by Alisha Dahlstrom Davidson, Ph.D.
ML&SA Research & Development Coordinator
ML&SA distributed a survey in January to better understand what programs our members valued and what programs they would like to see. We heard back from about 30% of members – to those members, we give our sincere thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.
Survey respondents listed lake issue awareness and information (and in particular, information related to aquatic invasive species and riparian rights) as the biggest benefit of ML&SA membership. ML&SA will continue to focus on these issues: in addition to new articles on these issues in the Michigan Riparian magazine, information on both aquatic invasive species and riparian rights can be found on the website. Interest in lake awareness and information was followed by the networking potential at the conference and other events, as well as the Riparian magazine and the annual conference. In this vein, we’d like to let members know that the Michigan Riparian magazine just celebrated its 50th anniversary and the annual conference this year was the best attended yet, with 274 individuals from around the state discussing a variety of lake with issues and a focus on aquatic invasive species.
The survey also asked questions regarding the ML&SA website. Most members visited the website 1-4 times per year, with “An Attorney Writes”, conference/events, and Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program the most commonly-visited pages. Based on some of the member feedback, we have modified the website to make highly-requested topics easier to find (see below for example). Please check out the new look at www.mymlsa.org!
We also asked what programs members would like to see and received numerous ideas. In particular, many members were interested in aquatic invasive species (AIS) and their control and management. As such, ML&SA reviewed information related to the biological, physical and chemical control of AIS in order to provide a summary of treatment options. This guide also includes a list of businesses involved in AIS treatment and management in Michigan that members may want to consult when considering plant management. This guide can be found here.
Many of the suggestions for new programs, or requests for additional information, were related to topics or activities in which ML&SA is already involved. For example, some members requested additional information on conservation and best management practices for their lake. We have redesigned the website to better identify the resources related to these issues, for example, there are now direct links to information on “Michigan’s watersheds,” Michigan’s inland lakes,” and “Michigan’s streams and rivers.” You can also search for specific information (such “legislation” or “boating laws”) in the search bar in the upper right corner of the website.
We thank you for your continued membership in ML&SA – your membership provides the support for many of the projects ML&SA works on to improve inland lakes and streams around Michigan. Please contact ML&SA staff member Alisha Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.