News and Events

Fish Spawning Reef Planning Techniques

Event Date: 5/15/2017

To be held in conjunction with the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) 2017 conference

A number of factors, including construction of shipping channels, land use changes and dams, have degraded rocky fish spawning habitat or made it inaccessible to native, migratory fish. One method for compensating for spawning habitat losses is to construct fish spawning reefs, essentially beds of loose rock placed on the river bottom that provide adequate protection and flow through the rocks for egg incubation. Though simple in concept, reef projects need to be carefully sited and designed to avoid accumulating sediment, attract desired fish and support young fish through the critical early life stages.

This team- taught seminar will share techniques developed through eight reef projects established in the St. Clair and Detroit River System over the past fifteen years. Specific topics will include: site assessment and selection, hydrodynamics and sedimentation concerns, reef design and construction strategies and monitoring of early life stages of fish. In the afternoon, participants will have a choice of two activities, either testing out monitoring equipment on board a research vessel or discussing permitting, funding and team coordination issues with agency leaders. This interactive seminar is open to all types of restoration practitioners, including professional engineers, project managers, researchers and anyone hoping to champion, design or monitor a constructed spawning reef in Great Lakes nearshore areas, connecting channels or larger rivers. You do not need to register for IAGLR to participate in this seminar.

Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: IAGLR’s Great Lakes Research Conference, Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, Michigan
Continuing Education: Seminar participants will receive a certificate showing they completed 7 hours of continuing education suitable for professional license renewals.
Cost: $75 if registering prior to April 24; $85 if registering between April 24 and May 5, 2017
Final registration deadline: 5:00 p.m., May 5, 2017
Cancellation Fees: Registrants who cancel on or before April 24 will receive full refunds. Early registrants who cancel after April 24 and by May 5 will be charged a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after May 5.

For questions, contact:
Lynn Vaccaro
University of Michigan Water Center
(734) 763-0056

Competitive funding available from NOAA Sea Grant for aquaculture initiatives

NOAA Sea Grant welcomes proposals for two competitive opportunities to advance aquaculture research, address barriers to aquaculture, and expand aquaculture production. Up to $15 million is expected to be available over several years to support projects in two nationwide grant competitions. Learn more about the funding opportunities here or at

Individuals, public or private groups, and state or tribal agencies are welcome to apply through their local Sea Grant program. Interested parties in Michigan should contact Catherine Riseng, Michigan Sea Grant’s research program director, at to discuss the application process.

2017 Michigan Seafood Summit

Event Date: 5/16/2017

seafood summit logoCobo Center, Detroit, MI

The Seafood Summit highlights aquaculture, commercial fisheries, and local seafood in Michigan.

The 2017 summit will be held in conjunction with 60th Annual Conference of The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR). It will consist of two main sessions and a special Michigan seafood dinner prepared by acclaimed chefs from The Atheneum.

Did you miss last year’s summit? Sign up for updates so you don’t miss out this year.

This entry was posted in Events.

Kip Cronk begins Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator duties in the Saginaw Bay District


Kip Cronk, a long-time Bay City resident, has been hired as a Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator in the Saginaw Bay region. He began his new position on January 30, 2017, and works out of the Bay County Michigan State University Extension office.

Cronk fills the position held previously by Katy Hintzen, who left recently to join Hawaii Sea Grant. Cronk will continue to focus on working with coastal communities, students, teachers, and the public, as well as businesses in the Saginaw Bay region to apply science-based knowledge to address Great Lakes, Lake Huron, and Saginaw Bay issues.

“We are excited to have Kip joining Michigan Sea Grant and MSU Extension,” says Heather Triezenberg, Michigan Sea Grant Extension program leader. “Kip has a track record of working collaboratively with many partners and will bring that skill to the Saginaw Bay region. His experience as an environmental quality analyst will also allow him to offer his technical expertise to develop education programs to benefit the community and environment.”

“Kip will be an excellent addition to our team,” says Bill Taylor, Michigan Sea Grant’s associate director. “His training in environmental studies, Earth science, and secondary education, and his practical work experience with the state and nonprofit organizations in the Bay City area will help him deliver impactful Sea Grant Extension programming.”

Cronk, originally from Ann Arbor, spent a year in Alaska as an aquatic ecologist and education coordinator for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council before returning to Michigan. He joined the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Bay City as a field biologist and also served as an environmental quality analyst.

