans, such as the Muskegon Lake Vision 2020 plan.

Each community that is included in this plan will find resiliency strategies and implementation items that will promote resiliency in the face of climate change for the protection of their local and regional natural and constructed resources. Some tasks require incorporation into grant funding cycles, capital improvement plans, zoning ordinance and other local regulations in a community. Others are behaviors that will benefit the Lake Muskegon watershed into the future.

Current Funding Opportunity
A current funding opportunity is available to implement coastal resiliency projects: http://www.coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant/.

Two categories are available: 1) Strengthening Coastal Communities; and 2) Habitat Restoration. The program requires a 2:1 federal/non-federal match. Proposals are due on March 15, 2017.

The Muskegon Lake Resiliency Plan is available here.

2016 WMSRDC Annual Report is Complete

The 2016 WMSRDC Annual Report is available here.

WMSRDC is a partner is the new habitat restoration to be completed under the new NOAA/Great Lakes Commission Regional Partnership

WMSRDC is a partner is the new habitat restoration to be completed under the new NOAA/Great Lakes Commission Regional Partnership

WMSRDC is currently designing the restoration of 53 acres of wetland on the Lower Muskegon River, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and a grant through the NOAA/Great Lakes Commission Regional Partnership.  The new funding is for construction of the project in 2017.  WMSRDC and project partners will restore wetlands, remove unnatural fill material, perform monitoring and reconnect the river to its former, natural floodplain.  For many years, this site was a celery farm owned and operated by the Bosma family.  It was recently purchased by Muskegon County under a NOAA acquisition grant. 

 

Below is the press release regarding the grant issued by the Great Lakes Commission.

For immediate release: August 10, 2016
Contact: Beth Wanamaker, beth@glc.org
Office: 734-971-9135; Cell: 248-787-3920

Great Lakes Commission awarded $7.9 million to restore Muskegon Lake as part of $40 million regional partnership

Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) announced today it has received $7.9 million to restore Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, as part of a new $40 million regional partnership the GLC is leading to clean up several Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The work funded will likely be the final habitat restoration project necessary for formal removal of Muskegon Lake from the list of Areas of Concern, the worst “toxic hotspots” in the region.
“We are proud to receive this recognition of our longstanding commitment to restoring toxic hotspots across the Great Lakes and excited to continue the work of restoring Muskegon Lake,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission. “This is the third regional partnership the Great Lakes Commission has been awarded since 2008, with over $70 million being directed to key sites across the basin. We look forward to continuing this critical work in collaboration with our federal and local partners.”

Funding for the Lower Muskegon River Hydrological Reconnection and Wetland Restoration Project is being provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to the GLC, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project will reconnect former wetlands with the Muskegon River and restore fish passage and habitat for a variety of native fish and wildlife. It is anticipated that restoration will involve the removal of three dikes (4,361 feet) composed of artificial fill, including broken concrete, soil and tree stumps. Local implementation will be led by the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission. The project is expected to increase tourism and enhance the Muskegon Lake fishery, which is estimated to contribute $1.3 million annually to the local economy.
“From fishing and boating to tourism and shipping, Michigan’s Great Lakes and waterways drive our economy,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is vital to protecting our precious water resources, and this funding will help restore critical habitat for fish and other wildlife and boost West Michigan’s economy with increased outdoor recreation opportunities.”
“Protecting our Great Lakes is so important to our way of life and our economy in Michigan,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “Today’s investment will help us continue the cleanup and restoration of Muskegon Lake while keeping our waterways and wildlife habitats safe.”

“Our way of life in West Michigan is forever linked to the careful preservation of the Great Lakes. Programs that invest in the economic and environmental health of these treasured resources, such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, are showing real and measureable results and are something I am proud to continue to fight for,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02). “With White Lake officially delisted as an area of concern, I am encouraged and delighted to see the Great Lakes Commission collaborating with NOAA, as well as, state and local partners to address the remaining areas of concern across the Great Lakes region, beginning with Muskegon Lake. Restoring these sites will enhance recreational activities, expand economic opportunity, and build a stronger and more environmentally sound Muskegon County. In order to successfully preserve and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem for future generations, we must have continued engagement from stakeholders at every level. I look forward to being part of that discussion, and part of the solution.”
Muskegon Lake was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1985 due to ecological problems caused by industrial discharges, shoreline alterations and the filling of open water and coastal wetlands. Since 1992, community groups, governmental and nongovernmental organizations have worked collaboratively to remediate contaminated sediments and to restore and protect fish and wildlife species and their habitats.

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MDEQ Clean Water Infrastructure Funding

Funding Opportunities
MDEQ Clean Water Infrastructure Funding
State Revolving Fund (SRF) and Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF)

The SRF and DWRF provide communities with low-interest loans for planning, design and construction of wastewater, nonpoint source pollution control and drinking water system projects.
Interest rates range between 2 to 3 percent
Project plans are due by May 1st (drinking water) or July 1st (wastewater and nonpoint source)
Note – Projects can include green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities.
www.michigan.gov/cleanwaterrevolvingfund
www.michigan.gov/drinkingwaterrevolvingfund

WMSRDC Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan

WMSRDC Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan