Join the Discussion on Facebook!

December 18, 2019 09:59

Are you looking for a way to network with other lakes around Michigan? Join us for discussion on Facebook, we now have a MLSA member group! Follow the link: Michigan Lakes and Streams Members, click + Join Group, answer the membership questions, and standby for approval. See you there!

MLSA Sponsors Lake Research Student Grants Program

December 18, 2019 09:53

MLSA and the Michigan Chapter North American Lake Management Society (McNALMS) are pleased to announce the 2020 Lake Research Student Grants Program. The purpose of the program is to promote student efforts to work on inland lakes and/or with lake communities to enhance inland lake management. Projects that increase the understanding of lake ecology, have applicability to Michigan lakes, strengthen collaborative lake management, address inland lakes fisheries, build lake partnerships and/or expand citizen involvement in lake management are eligible for consideration. This year, McNALMS and MLSA expect to fund two or more projects from a total pool of $4,000. Proposals may be part of a larger project. Proposals will be funded for one calendar year.

Examples of previously funded projects include:

  • A study on littoral zone restoration and nutrient enrichment source impacts on macrophyte and epiphytic algal communities
  • Exploring drivers of cyanobacterial blooms with time-series observations, biogeochemical modeling, and in situ experimentation in a model Great Lakes estuary
  • An analysis of phosphorus loading and the ecological impacts from agricultural tile drains in a west Michigan watershed
  • A study looking at social, cultural, and economic factors underlying lakeshore property owners’ willingness to conserve natural aquatic habitat on their properties.

Applicants must be either University/College graduate student(s) conducting applied research/outreach projects; University/College undergraduate student(s) working on special studies projects; and/or Students enrolled in the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute, Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, or similar Watershed Academy.

If you know a student who might be interested in applying for funding, please pass this information on to them. Deadline for submission is February 21, 2020. Announcement of recipients will be made by the end of March 2020.

Results are in – 2019 EAPW

December 18, 2019 09:51

by Paul J Sniadecki, Board Director

Results are in! Dr. Jo Latimore, MSU, announced that volunteers in Michigan’s Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch (EAPW) searched 38 Michigan lakes this summer. The “terrible trio” of Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and starry stonewort were found in 19 lakes. The good news is that the citizen monitors discovered no new European frog-bit infestations/contaminations. EAPW is part of the MiCorps/Cooperative Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP), and the EAPW parameter has been measured since 2007.

Michigan’s Specialty Fund Raising License Plate – Water Quality, provides some funding for the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch program.

For decades, Michigan has prepared a State Management Plan (SMP) for Invasive Species and a “Watch List” for Invasive Species not yet found in Michigan. On the Michigan Watch List are: Parrot Feather, European Frog-bit, Yellow Floating Heart, Water Hyacinth, European Water Clover, Water Lettuce, Water Chestnut, Hydrilla, Water Soldier, and Brazilian Elodea. Participants in the EAPW program are positioned to realize early detection of any watch list plants that might have contaminated/infested their lake.

Get Involved with Your CISMA

December 18, 2019 09:46

by Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) coordinators from all corners of both peninsulas gathered together this week in Gaylord, Michigan. While the snow fell outside, coordinators, steering committee members, and officials spent two days working together to better serve the state of Michigan’s invasive species needs.

The daily work completed by the CISMAs to help educate people about invasives and to control species in their areas is all funded by grant money. The coordinators shared their plans for the most effective projects and the best grant programs to tackle the high priority species in their areas. CISMAs survey and treat for invasive species, assist landowners in treatment with cost sharing programs and equipment rental, and educate the public in their areas about invasive species spreading through their area and how they can stop transmission.

Each CISMA operates in a way that is unique to the area, so contact your local coordinator to see what is going on in your county. You may be able to get involved with your CISMA by joining the steering committee or utilizing their educational programs, click on the link below for more detailed contact information.

Seeing Spots?

December 18, 2019 09:43

by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

If you are a human being, ”seeing spots” before your eyes is many times a sign that you might need prompt medical attention. If you want to protect Michigan waters from further Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) contamination and infestation then “seeing spots” is desirable.

During the summer of 2019, boaters in Illinois began “seeing spots” that provided them time and space to Inspect, Remove, Drain, and Dry their watercraft after being on the water. Illinois has a state law similar to the Michigan’s law to inspect and drain that became effective on March 21, 2019.