Most recently Cronk has been the coordinator for the Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, a group that promotes invasive species education and outreach, invasive species inventory and prevention, and invasive species management activities.

“I am super happy and excited to be joining this team,” Cronk says. “Michigan Sea Grant has a wonderful reputation as a partner who helps get things done. I’m looking forward to developing new programs and opportunities in the Saginaw Bay region. Having Michigan State University and University of Michigan as resources in my tool chest is a dream opportunity for me as an educator.”

Cronk received his bachelor degree from Eastern Michigan University in Earth Science and Secondary Education. He was lead Earth science teacher at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia. Cronk received his master’s degree in Environmental Studies and Resource Management and Administration from Antioch New England Graduate School.

“Kip brings a wide range of experience that will benefit the communities in the Saginaw Bay area,” says Dave Ivan, director of the MSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute. “We look forward to the new ideas and opportunities he will bring.”

In addition to his love of fishing, boating, swimming, and just generally being outdoors, Kip also enjoys gardening. He took a Master Gardener class through MSU Extension and loves using native plants in his garden. “Also, taking that class got me to try different varieties of vegetables as I was growing them,” he says.

“Conserving water for future generations is one of my personal goals,” Cronk says. “In ninth grade I had a science teacher who inspired me to want to be a teacher. I love to do the educational part. And that’s why this job is a dream job, dealing with education and outreach.”

Contact Kip at:

Michigan State University Extension
Michigan Sea Grant
Bay County Building
515 Center Ave., Suite G102
Bay City, 48708
(989) 895-4026 ext. 6

This entry was posted in News.

Quiet Water Symposium

Event Date: 3/4/2017


Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the 22nd Annual Quiet Water Symposium, which promotes non-motorized outdoor recreation.  Visit our Michigan Sea Grant booth and try your luck at winning a prize!

Last year’s Symposium featured over 200 exhibits, speakers and demonstrations. This year will feature presentations by noted travel writers, Jim DuFresne, Kevin Callan, Hap Wilson and the dean of outdoor writers, Cliff Jacobson.

Campers, hikers, cyclists, sailors, anglers, and of course paddle sport enthusiasts will all find something interesting at the symposium.

We hope to see you there!

When: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Where: Michigan State University Pavilion, 4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Cost: Adults $10.00, Students with I/D $5.00, under 12 free.

SCDRS Annual Meeting

Event Date: 3/2/2017

“Charting the Course for Action in the St. Clair-Detroit River System”

Thursday March 2, 2017

Weber’s Inn, Ann Arbor, Michigan

9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST, Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.

On behalf of the St. Clair – Detroit River System (SCDRS) Initiative Steering Committee, I would like to invite you to join us at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The week of January 30th, which will include a draft agenda, registration information, the briefing book form and instructions, hotel information, and other relevant materials for your consideration and review before the Annual Meeting.

Agenda topics include:

  • Steering, Science & Monitoring, and Communications Committee updates
  • Priority Objectives, Indicators Status Update & Discussion on Fisheries, Habitat, AIS, Areas of Concern, Contaminants, and Nutrients

We are hoping to have participation from a variety of organizations and interests working in the SCDRS to continue to help inform our collective path moving forward. Registration will be limited to 50 attendees, so please plan to register early.

If your organization is interested in being a sponsor of the workshop, please contact Mary Bohling at

For more information on the SCDRS Initiative, see the website at:

Contact: Michelle Selzer
SCDRS Initiative Communications Subcommittee
Lake Erie Coordinator
Michigan Office of the Great Lakes
(517) 284-5050


Birding Trails Workshop

Event Date: 2/24/2017

Michigan Audubon and Sea Grant Michigan Host Birding Trails Workshop

Friday, February 24, 2017

9:30 AM-3:00 PM

Location: Boardman River Nature Center, Traverse City, MI

Communities across Michigan are recognizing birding as an economic driver. The US Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that wildlife-watching generates a billion dollars of economic activity in Michigan every year. Michigan’s grassroots-driven birding trails are a demonstration of the commitment of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, and agencies to preserving natural resources and promoting bird appreciation and protection. Birding trails offer birders, naturalists, and general eco-tourists opportunities to explore diverse habitats across Michigan. Birding trails are typically driving routes linking prime birding locations.

The growth of birding trails combines Michigan residents’ and visitors’ passion for birding and love of the open road, creating new opportunities for connecting birds and people. We want to nurture this growth by providing resources and support for new and existing birding trail organizers and teams.

