Special Events

2019 Great Lakes Conference

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2019 Great Lakes Conference

The Great Lakes:

Managing for Action

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Kellogg Center
East Lansing, MI

The 2019 Great Lakes Conference will highlight key issues in the Great Lakes, including a history of fisheries, Asian Carp prevention, wild rice uses, BMPs in the Lake Erie Basin, restoration efforts, and a virtual tour of Great Lakes wildlife.

The conference, part of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week at Michigan State University (MSU) is co-sponsored by MSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research; Michigan Sea Grant Extension, and the Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of  Natural Resources with support from the USGS Water Resources Research Program.

Registration Information

Cost: $15 (Free for Students)

Register through the conference website or call (517) 353-9222 for further information.

Learn about Michigan’s Lakes On-line from MSU Extension

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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 on-line 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.

Participants who complete the course will receive a free one year membership to the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations and 4 editions of the Michigan Riparian.

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.

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.

Registration Now Open for 2018 Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional Training and Certification Program Training

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MNSP+logo[1]The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership is pleased to offer the

2018 Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional (MCNSP) Training and Certification Program Training

Two days of classroom instruction and a one-day field exercise designed to equip professional landscape and marine contractors to design, implement and maintain natural shoreline landscapes on inland lakes.

► Classroom instruction includes topics on:

Michigan lakes and problems with shoreline development
Characteristics and benefits of natural shorelines
Shoreline ecosystems, soils and native plants
Methods, techniques and design of bio-engineered shoreline erosion control
Designing, monitoring and maintaining a natural shoreline landscape
Natural shoreline case studies
Water law and shoreline development permits

► One-day field exercise installing a natural shoreline landscape on an inland lake property (scheduled at a later date).

Certification: Completion of all two days of in-class instruction and one day of field exercise and successfully passing the certification exam is required. Certification is valid for three years. Re-certification requires the payment of a fee.

Benefits of becoming an MCNSP

  • Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional identifies you as having successfully completed this training in the use of “green” landscaping technologies and bio-engineered erosion control for the protection of Michigan inland lakes. MCNSP is approved by the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership and recognized by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • Your name and contact information will be posted on the MDEQ and Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership websites as having completed the Certified Natural Shoreline Professional training.
  • Participants in the class will also receive in-depth training on State of Michigan’s permit requirements and process for soft shoreline construction.

Training Course Dates/Locations:
CLASSROOM: East Lansing, MI – Mar. 6 & 7, 2018
EXAM/FIELD: Paw Paw, MI – June 13, 2018

To participate in the 2018 MCNSP training event, download an application by clicking here , or you may register on-line by clicking here

Join the Adventures in Collective Water Management Network on Friday, November 17th

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Join the Adventures in Collective Water Management Network on Friday, November 17
for an informative discussion about managing waste water and sewage in your community/watershed


This webinar is the 4th in a series of free, on-going support for riparians and local Government Officials following the ML&SA Annual Conference in April 2017.

On Friday, November 17, 2017, at 1:30 PM, The Adventures in Collective Water Management Network will be offering a forum to learn about local efforts for managing wastewater and sewage in your community/watershed. The emphasis will be on septic and sewer systems. This unique webinar format (you can log-in from anywhere via the internet) invites participants to contribute to the conversation. If you are inspired to help prevent future damage from wastewater and sewage in your local community, you will not want to miss this free online meeting. Space for the webinar is limited. Advance registration is required and can be found at . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registrations for the event will be accepted until  11:30 AM on Nov 17, 2017,  or until all available participant connections are taken.

Featured presenters on November 17 will be:

Marcy Hamilton, SWMPC, focusing on Septic System Ordinances and examples from the ML&SA Tool Kit web page

Chuck Olson, Omm Engineering, talking about regional sewer systems, especially in lake areas

Paul Sniadecki, ML&SA Board Director, will cover statutory requirements for municipalities to prevent sewage contamination in water, and the impact of the MI Supreme Court decision in the Worth Township matter

For more information contact: Monica Day, Extension Educator – Water Resources, Michigan State University Extension 517-768-2046 (office), 517-604-9500 (cell); or Paul J. Sniadecki, ML&SA Board Director, 269-329-8320


Exploring the Role of Local Units of Government in Lake and AIS Management Workshop

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ML&SA Annual Conference Workshop Follow-up

Presenters for the “Exploring the Critical Role of Local Units of Government in Lake and Aquatic Invasive Management” workshop that occurred during the 2017 Michigan Lake and Stream Associations annual conference continue to have bi-monthly “Zoom Meetings” with those who attended the original workshop, and any other interested persons.

The first learning and support session occurred on Friday, May 19, 2017, with many local government officials, riparians, and subject-matter experts participating from around the state using the Zoom Meeting internet connection. Participants explored the use of Overlay Districts as a planning and zoning approach to protect water resources. Also discussed during the session were success stories about interaction with agricultural stakeholders to enhance water quality efforts.

The next Zoom Meeting will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM.

The deadline to register for this session is 1:30 PM on Thursday, July 20.

