News and Events

Series of Clean Marina Program Videos Now Available

Michigan Sea Grant News Release Graphic

ANN ARBOR — Curious about boat bottom washing in the Great Lakes region? Want to explore best management practices marinas can follow to keep Great Lakes waters clean? Three new videos exploring different aspects of being a Certified Clean Marina are now available.

“This video series highlights best practices from marina owners and operators in the region, including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin,” said Elizabeth LaPorte, co-principal investigator and project manager. “This is a great way to communicate what marinas are doing to help protect our waterways.”

The videos are now available through the Clean Marina Classroom, on the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network website and via YouTube and are summarized below.

Great Lakes Clean Marina Program Overview: The Benefits of Clean Marinas and Clean Boating
This video provides an overview of Clean Marina programs throughout the Great Lakes, reasons new marinas may consider participating and what boaters can expect at a Clean Marina.
http://youtu.be/aUuuMPAYP10

Keeping it Clean: Best Practices for Certified Clean Marinas
How can you help keep the Great Lakes clean? This video provides an overview of Best Management Practices (BMPs) marina operators and boaters can employ to keep contaminants out of the lakes.
http://youtu.be/HCPO4AKnH3A

Marinas and Boat Bottom Washing Best Practices
This video features an overview of boat bottom washing techniques from around the Great Lakes. Marina experts also discuss why it’s important to keep boat bottom wash contained and some of the systems they use to do so.
http://youtu.be/6dy7AOzSWFw

Michigan Sea Grant developed the videos on behalf of the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supported the development of these videos (EPA-R5-GL2011-1).

Contact: Stephanie Ariganello, (745) 615-0400 or stephaa@umich.edu

This entry was posted in News.

Free Webinar for Marinas and Harbors

Event Date: 11/17/2014

Facing an Uncertain Future: Increasing Resilience at Marinas and Harbors

Because the Great Lakes are important to you and your business, you are invited to learn more about current issues marinas and harbors are facing — and how to deal with them. Join us for an online workshop to discuss fluctuating water levels, increased storm water volumes and how to make your facility more resilient.

What: Michigan Sea Grant-hosted Marinas and Harbors Webinar — open and free to any marina, small harbor, boatyard operator or stakeholder.

Why Attend? Because this webinar offers a free opportunity to learn more about increasing resilience and how to prepare for the future — plus how your peers are addressing changes at their marinas.

When:
10 – 11:15 a.m. (EST) on Monday, Nov. 17

Cost: Free, but registration is requested.

Agenda:

  • Climate Trends
  • Lows, Runoff and Rebound in 2013/14: Great Lakes Levels Update
  • Best Practices to Increase Resilience to Changing Environmental Conditions (infrastructure, dredging, planning)
  • Peer-to-Peer Discussion

If you have any questions, contact Amy Samples at asamples@umich.edu.

CLICK HERE to register

MBIA Recreational Boating Education Conference (RBEC)

Event Date: 12/10/2014
End Date: 12/11/2014

Michigan Sea Grant will lead several discussions during the annual Recreational Boating Education Conference (RBEC), hosted by the Michigan Boating Industries Association. The conference is set for Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 10-11.

MSG representatives will discuss resilience with the Michigan Harbor Masters Association on Dec. 10 and with conference registrants on Dec. 11 in the Michigan Clean Marina Program: Preparing for an Uncertain Future session.

 

Session Details

The Michigan Clean Marina Program: Preparing for an Uncertain Future

The future is uncertain, but there are measures operators can take to prepare. This session will include exploration of opportunities to increase your operation’s resilience to a range of changing environmental conditions including fluctuating water levels and increased intensity and frequency of storms.

Learn about tools to assess your facility’s vulnerabilities and best practices to secure your infrastructure, work with local decision makers and implement adaptation efforts. The session will provide updates on key management issues, including stormwater management and climate trends, plus an overview of the Michigan Clean Marina Program and benefits of participation.

The Clean Marina Program supports Michigan’s marinas, harbors and boatyards in pursuing opportunities to improve environmental stewardship and share information with boaters to ensure our waterways are protected. State and federal partners will also be on hand to answer questions.

See:Conference Details

Fewer Fatalities Correspond with Cooler Temps in 2014

Michigan Sea Grant News Release Graphic

Contact: Stephanie Ariganello, Communications Coordinator, (734) 615-0400 or stephaa@umich.edu

Throughout the 2014 swim season, cool air and water temperatures across the Great Lakes region led to below-average numbers of current-related incidents. There were 6 fatalities and 12 rescues related to currents on the Great Lakes, which is below the 12-year average of 12 fatalities and 25 rescues per year.

