Contributed by Scott Brown
ML&SA Executive Director
I know I don’t need to remind you or the other members of your association how profoundly valuable our “inland seas” – our lakes, big or small, are to the Great Lakes region and to our state in particular. These fragile bodies of water, not yet even fifteen thousand years old, continue to attract hundreds of thousands of people to Michigan in search of fun and relaxation. The investment you made in your lake front home and/or property turned out to be a wise one!
Yet, while our lakes continue to serve generation after generation, offering both outstanding recreational and economic opportunities for our citizens, the fact is, we have given little or nothing back to sustain or maintain the health of these living and ever evolving freshwater basins we know as lakes. Rapidly expanding development on and around our lakes as well as over use and aquatic invasive species threaten to degrade the water quality and the aquatic ecosystems of these priceless freshwater gems. Is the fishing in your lake as good as it was forty years ago – with few exceptions, the “old timers” will tell you that it is not.
I’m convinced the best way to ensure that our lakes remain healthy and viable for future generations as well as to protect the substantial investment you’ve made in lake front property is to join the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations – an organization totally dedicated to preserving and protecting our lakes and streams as well watching out for your rights as a lake or stream front property owner.
With the active support of you and your association members, our organization will continue to educate and train state and local government officials on issues that directly impact you and your lake, we’ll continue to work with our partners – the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan State University Extension, the Great Lakes Commission and the Huron River Watershed Council in administering the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program – one of the best all volunteer water quality monitoring efforts in the country. And, with your support, the Michigan Lakes and Streams Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring the future of Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, will continue to publish one of the nation’s finest magazines dedicated to covering subjects and issues of interest to Michigan lakefront property owners – The Michigan Riparian.
I won’t mince words at this point – the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations needs you and your association to join us in helping to give back -to preserve, to protect and to save our lakes and streams for future generations. We need your active participation in projects that benefit your lake, and quite frankly, without the financial support gleaned through your annual association dues, we would be unable to continue to actively support the education, training, and lake monitoring programs that are so critical to preserving our inland lakes and the riparian rights we all enjoy in Michigan.