On Friday, February 24, 2017, Michigan Audubon and Sea Grant Michigan will host a birding trails workshop to support this grassroots effort throughout the state. Click below If you are interested in attending and learning more about establishing and maintaining a successful birding trail. For additional information or questions, please contact Elliot Nelson at or (906) 322-0353. This event is free and open to the public.

Annual NEMIGLSI Networking Meeting

Event Date: 2/16/2017

Place-Based Stewardship Education meets Environmental-STEM Opportunity

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017
Time:  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Lunch Provided)
Location: Alpena, MI – hosted at the Alpena Aplex (Alpena Events Complex, 701 Woodward Avenue, Alpena, MI  49707), in the Huron Conference Room. Our network is growing, and the Aplex will offer us the additional space we desire for more face-to-face networking!

Program Expectations/Objectives: 

  • Learn about the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Regional Network (NEMIGLSI) through educational updates, information and resources in support of your stewardship education efforts
  • Gain place-based stewardship education insights and ideas from a panel of education and community partners
  • Network, share, and trade lessons learned with participating NE MIGLSI partners – a chance to connect with educators and community partners from around our region
  • Share new resources developed across our statewide GLSI network supporting place-based stewardship education practices; and launch of a new environmental-STEM challenge grant celebrating our network’s recent UL Innovative Education Award from the North American Assoc. for Environmental Education.
  • Contribute in planning the future direction for our regional NEMIGLSI network – your opportunity to provide input and guidance about how the GLSI can better support place-based stewardship education inquiries in northeast Michigan!

Registration Information:

Please share with those who may want to participate and benefit from the day, and we hope you will plan to join yourself!

  • CLICK HERE to register online at the NEMIGLSI website ( – registration under “Professional Development” tab). Please register no later than Friday, February 10th.
  • No cost to participate and lunch is provided. We only request you please pre-register, as this helps us plan for meals and educational materials provided.
  • School participation stipends. Participating schools will be reimbursed ($100 stipend for each educator participating) to help cover substitute teacher costs.

Questions or need additional information? Contact Meaghan Gass ( or Brandon Schroeder (schroe45@msu.edu989-354-9885).

In great tradition, we anticipate a wonderful day of networking and sharing information, resources, and new ideas among schools, educators and community partners engaged in youth development and environmental stewardship across northeast Michigan.

Request for Pre-proposals

Event Date: 3/3/2017


Michigan Sea Grant is soliciting proposals for innovative research projects and graduate fellowships for the 2018-2020 funding period. Michigan Sea Grant sends out RFPs for research projects every two years. Michigan Sea Grant will support three types of research this funding cycle:

  • Integrated Assessment – Research that uses Integrated Assessment methods to address important social and ecological issues affecting the Great Lakes, up to $75,000 per year for two years.
  • Core Research – Basic core research on issues currently affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, up to $100,000 per year for two years.
  • Graduate Student Research Fellowships – Graduate student (M.S. or Ph.D.) research fellowships for one or two years, up to $50,000 total per fellowship.

Funding for Integrated Assessment and Core Research will support two-year projects that begin February 1, 2018, and end by January 31, 2020. Fellowships may begin in 2018 (one or two year period) or 2019 (one year period).

Qualified researchers at accredited Michigan universities are eligible to be Principal Investigators on MISG-funded projects. Graduate fellowships will support a graduate student enrolled at an accredited Michigan university with support of a faculty member from that institution.

All proposals require a 50 percent non-federal match (one non-federal dollar for every two federal dollars requested). Funding is contingent upon NOAA approval and congressional appropriation of funds.

The deadline for Integrated Assessment and Core Research pre-proposals is 5 p.m. March 3, 2017 (EST).

Graduate Student Research Fellowship proposals are due by 5 p.m. on May 26, 2017. Funding decisions will be announced early September 2017.

For details on these opportunities, see:

Great Lakes Fisheries Educational Session

Event Date: 1/28/2017

A Great Lakes Fisheries Educational Session will be held during the Michigan Fish Producers Association Annual Conference on Saturday January 28, 2017, at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan.

The Great Lakes Fisheries Session will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is no registration fee for this event. Topics will range from lake levels to cisco restoration, local seafood suppliers, cormorant management, and more. See the agenda for full details.

If you’re interested in attending or have questions, get in touch with Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator Ron Kinnunen at (906) 226-3687 or