Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
The State of Lake Michigan 2017 Conference took place in Green Bay, WI November
7-10.2017. LWV-Lake Michigan Region's Annual Meeting was part of the conference that
promotes linkages between science and policy communities. I served as the LWV-OPRF
delegate and Sarah Shirk served as the Illinois representative at the Annual Meeting. If you
have a passion for the Great Lakes and want to serve on the LWV-LMR Board, please contact
or visit the website at www.LWVLMR.org.
Sarah and I attended several workshops presented by the International Association for Great
Lakes Research (IAGLR). Here are a few highlights of the workshops.
* Barrier Islands are being created by the dredge material (mostly sand) in the lower
Green Bay waters. These islands will be nature habitats for birds and native vegetation.
* Coastal wetlands are being restored by removing invasive species and planting wild rice,
native celery, and other native vegetation. (Hand seeding)
* Researchers are trying to eliminate cyanobacterial blooms (algae). Cyanotoxins can be
1000X above the EPA standard. Green water - stay out!
* Researchers are studying Dune erosion caused by waves, currents, and lake levels and
how they can slow the damage. Did you know that Baby's Breath is an invasive species
covering many areas of the Dunes?
* Fun topic- E Coli at the Chicago Beaches. The beaches are divided into five clusters that
can rapidly be tested for safe swimming.
* Are you concerned with mercury levels in your fish? Although this workshop addressed
women of childbearing age and children, I feel we should all be aware of our
fish/mercury consumption. It takes six months to flush mercury from your bloodstream.
Go to the web site www.fda.gov/fishadvice for a chart of safe fish to eat.
* Dan Egan author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes was interviewed during our
luncheon. Read news about the Great Lakes on Dan's website.
Nancy Utesch from Kewaunee CARES was our presenter at the LWV Lake Michigan Region
Annual Meeting, "Manure - Nutrient or Pollutant?". She addressed the high contamination rate of
tested wells and CAFO's - concentrated animal feeding operations (farms with 1000+cows) that
impact her community. They are petitioning the EPA and Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) to take action to comply with the Clean Water Act and provide clean drinking
water to those with unsafe wells.
There are many challenges ahead to keep our waters safe and clean, our food web healthy, our
beaches and animal habitats protected and thriving.
Looking forward to seeing you at our Wednesday, December 6, Holiday Social.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season!