Monday, February 20, 2017

Grand Haven Pier Watercolor

My watercolor of the pier in Grand Haven.  The tree is not there any more but the rip rap is.  Jumping off the pier is dangerous.  Walking the pier is dangerous on days when the waves are high.  People have been washed off the pier when an unexpected rogue wave hits them.  Today is warm for February and many people are enjoying a walk on the pier with no high waves.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ice Retreating on the Grand Haven Beach 2/16/2017

A sunny day to walk the beach and admire the ice formations that are beginning to retreat.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Niagara Falls

The waters of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie take a plunge over Niagara Falls.  The water falls into Lake Ontario and then finds its way out to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence River.

Read more about the Great Lakes system in The Dynamic Great Lakes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lake Michigan Ice

If you go to, you will find that you can look inside of the book.  For more information about ice and the Great Lakes, their biota, their changes both natural and man made, The Dynamic Great Lakes is the book for you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Office of Great Lakes

Written by Caitlin Cox
Patricia Birkholz was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Office of Great Lakes. She tells Kirk Heinze about the steps the office is taking to preserve the Great Lakes.
Housed in the Department of Environmental Quality, “The office deals with all things Great Lakes,” says Birkholz, “They contain twenty percent of the world’s fresh water.”
The Office of the Great Lakes deals with several issues including: the Great Lakes Commission, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Asian Carp groupgreat lakes restoration money and coastal zone management.
“The Great Lakes are a great ecosystem,” says Birkholz, “The Great Lakes are important because of their interconnection with our rivers, wetlands and they’re very important to our economy.  Governor Snyder believes our natural resources can play a key role in revitalizing Michigan’s economy.”
Well-known challenges the department faces are the battle with invasive species such as Asian Carp and the request for diversion from surrounding states, which Birkholz says is, “something that our office takes seriously.”
The Office of the Great Lakes is pushing for permanent separation between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.  The current barriers are good and help but are small and incremental.
Also challenging the department is the issue of water diversion, which, Birkholz says is about,  “Making sure that we look at the amount of water other states take and is it truly a rate that they need. Also, how much will be returned to the basin and are they providing conservation measures.”
The Office of Great Lakes exists primarily for the restoration and preservation of the ecosystem.  But Birkholz adds that we can all be better stewards of our Great Lakes by being more aware in our daily lives.
“My tip for everyone is to wash off all equipment when you’re transferring your belongings from one body of water to another. Invasive species attach themselves to anything whether it’s the side of a boat or children’s beach toys,” says Birkholz
“I get chills when I think about how beautiful the Great Lakes are and how important it is to preserve them for future generations.”
Click here to hear Birkholz's Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Kirk Heinze.  Greening of the Great Lakes airs Sunday evenings at 9 on News/Talk 760 WJR and Friday evenings at 7 on MSU's Impact Radio.
Please "like" Greening of the Great Lakes on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.

By Superior Telegram
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is pleased the United States Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.
WIIN includes many provisions that are critically important to the Great Lakes. It includes authorization of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years at $300 million per year, provides support for shipping, addresses the algal bloom problem, allocates funding to solve the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., and strengthens programs to improve fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes.
"The passage of this law is critically important to the future of the tremendous freshwater resource we share between Canada and the United States and to our communities, and ensures that the momentum developed over the past five years in protecting and restoring the resource will be maintained," Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, current vice chairman of the Cities Initiative.
"Many of our member cities have received funding under GLRI, which has allowed them to complete restoration projects that otherwise would not have been possible," said David Ullrich, Cities Initiative executive director. "These projects contribute to the economic well- being and quality of life in our communities, and make them more attractive for locating a new business and as a destination for visitors."
The actions by this Congress and the president are essential to the future of many programs that are important to the Great Lakes, and it will be important for the next Congress to fund these programs at levels that will ensure their success.
The legislation includes the following Great Lakes provisions:
* Authorizes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a successful and popular program that is helping states and local communities clean up degraded toxic hotspots, restore habitat for fish and wildlife, thwart Asian carp and other invasive species, and prevent polluted runoff across the eight-state Great Lakes region.
* Makes permanent the allocation of priority funds from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for the Great Lakes Navigation System, sets a minimum appropriations level from the fund and requires the Army Corps of Engineers to complete guidance on managing the Great Lakes as a single, comprehensive navigation system.
* Establishes a Great Lakes Harmful Algal Bloom coordinator to work with federal, state and local agencies to coordinate actions to address harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.
* Includes a variety of provisions that respond to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., and support the work of states and local communities to repair, upgrade and monitor water infrastructure.
* Reauthorizes and strengthens the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act and the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program, which support fish and wildlife restoration, conservation and management projects in the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of 127 mayors representing over 17 million people, that works to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. For more information, go to