To download and/or view the agenda for the session, click here

Here’s the link to find out more about this great learning opportunity and to register for the event:

Everyone is invited to participate. The session will focus on the question/issue:
“Is the management of aquatic invasive species (AIS) a controversial subject in your area?” The Zoom webinar will cover tips for moving forward despite differences of opinion between riparians and fishing enthusiasts, demystify the DEQ aquatic nuisance plant treatment permitting process, and showcase stories from the frontlines in local rule making for boat washing, and the deployment of boat wash facilities.

The information posted in the “Adventures” group continues to expand, and is relevant for riparians, environmentalists, and local government officials.

Note: The Great Lakes Clean Communities Network hosts documents related to the annual conference workshop, and the bi-monthly Zoom Meetings. There is no fee for registration, however, use of a high quality internet access connection is highly recommended.

For more information, contact Monica Day, Michigan State University Extension Water Resources Educator, at 517-768-2046 (office).

Investigating Lake Ecology at Independence Oaks County Parks

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With more than 1,400, Oakland County has more inland lakes than any other county in Michigan. Each lake has unique ecological properties which people influence by their activities on the land and in the water. In this hands-on workshop, participants will investigate lakes, common aquatic vegetation and their role in keeping lakes healthy, aquatic invasive species that threaten lakes, the effects of seasonal changes on lakes, as well as the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water. The workshop will be led by Michigan State University’s Dr. Lois Wolfson, Oakland County Park’s Melissa Nawrocki and Kegan Schildberg, and Michigan State University Extension’s Bindu Bhakta and Erick Elgin. Participants will have the opportunity to explore Independence Oaks County Park’s Crooked Lake via pontoon boat. Activities will also take place inside the Wint Nature Center, inside the Park.

Date, Place of the Event:

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Independence Oaks County Park in the Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston, Michigan 48348.

Workshop Agenda:

8:30- 9:00 AM           Registration/check-in, light refreshments, educational displays

9:00- 1:00 PM           Workshop

 Location Details:

 Workshop Objectives:

  • Investigate components of ecology and seasonal changes that can impact a lake ecosystem
  • Explore water chemistry and other physical/biological tests to gauge lake health
  • Explore aquatic life in the lake’s transition zone (area between land and water) that helps promote a healthy ecosystem
  • Collect and identify native aquatic plant species
  • Collect and identify aquatic invasive species, and how to prevent their spread

About the Instructors/Organizers:

This workshop is sponsored by Michigan State University Extension and Oakland County Parks.

Dr. Lois Wolfson is a senior specialist with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University. She also represents MSU Extension for the North Central Region Water Network. Her work focuses on educational and outreach programming in aquatic ecology, invasive species, and watershed management and in utilizing computerized information systems as tools for understanding water related issues. Dr. Wolfson teaches an upper level undergraduate field and laboratory course which offers experiential learning for students interested in lake and stream processes and biotic interactions, and is also an instructor for MSU Extension’s online Introduction to Lakes course. She received her masters of sciences degree in botany and doctoral degree in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University.

Erick Elgin is a Water Resources Educator for Michigan State University Extension. His job responsibilities include providing expertise in aquatic ecology to the state of Michigan and delivering educational programs that promote our understanding about water resources. Erick grew up on a small farm in Minnesota and went on to study water resources management and work with multiple habitat restoration companies and organizations. He has a master’s degree in aquatic ecology from the University of Calgary where he studied prairie pothole lakes in Alberta, Canada. He has extensive experience working with lakes, wetlands, and aquatic plants.

Melissa Nawrocki is the Recreation Program Supervisor and supports conservation education at Oakland County Parks. She also coordinates Parks’ citizen science programs and nature-based programs for the public.

Kegan Schildberg is the Natural Areas Stewardship Program Manager at Oakland County Parks, where he works on invasive species removal, prescribed burns, and habitat restoration. He also helps coordinate natural resource programs and events.

Bindu Bhakta is a Natural Resources Educator for Michigan State University Extension. She develops/delivers natural resources programs such as inland lake management, landscaping for water quality, and septic system education. She also helps coordinate the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, which gives individuals the tools they need to conduct conservation-oriented volunteer service in Southeast Michigan and across the state.

Pre-registration is required. Registration cost is $40/person on or before July 14, 2017. The cost is $50/person on or after July 15, 2017. Workshop registration fee includes park entry, light morning refreshments, and educational resources.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pesticide applicator recertification credits have been submitted for approval for this workshop.

Deadline to register is July 21, 2017. After this date, please call (248) 858-1639 to see if space is still available.

A $25/person cancellation fee will be assessed for those requesting a refund by July 21st. No refunds will be given after July 21st.

Register online:
If you are have trouble registering online, call (248) 858-1639.

Contact person(s), phone and email:

Workshop questions— Bindu Bhakta: (248) 858-5198 or

Registration questions— Cathy Morris: (248) 858-1639 or

For more information about MSU Extension Oakland County:

 For more information about Oakland County Parks:

 MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

MSU Extension to Offer Two Workshops on Shoreline Protection in the Upper Peninsula

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This July, MSU Extension will offer two workshops in the UP on Protecting Lake Shorelines: A Program for Lakefront Property Owners and Local Government Officials.