As is typical, the majority of the 2014 incidents occurred along Lake Michigan. On average from 2002-2014, Lake Michigan had 25 incidents per year, while Lake Erie had 5 incidents per year, Lake Superior had 3 incidents and Huron and Ontario average 1 to 1.5 per year, respectively.

The data for 2014 has now been updated in the Great Lakes Current Incident Database, available at DangerousCurrents.org. The database was developed and is maintained by Michigan Sea Grant and National Weather Service (NWS). Megan Dodson, a NWS meteorologist, gathers the statistics for the database and provides yearly swim season assessments of conditions related to currents.

Dodson noted the cool weather influenced not just the below-average number of incidents, but where they happened too.

“A majority of the current-related incidents in 2014 occurred near river mouths, which is unusual when compared with past years,” she said. “The cooler air and water temperatures may have driven beachgoers to swim near river mouths and other outlets, where the water is much warmer. However, there are currents present that can be strong and vary depending on the flow of the outlet and the waves at the beach. While these currents are most dangerous during times of high waves, they can still be strong despite calmer lake conditions — as we saw during the 2014 swim season.”

Stay safer in the water by following this advice, based on data gathered over 12 years:

  1. Steer Clear of the Pier — Nearly 60 percent of fatalities and rescues in the Great Lakes database occur near breakwalls/piers. Structural currents are nearly always present near these features, even during low waves. In addition to the strong current, breaking waves can bounce off the structure, making swimming nearly impossible.
  2. Stay Dry When Waves are High — Nearly 85 percent of fatalities and rescues in the Great Lakes database occur when waves are 3 to 5 feet or greater. Waves on the Great Lakes are different from the ocean in that they approach the shoreline in rapid succession, making it difficult to swim. Additionally, strong rip currents are more likely once waves get above 3 feet. The combination of quickly approaching waves and strong currents create extremely dangerous conditions for swimmers.
  3. Don’t Swim In the Outlet — Nearly 40 percent of the 2014 incidents were outlet-current related, meaning the victim was pushed out into the lake by water flowing from a river mouth or similar outlet that emptied into the lake.

For more information, see:

 

More About the Great Lakes Current Incident Database

The Great Lakes Current Incident Database was developed by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) and Michigan Sea Grant in 2013. The NWS provides data about fatalities and rescues annually.

Incidents are included in the database only if a current was noted as a primary or partial cause of the incident. Verification that the incident is related to a current (as opposed to only high waves or a health problem) is attempted when the sole report of the incident is from a media article that does not contain direct quotes from law enforcement, beach officials or eyewitnesses.

Typically confirmation of the incident is obtained from contacting beach managers, park services, eyewitnesses, police officers, those rescued during the incident or rescuers involved with the incident, such as the U.S. Coast Guard or a local fire department. In cases where the victim was rescued and in good health, attempts are made to contact him or her for an interview. This method (or an interview with those in the water with the victim) is preferred so a detailed account of the incident is on record.

The purpose of the database is to learn the locations where dangerous currents form and to learn what weather and wave conditions lead to current development. Statistics from the database are used for education, research and raising public awareness of dangerous currents on the Great Lakes.

Click to Download: PDF Version of the News Release

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Dangerous Current Regional Outreach Project

Dangerous Current awareness is part of a state and regional effort led by Michigan Sea Grant in collaboration with the NOAA-National Weather Service, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Technological University, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and others. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone Management Program (MDEQ-CZM) and the NOAA Coastal Storms Program is supporting state and regional water safety efforts.

www.DangerousCurrents.org

 

Michigan Sea Grant

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through research, education and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, MSG is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 32 university-based programs around the country.

2015-16 Great Lakes Commission–Sea Grant Fellowship Deadline

Event Date: 2/27/2015

Are you the next Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellow? Apply by Feb. 27 to find out.

The Fellow will work with members of the Great Lakes’ science, policy and information/education communities to advance the environmental quality and sustainable development goals of the Great Lakes states. In so doing, the Fellow will contribute to and benefit from research coordination and policy analysis activities. The Fellow will be located at the Great Lakes Commission offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This will be the 16th year this fellowship has been sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network.

