Climate Change Workshop

Interested in the science and impacts of climate change? This unit training from Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) is for you!

Come have dinner with us and discuss climate change and how you can incorporate it within your lesson plans. SCECHs for teachers that attend this workshop.

This event is free for all NE MI GLSI teachers or teachers interested in getting involved in the NE MI GLSI network. There is a $30.00 fee for non NE MI GLSI teachers. This event is open to all teachers – you do not have to be involved in our network.

Thursday, February 05, 2015, 5pm – 8pm

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
500 West Fletcher Street
Alpena, MI 49707

Tracy D’Augustino
(989) 724-6478

2015 Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop

Baymont Inn & Suites
4079 West U.S. Highway 10
Ludington, MI 49431

The 2014 Lake Michigan fishing season was an odd one. A cold winter and cool water temperatures well into mid-summer made for some unusual fishing patterns, and the late summer salmon run seemed poor relative to other years. The annual Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop provides the chance to learn about the reasons for Lake Michigan’s changing fisheries. The workshop also provides a great opportunity to share your thoughts with researchers, fishery managers, and other anglers.

This year, presenters will include representatives from Michigan DNR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USGS, NOAA, MSU, and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. Featured topics will include the mass marking of Chinook salmon and lake trout, recent success in rearing and stocking native cisco (a.k.a. lake herring) and a radical change in the diet of alewife.


  • This is a full-day event with hot buffet lunch included.
  • The cost to attend is $25.00.
  • Pre-registration is required by Jan. 2, 2015.
  • Online pre-registration with credit card is preferred.
  • Cancellations received on or after Jan. 8 will incur a $10 cancellation fee.

See: Registration Forms

One New Certification and Eight Re-certified as Michigan Clean Marinas

The Michigan Clean Marina Program welcomed Bouvier Bridge Marina of Fair Haven as the newest marina to join the ranks as a Certified Clean Marina. Initial certification is good for three years.

Eight additional Michigan facilities have confirmed their commitment to keeping the Great Lakes clean and have been re-certified for another five-year term through 2019. They include:

  • Bay Harbor Company, Bay Harbor
  • Eldean Shipyard, Holland
  • Irish Boat Shop, Charlevoix
  • Irish Boat Shop, Harbor Springs
  • Kean’s Marina, Detroit
  • MacRay Harbor, Harrison Township
  • One Water Street (One Water Marina), Boyne City

In total, 42 Michigan marinas have obtained and are maintaining this prestigious certification.

The clean marina program was initiated to preserve and protect the Great Lakes and its connecting waterways through voluntary efforts. The certification process begins with a pledge to participate in the program, followed by an online course with an overview of the designation process and a review of best management practices. The facilities then conduct self-evaluations of their environmental practices to determine their strengths and weaknesses. After implementing improvements, the marina requests a visitation by a CMP consultant to evaluate the facility’s environmental stewardship. When the facility reaches established goals, they receive their designation.

“We welcome Bouvier Bridge Marina to the Clean Marina Program and we’re proud of the eight marinas being re-certified as Certified Clean Marinas and for their continuation of following best practices,” said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “More boaters are becoming aware of the program and are searching out these facilities as places they want to patronize.”

MBIA encourages all marinas to seek out this certification. “It is not difficult and there are both financial and environmental gains that come with this effort,” said Polan.

The Michigan Clean Marina Program is a joint program between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan Boating Industries Association.

For more details, see the Michigan Clean Marina Program website.

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.

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.

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.

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

Free Webinar for Marinas and Harbors

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.

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

Cost: Free, but registration is requested.


  • 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

CLICK HERE to register

MBIA Recreational Boating Education Conference (RBEC)

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

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 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


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.


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

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.


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).


  • 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

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

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.

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.