The MSU Extension workshop will teach lake property owners and local officials the benefits of maintaining shorelines in a natural state and teach about tools and resources for property owners to plan and protect natural shorelines. Additionally, local government officials will learn how to better accommodate lakes in plans and local regulations. Specific topics include Introduction to Shorelines; Planning, designing your natural shoreline project; Maintenance and Natural Shoreline Successes; Planning and Zoning for Natural Shorelines; Michigan Shoreline Rules and Regulations; and Michigan Shoreland Stewards Program. Participants will also enjoy a field component examining local natural shoreline projects.

Workshops will be taught by natural resource and public policy experts from MSU Extension. The workshop locations and dates are:

·         July 27, 2017 – Curtis, Portage Township Community Building, W17361 Davis St.

·         July 28, 2017 – Watersmeet, Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino, US Hwy 45

The workshops run from 9:30am to 5pm. The cost is $40 for individuals if registered on or before July 6 ($60 after), or $60 for a couple only receiving one set of materials ($80 after July 6). Registration includes snacks, lunch, and a copy of the MSU Extension bulletin Natural Shoreline Landscapes on Michigan’s Inland Lakes – a $25 resource. Early registration ends July 6, 2017, with late registration available through July 20.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer – so, PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD by forwarding this email, circulating the attached PDF flier, or posting the attached graphic on social media!               

For more information and to register, visit

This program is supported in part by the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission. Also, members of the Cisco Chain Riparian Owners Association or the Invasive Species Control Coalition of Watersmeet wishing to attend will be reimbursed the early registration price upon completion of the workshop.

Please send questions to Brad Neumann, Michigan State University Extension, 906-315-2661 or

Dessert with Discussion: Protecting Michigan Lakes and Rivers from Invasive Species

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Kellogg Biological Station – Auditorium
3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060


Doors open at 7:00 P. M.
Event runs from 7:30 to 8:30 P. M.

COST: Free event, however registration is required


Aquatic invasive species, such as the zebra mussel and the Eurasian water milfoil plant, have caused severe ecological and economic damage in Michigan. Impacts include declines in fish populations, degraded water quality, loss of recreational opportunities, and property damage. New invaders are discovered regularly, and can spread at an alarming rate across the state.

Dr. Jo Latimore, MSU Outreach Specialist in the Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, will discuss:

  • How are these invaders reaching our lakes and rivers
  • How we can prevent new invasions
  • What options exist for discovering and responding to invasions that have already occurred

Enjoy coffee, tea and delicious locally sourced desserts provided by the KBS Conference Center. A cash bar featuring house wines and Michigan craft beer available prior to the event.


Registration for Dessert with Discussion:
Protecting Michigan Lakes and Rivers from Invasive Species is now open.

Register for the event by

Clicking Here

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 10, 2017.



Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.


Contact Information

For information contact the KBS Community Relations office at or 269-671-2015.


4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz Scheduled for July 1 – July 9, 2017

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The Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Natural Resources (MDNR), and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are planning the 4th annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz outreach event for July 1 through July 9, 2017, as part of Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week and you’re invited to participate!

The Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through recreational boating and related activities. Local volunteer partners will deliver consistent messaging about preventing the introduction and spread of AIS from the movement of watercraft and equipment between water bodies at both public and private boating access sites throughout the state. Media involvement (press releases, local news stories, etc.) will also be used to create a larger impact.

More specifically, local partners such as lake associations, conservation districts, Cooperative Invasives Species Management Areas (CISMAs) and others will be empowered to meet with boaters during the event period to deliver messaging that includes:

  • Clean, Drain, Dry” and “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!”
  • Clean Boats Clean Waters program awareness and principles
  • Boat washing & equipment decontamination procedures (with and without a mobile or permanent wash station)
  • Reporting protocols for watch list species and others
  • Awareness of specific regulations (Part 413 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act PA 451 or 1994, Fisheries Order 245 Fish Disease Control, etc.)
  • Proper bait disposal

We’re inviting you and/or your organization to partner with us to host a Landing Blitz at a boating access site in your local area on at least one day during the event period (July 1 – July 9). We will provide talking points, information for press releases, and host an informational teleconference call in the weeks prior to the event for all interested participants.  Additionally, we will provide a limited quantity of “Clean, Drain, Dry” branded outreach materials (water bottles, microfiber towels, can coozies, key chains, etc.) to the first 50 locations/organizations to sign up for the event (see below). Registration as a location host is open until May 31, 2017.

As a participant, you’ll need to commit to hosting the event at a local boating access site on the date/s and time of your choosing within the event period and provide at least a couple volunteers to interact with boaters and deliver messaging during the event.  You can view a brief video recap here from a previous event.

With your help, the AIS Landing Blitz will encourage recreational boaters to take action to prevent AIS and help raise awareness for this important issue in Michigan.

Please contact Kevin Walters of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Water Resources Division to officially sign-up for the event and be kept in the information loop as we move forward. Kevin can be reached at 517.284.5473 or by emailing