Who Should Apply

Eligible applicants include students who, at the time of application, are in a graduate or professional degree program in public policy, public health, natural resources, aquatic sciences or other related field at a U.S. accredited institution of higher education in the United States.

The Fellow will be assigned responsibilities in the area of science/policy research, analysis and inter-jurisdictional coordination. It is anticipated that the Fellow will work on one or more issues in depth, while also being exposed to a range of salient science, resource management and public policy issues. An emphasis will be placed on networking; the Fellow will participate in various activities and events, and interact with senior level officials at all levels of government. Interaction with the Knauss Sea Grant Fellows will occur as opportunities arise, and travel to Washington, D.C., will be arranged for an introduction to federal legislative, appropriations and policy processes.

Award

The Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant Fellowship award is $42,000 over a one-year period. Of this amount, $36,000 is provided to each Fellow for compensation. The remaining $6,000 will be used to cover health insurance for the Fellow and support fellowship-related travel. During the fellowship, the Great Lakes Commission may provide supplemental funds for work-related travel by the Fellow. The fellowship is managed by the Great Lakes Commission in consultation with the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO).

Timetable

  • Feb. 27, 2015 (6 p.m.): Application materials from each student are due to the state Sea Grant Director.
  • March 20, 2015: Nominees from Sea Grant Programs are due to the Great Lakes Commission.
  • April 3, 2015: The finalists are selected by the Great Lakes Commission and phone interviews scheduled.
  • April 24, 2015: Fellow selected by Great Lakes Commission-Sea Grant selection team.
  • June 1, 2015 (approximate): Start of the fellowship.

For more information

You can obtain more information from:

Ms. Christine Manninen, Communications Director
Great Lakes Commission
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
Phone: 734/971.9135 ext. 112
E-Mail: manninen@glc.org

Mr. Chris Hayes, Program Manager
National Sea Grant College Program
1315 East-West Highway
R/SG SSMC3, Rm. 11876
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301/734.1085
E-Mail: OAR.SG.Fellows@noaa.gov

Megan Dodson Receives 2014 Van Snider Award

Megan Dodson award winner 612px

Megan Dodson (right), meteorologist with the National Weather Service, was awarded the 2014 Van Snider Award by Elizabeth LaPorte (left).

Megan Dodson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, was awarded the 2014 Van Snider Award. Dodson is a leader in coastal hazards outreach and a great partner to Michigan Sea Grant. She is an inspiration to others with her water safety education efforts, participating in the Life of Lake Superior Youth Program and other community based committees. She has partnered with Michigan Sea Grant for many years on various dangerous current projects.

Currently, Megan is partnering with MSG on two dangerous currents projects:

  • In 2013, she helped with the agenda and presented at three full-day educational workshops to train park personnel about dangerous currents.
  • Megan, along with Michigan Sea Grant, developed a searchable Great Lakes Current Incident Database. Her ongoing research has determined that structural currents are a significant factor in fatalities in Michigan and the region. This has been a game changer for our outreach efforts.

Our Sea Grant team has come to rely not only on Megan’s expertise, but her enthusiasm for her work.

About the Award

Michigan Sea Grant established the Van Snider Award in 2010. Who is Van Snider? Snider is the former President of the Michigan Boating Industry Association and a long-time partner and friend of Michigan Sea Grant. Through his work, he has exemplified what it means to be a partner — he is considerate, willing to help, diplomatic and a great, all-around resource. The inaugural award was given to Snider and has been given out periodically to recognize individual partners who have gone above and beyond.

Seafood HACCP Training Course – Brimley, Mich.

Event Date: 12/9/2014
End Date: 12/11/2014

Commercial fish processors are encouraged to register for the next Seafood HACCP Certification course, coordinated by Michigan Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in Brimley, Michigan.

See Registration Materials:

The Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training course will be held December 9-11, 2014 at Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley. The training is coordinated by Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Fish processors are required to take this training if not currently certified.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) consists of identifying safety hazards, determining where they occur, monitoring these points and recording the results. HACCP involves day-to-day monitoring of critical control points by production employees. The Seafood HACCP regulation that is enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is based on the belief that commercial fish processors can understand the food safety hazards of their products and take reasonable steps to control them. Commercial fish processors are required either to obtain formal training for one or more of their own employees or to hire trained independent contractors to perform the HACCP functions.

The HACCP regulation also requires processors to keep extensive records of processing and sanitation at their facilities.