Illinois’s Waukegan Harbor and North Point Marina are leaders in the state’s Transport Zero effort, signs direct boaters to a dedicated area with detailed diagrams and information on how to follow the law. This dedicated “spot” and performance aids make it easy for boaters to comply with the law.

This practice is consistent with human behavior research studies that say if you want to humans to behave in a certain way, then make it easy for humans to be good.

So, what about Michigan’s boating access sites? Has anyone observed dedicated “spots” being created for the required Inspect/Drain/Clean of watercraft? Given Michigan’s vast water resources and the known scope of existing AIS contamination, should responsible leaders include “spots” to assist watercraft users to comply with the new law? Since Illinois access sites have boaters “seeing spots”, it should be easy for Michigan access sites to have their own “spots.”

CLMP/MiCORPS Funding is Still Possible

November 21, 2019 13:58

Attendees at the 15th Annual MiCORPS Conference report that NO end of the CLMP/VSMP program was announced on November 19, 2019. If the future of the valuable program, was “hopeless” then the conference would have most likely explained how any “shutdown” would be handled. In fact, our Riparian Reporter on location indicated attendees were enthusiastic and all were making plans to monitor lakes and streams in 2020.

MLSA is encouraged that funding for the second longest Citizen Scientist/Volunteer Monitoring Program in the USA remains a possibility in 2020. Nothing “official” about 2020 funding has been announced, so we all must wait and hope for a positive development.


Stay tuned to this MLSA eNEWSLETTER for the latest about CLMP and all things Riparian. MLSA remains the voice and action leader for all matters involving Michigan’s Lakes and Streams. To share your thoughts, or for more info, contact us at

Submitted by: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

EGLE to ease permitting process for sandbags as temporary measure against shoreline erosion

November 21, 2019 13:56

Nick Assendelft, EGLE Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135



The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today announced a new Minor Project category that will make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get a permit for the temporary use of sandbags as immediate stabilization measures to protect homes and other critical infrastructure.

The Minor Project category will provide for faster permit processing for homeowners and a reduced permit fee of $100. Under the new category, a public notice will not be necessary for stabilization projects meeting review requirements.

EGLE emphasizes that sandbags are not a permanent solution to erosion problems and the bags eventually must be removed. Property owners should work with a contractor to design a more permanent solution, such as boulders, riprap, or even moving homes and other infrastructure farther inland.

Property owners who seek to take measures to protect their property from record high water levels still need to file a permit application through EGLE’s MiWaters portal. EGLE is expediting permits where there is a risk to structures, human health, and safety. In many cases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also needs to review the permit application, which is filed jointly through MiWaters.

Since Oct. 1, EGLE has issued more than 100 shoreline protection permits across the state. Of these, 60 percent were issued within three days of receiving a completed application. Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, EGLE issued 730 permits for Great Lakes projects, some of which were non-emergencies. Fifty percent of the 730 permits were issued within 30 days of receiving an application and 21 percent were issued within 10 days.

In October, EGLE announced it would expedite permit applications to protect homes or structures that are in danger due to record high water levels. Permits can be approved within days of a completed application being filed, when under normal circumstances the process takes 60-90 days. The shoreline permitting process ensures a balance between protecting property and freshwater dunes and shorelines.

EGLE has made a number of resources available for shoreline property owners:

  • A new website – – where property owners can search for the latest information, find links to helpful topics, begin the permitting process, and search a list of contractors.
  • Added staffing to take calls through the Environmental Assistance Center — 800-662-9278 –between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and answer inquiries at
  • Increased overtime for field staff to quickly process shoreline permits.
  • A webinar that explains the reasons behind high waters and shoreline erosion, and EGLE’s rule and permit changes.
  • Go to to begin the permitting process and find related links.

Update from the 2018 Memorial Scholarship Recipient

November 21, 2019 13:53

Congratulations to Paige Kleindl on the defense of her thesis project titled, “Shoreline Restoration and Source of Nutrient Enrichment Impacts on Macrophyte and Epiphytic Algal Communities.” Paige was MLSA’s student recipient of the 2018 Megan E. Cook Memorial Scholarship which was awarded at MLSA’s 57th Annual Conference. Her project involved monitoring Muskegon Lake. Paige says, “The historical industrial development, past environmental degradation, and designation as a Great Lakes Area of Concern prompted shoreline restoration and subsequent socio-economic and environmental monitoring. For my thesis research, I continued macrophyte [aquatic plant] monitoring in July 2018 at two of the restored habitats and one reference habitat. Monitoring included measurement of: macrophyte biological variables (e.g., density, biomass, and richness); shoreline habitat characteristics (slope and exposure to wind and wave action); and other environmental variables (e.g., water level, precipitation, and air temperature).” She was able to find that “habitat quality improvement at the restored habitats from 2012 to 2018, based on Michigan’s Coefficient of Conservatism values, suggested restoration has positively influenced shoreline macrophyte communities.” Paige’s study shows that shoreline restoration improves habitat for native aquatic plants that contribute to diversity and health of lakes like Muskegon. For Paige Kleindl’s full summary please visit this link:

