Michigan summer welcomes exciting events like Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, Free Fishing Weekend, Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, and Lake Appreciation Month, bringing us closer to the water resources we value. Dive into this quarterly update on the Michigan Water Strategy to explore Michigan’s progress in working together to protect our waters.
5 Priority Areas
5 signature recommendations were selected as Water Strategy priority measures. Here’s what’s happening to achieve real results to protect, restore, and sustain Michigan’s water resources.
Ensure Clean and Safe Drinking Water
Over 300 participants and experts attended the March 7-9 National Water Infrastructure Conference co-sponsored by the City of Flint and the State of Michigan to identify infrastructure solutions that may be used to address Michigan’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission recommendations.
The MDEQ held an asset management training workshop in April and developed guidance documents for community water supply systems to build support for water infrastructure investments. It will offer five asset management workshops around the state in June. All community water supplies serving more than 1,000 people must have an asset management program in place by January 1, 2018.
The MDEQ has acquired assistance from water supplies with surface water intakes to help assess the vulnerability of water treatment systems and occurrences of cyanotoxins in the Great Lakes and inland river sources. 17 surface water systems have volunteered to conduct microcystin screening this summer during the peak algal bloom season. Screening will primarily include the areas of southern Lake Michigan, Saginaw Bay, and Lake St. Clair where blue-green algal blooms have occurred.
The MDEQ, in collaboration with the MDHHS and other agencies, is implementing steps to improve data sharing to identify and respond to contaminants and emerging pollutants of concern.
Achieve a 40% Phosphorus Reduction in the Western Lake Erie Basin
The Michigan DEQ, DNR, and DARD released a draft Domestic Action Plan for public comment in accordance with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to address Lake Erie water quality on June 12. View the document and provide comments by the July 14 deadline at www.michigan.gov/deqgreatlakes. The MDEQ continues to work closely with Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), which now operates the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant and with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to track and maintain phosphorus reductions at the GLWA Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant.
In 2017, MDARD will launch a new Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) reporting and planning database that will protect confidential farm information yet provide summaries of on-farm risk assessments, conservation practice implementation, and MAEAP verification. Environmental and conservation data will be used to estimate sediment and nutrient loading reductions.
Prevent and Control Populations of Aquatic Invasive Species
Early detection and response actions to address aquatic invasive plants like parrot feather in inland lakes and New Zealand Mudsnails in cold-water rivers are ramping up for the 2017 field season. These are critical efforts to address new invasions, eradicate AIS when possible, and minimize long-term costs.
QOL staff are working to maintain ballast water discharge standards that protect the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species and other pollutants.
Invest in Michigan’s Commercial and Recreational Harbors
The Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Transportation, Great Lakes Commission, and partners continue to implement the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Maritime Transportation System Strategy. The group is supporting the Maritime Asset Inventory including the review and update of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence port facilities, assets, and traffic estimates.
Michigan Sea Grant received the Network’s Great Lakes Outreach Programming Award for its Sustainable Small Harbors project. The project, funded by Michigan Sea Grant and partners, assists coastal communities in planning efforts. The project has enabled six coastal communities with public harbors to do in-depth self-assessments, uncovering strengths and weaknesses related to their waterfront assets and collaboratively envision their future.
Develop and Implement a State Water Trails System
The DNR has developed a water trails guideline document that it will use to create an internal policy for water trail designations. The guidelines will assist external groups in developing water trails and applying for a state designation.
The OGL Coastal Zone Management Program provided grant funding to LIAA who is collaborating with the Beaver Island community to develop a comprehensive master plan for a water trail system that circumnavigates Beaver Island, the largest island in Lake Michigan.
Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference
500 participants gathered in the heart of Detroit’s blooming waterfront district to attend the first-ever Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference, focused on the future of integrated water management across the Great Lakes Basin. Follow the conversation on Twitter with #GI4GreatLakes.
Safe Drug Disposal Protects Michigan Waters
A New DEQ Drug Disposal web page was launched to educate communities on safe drug disposal methods via local drug takeback programs to protect public health and keep our waterways clean.
Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week
Michigan celebrated Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week June 3-11 with fun and educational events including the Blue Water Sturgeon Festival in Port Huron and the DNR’s statewide Free Fishing Weekend.