At times, questions arise as to whether someone needs training in Seafood HACCP. The Seafood HACCP regulation defines processing as handling, storing, preparing, heading, eviscerating, shucking, freezing, changing into different market forms, manufacturing, preserving, packing, labeling, dockside unloading or holding fish or fishery products. The regulation does not apply to the harvest or transport of fishery products. It also does not apply to practices such as heading, eviscerating or freezing intended solely to prepare a fish for holding on a harvest vessel. Retail establishments are also exempt from the Seafood HACCP regulation.

Fish processors who complete the course put themselves at a competitive advantage as they can then produce value-added products such as smoked fish. Those completing the course will receive a Seafood Alliance HACCP Certificate issued through the Association of Food and Drug Officials that is recognized by agencies regulating fish processors.

 

 

Michigan’s Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation Re-launch Announced

Livonia — The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF) Board of Directors is proud to announce a new direction for the foundation, which was established in 1986 by the Michigan Boating Industries Association. The group’s mission is to advance, promote and protect the recreational marine industry in Michigan.

“In our efforts to advance the industry through our Foundation, we have made a commitment to provide education and support to all of our members,” said RBIEF Director Jim Coburn.  “The new direction of RBIEF is expanded and will offer a wider scope of support and focuses on our members as a true member benefit.”

Specifically, RBIEF’s new purpose is to offer financial assistance through full or matching tuition or registration support for MBIA members, member’s employees, family and students for both industry education and college scholarships.

RBIEF is a highly successful and well-respected program that has offered tuition support for students interested in pursuing careers in the recreational boating industry, awarding more than $340,000 to deserving students in Michigan over its 30 years of existence.

RBIEF will offer full or partial funding assistance for MBIA members, employees, family and students to attend specific marine industry educational programs offered by local, statewide or national marine organizations such as MBIA’s Recreational Boating Educational Conference, ABYC’s Certification Workshops, NMMA American Boating Congress, manufacturer sponsored education, and MRAA’s Marine Dealer Conference and Expo.

RBIEF continues to be committed to sharing information about the many interesting and challenging jobs available within the boating industry. “All industries can benefit from bright young minds and the perspectives of our younger generations,” said Coburn. “We encourage everyone to learn more about Michigan’s $7.4 billion marine industry.”

The Michigan Boating Industries Association is a state-wide, non-profit organization representing more than 300 marine businesses in Michigan. The boating industry in Michigan represents a $7.4 billion economic impact in Michigan with more than 758 marinas, 460 marine dealers and more than 58,000 jobs.

For more information about RBIEF and the marine industry, visit MBIA’s website www.mbia.org.

Extinction is Forever… Science Cafe Featuring MSG Director

Event Date: 10/22/2014

What: October Science Café Featuring Michigan Sea Grant Director Jim Diana as a panelist.
When: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22
Where: Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub
Cost: Free
Who: Hosted by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Hunting, fishing, habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and toxic algae blooms — the Great Lakes area can be a dangerous place for rare species! In commemoration of the death of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon 100 years ago, the discussion will focus on the forces that cause extinction, and current efforts at conservation in and near the Great Lakes. 

How does what is going on locally relate to global biodiversity challenges? Join Sara Adlerstein-Gonzalez and Johann es Foufopoulos of the U-M School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE) and Jim Diana, Professor of SNRE and Director of Michigan Sea Grant, for a lively discussion of past errors, current efforts and future biodiversity.

Science Cafés provide an opportunity for audiences to discuss current science topics with experts in an informal setting.

2014 Thumb Tourism Workshop and Bus Tour

Event Date: 11/17/2014

Thumb tourism workshop and bus tour provides scientific information and hands-on visits to local destinations.

This regional workshop is aimed at enhancing knowledge and strengthening opportunities for stakeholders and destinations to benefit from sustainable tourism.

The interactive workshop is free and open to the public. It will provide valuable information including current tourism research data, a look at various niche markets and examples employable in communities to foster tourism development.

The bus tour will include stops in Gagetown, Port Austin, Port Hope, Harbor Beach and Bad Axe as well as tourism destination information for points in between and beyond. Tour participants will experience Thumb destinations such as historic sites, a winery, coastal assets and an internet café.

This workshop is intended for tourism professionals, community and economic development professionals, and other interested community members.

You are invited to participate! See: Registration

Brief Agenda:

  • 8:15am Registration/Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30am Understanding Tourism in Your Community Presentation
  • 10:00am Bus Tour Departs Library
  • 5:30 pm Return to Library

See: Tour Flier 2014