The Watershed Center to Host Community Meetings on Watershed Protection Plan
| June 15, 2018 | 3:17 pm | News & Events | Comments closed
Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

THE WATERSHED CENTER TO HOST COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON WATERSHED PROTECTION PLAN

MEETINGS WILL BE HELD IN ANTRIM, GRAND TRAVERSE, AND LEELANAU COUNTIES

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 15, 2018 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay will host three community meetings to discuss updating The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan with a focus on shoreline communities. The meetings are free and open to all residents, business owners, and visitors.

The meetings will be held:

  • Thursday, June 28: 6-7pm at the Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library, 416 Front Street, Suttons Bay
  • Thursday, July 12: 6-7pm at the Woodmere Library’s McGuire Room, 610 Woodmere Avenue, Traverse City
  • Thursday, July 19: 6-7pm at the Historic Elk Rapids Town Hall, 401 River Street, Elk Rapids

“We are excited to be updating this critical watershed document,” said Christine Crissman, executive director of The

Watershed Center. “The current plan was last revised in 2005 and much has changed in the watershed in the last 13 years. From development to the impacts of climate change, we need to take a current look at our water quality conditions and identify opportunities and threats we need to focus on.”

The revised Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan will have a stronger focus on shoreline communities in Antrim, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties. The Boardman River and Elk River Chain of Lakes sub-watershed plans are nearing completion and will also be incorporated into the Grand Traverse Bay plan. The Watershed Center staff have been collecting and analyzing water quality data from throughout the watershed as part of their work.

During the community meetings, attendees will hear from The Watershed Center staff about the current plan, progress made thus far in updating it, and have their chance to provide input on the new plan. In addition to the community meetings, The Watershed Center is planning on online form that residents, business owners, and visitors are encouraged to participate in to share their thoughts on watershed priorities and concerns. The form will be available later this summer and will be posted on The Watershed Center’s website and Facebook page.

“Updating the Watershed Protection Plan is important for the overall environmental and economic health of our region,” said David Mengebier, president and CEO of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. “Grand Traverse Bay is a cornerstone to our community and we need to understand the current and future threats to it to ensure we are doing all we can to protect it.”

These updates to the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan were made possible by funding from the Community Foundation Land Use & Conservation Planning Endowment, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and individual donations. The final plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

 

# # #

The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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Labatt USA Partners with Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® to Promote Local Water Stewardship in Michigan This Summer
| June 13, 2018 | 4:18 pm | News & Events | Comments closed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Lauren Christopher
Labatt USA
(716) 796-5940
lauren.christopher@nabreweries.com

 

Labatt USA Partners with Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® to Promote Local Water Stewardship in Michigan This Summer

Investment in local organization serves as part of Labatt USA’s larger partnership with the global Waterkeeper Alliance to
protect and sustain drinkable, fishable and swimmable water

Labatt USA will partner with the Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® to further its efforts to advocate for policies and actions that protect and preserve water quality throughout the Grand Traverse Bay watershed. Labatt USA will make a $10,000 investment to support the Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER®’s efforts, which is part of a larger investment of more than $100,000 with Waterkeepers throughout the Great Lakes region.

The partnership and investments align with Labatt USA’s triple bottom line approach. The beer company prioritizes people, planet and profit, which includes measuring, reducing and mitigating its impact on the environment and society through investments, volunteerism and education.

“Not only is clean water required to make great beer, but it also means recreation on the water. By working to improve our water footprint, we’re also able to impact our communities to help ensure everyone can swim, boat and enjoy our local waterways throughout the summer,” said Lisa Texido, brand manager for the Labatt Family.

“Clean water is vitally important for the Grand Traverse Bay region,” said Heather Smith, Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® at The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. “The health of our water is directly linked to the strength of our local economy. We are grateful for Labatt USA’s leadership and financial investment in protecting this natural resource for a variety of uses.”