Part 2 – Middle School Students Use Zebra Mussels to Measure Microplastic Pollution in Lakes

November 21, 2019 13:52

by Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The October MLSA eNewsletter carried Part 1 of the news about Quinn Hughes and Tyler Clair, both seventh-graders at Minnetonka, MN – Middle School West, and their science project titled “Microplastics in Our Water; a Study of Minnesota Lakes indicated by Dreissena polymorpha (Zeba Mussels)”

The students conceived the idea to study microplastics concentrations for inland lakes after watching a documentary about microplastics in Lake Superior. They then contacted a Loyola University professor who taught them how to measure microplastics in a lake by taking samples of zebra mussels and dissolving the mussels in a potassium hydroxide solution, which leaves any microplastics intact and floating at the surface of the solution.

Many of our newsletter readers accessed the entire science project paper by following this link to the report on our website:

Follow-up contact with the students found the material cost of study was fairly low. The sample containers, test tubes, chemicals, etc. came to less than $100 in total for the 4 lakes involved. A hemocytometer (a slide device used in blood count tests) was required and the cost of one is in the range of $100-$150, and would be a ”one-time” expense since it is not a “consumable.” MLSA also learned each sample could be analyzed in a few moments with none taking more than 5 minutes to review. They also stated that after all of the biological tissue had dissolved the remaining solids were reviewed and classified as plastic or not which most were easily identified as plastic.

If any lake, or collaboration of lakes, undertakes a study of microplastic concentrations in their lake(s) in 2020, please share your data with MLSA. We will share your information if you grant permission. The impact of microplastics in our environment and food is being studied by many scientists worldwide. One thing for sure is they agree it is “Not Normal” for such plastics to be in the environment and knowing what the concentrations are is worth researching.

Lake and Stream Leaders Institute

November 21, 2019 13:51

By Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

In what made for a wonderful experience, MLSA President, Mike Gallagher, and I were able to attend the graduation for this program and meet the 19 individuals who participated in this year’s LSLI. These are people dedicated to the lakes and streams of Michigan who spent the better part of the year learning and working on projects to improve our waterways. MLSA believes in this program; we provide financial and volunteer assistance because this type of program gets to the heart of our organization. The participants presented their culminating projects for us and we were able to share in the excitement of their accomplishments. There was a wide variety of projects dealing with educational activities for children, applied initiatives for property improvement, and lake association education, just to name a few. Each participant has already contributed so much to the quality of Michigan’s lakes and streams; we are proud of what they have done and look forward to what they accomplish in the future!

Participants and their projects:

  • Elizabeth Christiansen – Invading Our Classrooms: Reducing Aquatic Invasive Species Use in Education
  • Terry Dugan – The Six Commandments for Lake Residents
  • Ryan Eisley – Best Lake Life Practices
  • Ian FitzGerald – Watershed and Future Conservationists
  • Madeleine Gorman – Benefits of Using Nature-based Solutions to Manage Flooding on Michigan’s Coast
  • Karla Hammond – Salmon in the Classroom
  • Benjamin Jordan – Water Quality and Habitat Improvement at the Coopersville Public Schools
  • Gregory Kindig – Lakeshore Management on Wildwood Lake
  • Janee Kronk – Varsity Day Camp Natural Shoreline Demonstration Project
  • Jacklyn Lenten – Stream Monitoring on the Whetstone Brook in Marquette
  • Rachel Mackson – For the Good of the Lake: Preserving Lake Ecology and Bringing Communities Together
  • Stewart McFerran – Study of Aquatic Plants of Bronson Lake
  • Kate Mehuron – Let’s Protect Letts Creek
  • Caroline Moellering – LTBB Boat Wash Project
  • Erin Parker – Algae Academy
  • Shane Preston – Fish Stocking at Thompson Lake in Howell
  • David Putt – Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring in Northern Macomb and Oakland Counties
  • Sharon Stone – Phasing in Natural Shorelines for Wetland Protection
  • Alex Svoboda – MDARD Well Water Screening Program

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