About the “Loving Michigan” Retail Program

This summer, Labatt USA will release limited-edition “Loving Michigan” graphic cans of Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light, which feature popular summer water destinations in Michigan including Mackinac Island, Grand Haven State Park, Turnip Rock and Ambassador Bridge. Loving Michigan cans will be available in all locations that sell 24-packs and 15-packs of Labatt Blue or Labatt Blue Light. In-store signage promotes the partnership between Labatt USA and Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER to help raise awareness of the importance of water stewardship.

About Labatt USA

Proudly headquartered in Buffalo, New York, Labatt USA has imported Labatt Blue from Canada since 1951. Today, Labatt Blue is America’s top-selling Canadian beer. Labatt Blue has become the premier Canadian pilsener in the Great Lakes region and expansion markets across the United States. First brewed in Canada in 1847, Labatt continues to carry on the tradition and heritage of the great outdoors. Labatt USA is owned by Rochester-based North American Breweries.

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The Watershed Center Congratulates Elk Rapids for Protecting Clean Water
| June 8, 2018 | 4:39 pm | News & Events | Comments closed

Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

THE WATERSHED CENTER CONGRATULATES ELK RAPIDS FOR PROTECTING CLEAN WATER

VILLAGE PASSED FIRST PAVEMENT SEALANT ORDINANCE IN GRAND TRAVERSE BAY WATERSHED

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 8, 2018 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay congratulates the Village of Elk Rapids for passing the first pavement sealant ordinance in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed and northern Michigan, with strict regulations that protect water quality.

“We applaud Elk Rapids for taking a strong stance to protect our natural, recreational, and economic resources,” said Christine Crissman, executive director of The Watershed Center. “It is clear they value clean water, as this ordinance follows on the heels of the green infrastructure ordinance they passed last year. Their leadership is an asset to our region.”

The ordinance states that scientific studies show asphalt driveway sealers are cause for certain health and environmental concerns. Under this ordinance, the use and sale of pavement sealant products containing greater than 0.1% Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) by weight, including coal tar-based sealers, are prohibited to protect water quality and the health of residents, fish, and other aquatic life. Elk Rapids joins other Michigan communities, including Ann Arbor, which banned the sealant in 2016.

PAHs can contaminate our waterways when rain falls and washes away trace amounts that add up in our creeks, streams, and lakes. PAH particles can also become airborne and travel as dust. Sealants for driveways, parking lots, and playgrounds that do not include PAHs exist in the marketplace and are encouraged as an alternative.

The ordinance will go into effect later this summer.

 

# # #

The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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Grand Traverse Region Beach Testing Begins June 13
| June 7, 2018 | 2:19 pm | News & Events | Comments closed

Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GRAND TRAVERSE REGION BEACH TESTING BEGINS JUNE 13

THE WATERSHED CENTER TO SAMPLE 24 LOCAL BEACHES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 7, 2018 – The Watershed Grand Traverse Bay will begin its annual beach testing on June 13. Twenty four area Great Lakes and inland lake beaches in Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties will be tested for harmful E.coli bacteria every Wednesday through September 5.

Beach test results will be available by noon on Thursdays and posted shortly thereafter on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s BeachGuard website, as well as The Watershed Center’s Facebook page and the Grand Traverse County Health Department website. If test results show high bacteria levels, local Health Departments will post advisories at impacted beaches and the beaches will immediately be re-tested until results return to acceptable levels.

Elevated bacteria levels, including E. coli, at beaches pose a threat to public health and cause illness, especially in young children and people with comprised immune systems. The presence of E.coli in surface water indicates fecal contamination is present at the beach, which includes a host of other harmful viruses and bacteria. Beachgoers are encouraged to take simple actions to reduce the risk of E. coli at beaches, such as not feeding ducks and other birds, disposing of diapers (including swim diapers) in trash cans, and having young children take frequent bathroom breaks.

“We’re proud to offer this service within our watershed once again,” said Sarah U’Ren, program director at The Watershed Center. “Testing bacteria such as E.coli is an important part of keeping our residents, visitors, and beaches healthy. We love our beaches and clean water and want to keep it that way.”

The Watershed Center also reminds beachgoers to not swim near storm drains, especially during and immediately after rain events, as water from the storm drain may contain E. coli and other harmful pathogens from animal feces that are washed into the drains in a storm. The risk of elevated E. coli levels after a rain event decreases as sunlight breaks down the bacteria in open water.

Funding for beach monitoring comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency BEACH Act Funds, as well as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Michigan Initiative, the City of Traverse City, and Acme Township. Testing will be conducted at the following beaches:


Grand Traverse County:

  • Bryant Park
  • Clinch Park
  • East Bay Park
  • Gilbert Beach
  • Interlochen State Park
  • Sayler Park
  • Senior Beach
  • Sunset Park
  • Taylor Beach
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Twin Lakes Park
  • Volleyball Beach
  • West End Beach

Benzie/Leelanau County:

  • Almira Township Park
  • Beulah Beach
  • Bellows Beach
  • Empire Beach
  • Frankfort Beach
  • Greilickville Harbor Park (Elmwood Park)
  • Neddows Beach
  • Northport Beach
  • South Bar Beach
  • Suttons Bay Marina Park Beach
  • Suttons Bay South Shore Park

 

# # #

The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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Kids Creek Week Fast Approaching
| June 6, 2018 | 3:44 pm | News & Events | Comments closed
Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE WATERSHED CENTER’S KIDS CREEK WEEK FAST APPROACHING
CELEBRATE KIDS CREEK FROM JUNE 9-15

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 6, 2018 – Celebrate fifteen years of restoration projects on Kids Creek with seven days of activities centered on this urban gem.

“For the past 15 years, we have had the honor of working to restore Kids Creek,” said Christine Crissman, executive director of The Watershed Center. “We’re excited to celebrate this achievement with the community and our fellow advocates for clean water. We have a week full of activities, such as fly tying workshops and guided hikes, to show the variety of ways people can enjoy Kids Creek.” The Watershed Center advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and works to protect and preserve its watershed, which includes Kids Creek as it flows into the Boardman River before outletting into the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay.

Kids Creek Week will run Saturday, June 9 through Friday, June 15. Planned events include:

  • Saturday, June 9: Fly Tying 101 with DNR Expert Eric Crissman
  • Sunday, June 10: Watercolor Experience with The Color of Water and Tinker Studio
  • Monday, June 11: Invasive Species Pull with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network
  • Tuesday, June 12: Guided Walking Tour Focused on Green Infrastructure
  • Wednesday, June 13: Guided Walking Tour of the Old Buffalo Pasture with the Grand Traverse  Conservation District
  • Thursday, June 14: Concert on the Lawn featuring the Gordon Lightfoot Tribute with the Grand  Traverse Pavilions
  • Friday, June 15: Sunrise Yoga with Yoga for Health Education

Kids Creek is a vital cold water trout stream that meanders through multiple neighborhoods and business corridors such as U.S. 31, The Village of Grand Traverse Commons, and West Front Street. Kids Creek also provides habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including blue heron and the treasured brook trout.

The Watershed Center spearheaded the Kids Creek Restoration Project in 2003 and has since seen the following victories:

  • Fully restoring Kids Creek Tributary AA between the Grand Traverse Commons and the Grand Traverse Pavilions;
  • Installing rain gardens along Cottageview Drive, at the State of Michigan Office Building on Eleventh Street, and along Medical Campus Drive;
  • Building a 3,100-square foot green roof on Munson Medical Center’s NW Tower A and a 3,300-square foot green roof on the Cowell Family Cancer Center; and
  • Daylighting a 900-foot section of Tributary A that now runs alongside the Cowell Family Cancer Center.

Registration for Kids Creek Week activities may be required; visit www.gtbay.org/kidscreek to learn about registration and to read more about the past, present, and future of Kids Creek.

# # #


The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at
www.gtbay.org.

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