The Watershed Center Applauds the Village of Elk Rapids
| July 28, 2017 | 1:06 pm | Community News | Comments closed

THE WATERSHED CENTER APLPAUDS THE VILLAGE OF ELK RAPIDS
ELK RAPIDS FIRST IN WATERSHED TO APPROVE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE RESOLUTION

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – July 28, 2017 – The Watershed Grand Traverse Bay applauds the Village of Elk Rapids for unanimously approving a green infrastructure resolution at a village council meeting earlier this month.

“We’re thrilled that the Village of Elk Rapids is the first in the 1,000-square mile Grand Traverse Bay watershed to adopt policy that explicitly supports green infrastructure,” said Christine Crissman, Executive Director of The Watershed Center. “As the voice for the bay and champions of smart development, we’re excited to see Elk Rapids make this commitment and hope that other municipalities join in this effort.”

The resolution states that Elk Rapids will, to the extent feasible, incorporate green infrastructure “as a routine part of infrastructure planning and implementation.”

Village of Elk Rapids President James Janisse is also pleased the resolution was unanimously adopted.

“Policies like this make common sense,” said Janisse. “As a village perched on the shores of east Grand Traverse Bay and fed by the entire Elk River Chain of Lakes, we are blessed with a valuable resource that’s a contributing factor to our economy and social wellbeing. Green infrastructure protects our water quality, reduces construction and maintenance costs, increases property values, and more.”

The Watershed Center works with 44 municipalities within their four county watershed, comprising sections of Antrim, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. Elk Rapids lies within the Elk River Chain of Lakes subwatershed, which contributes 60% of the water flowing into Grand Traverse Bay.

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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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Swim for Grand Traverse Bay Registration Strong, Seeking Volunteers
| July 24, 2017 | 7:57 pm | Community News | Comments closed

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SWIM FOR GRAND TRAVERSE BAY REGISTRATION STRONG, SEEKING VOLUNTEERS
THE 2-MILE OPEN WATER SWIM SET FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 12

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – July 24, 2017 – Celebrate clean, healthy water in Grand Traverse Bay with a 2-mile point-to-point open water swim on Saturday, August 12 to benefit The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. You can get involved by participating or volunteering.

Registration for the Second Annual Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is currently open and will remain open until the race begins. Registration fee is $45 per swimmer; please note that swimmers are expected to meet or exceed a fundraising requirement of $150, which can be made on-site at the event. The Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is a tailored for swimmers looking for a timed event, triathletes wanting to practice in open water, recreational swimmers looking to set a personal goal, or anyone passionate about clean water and wanting to make a difference at the local level.

“What I love about the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is that it gets people into the water,” said Christine Crissman, Executive Director of The Watershed Center. “Our swim literally gets people in touch with what we’re advocating to protect. It’s our hope that this experience will show people the importance of fishable, drinkable, swimmable water and create champions of our work.”

The Swim for Grand Traverse Bay wouldn’t be possible without the work of volunteers.

“If you love the bay and want to help us put on a fun and successful event, consider volunteering your time,” said Crissman.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Safety Squad: Serving on the safety squad is a great opportunity for an experienced open water paddler (kayak, SUP, canoe or surf ski). Volunteers will monitor the field of swimmers and individual support kayakers, assist with swimmer counts along the course and create additional visibility in the bay. There will be a mandatory safety briefing on the beach at Greilickville Harbor Park at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12. As a thank you, volunteers receive a free ticket to the post-race pancake breakfast.
  • General Volunteer: A small crew is needed to help with pre-race organization, post-race celebration set-up and event clean-up. Sign up online here. As a thank you, volunteers receive a free ticket to the post-race pancake breakfast.

Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Swim for Grand Traverse Bay to benefit The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay aims to strengthen our community’s connection to Grand Traverse Bay and its watershed. For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota, please visit www.splashseries.org.

For more information, visit www.swimforgtbay.com.
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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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Beach Testing Begins June 14
| June 12, 2017 | 12:35 pm | Community News | Comments closed

GRAND TRAVERSE REGION BEACH TESTING BEGINS JUNE 14
THE WATERSHED CENTER TO SAMPLE 17 GREAT LAKES BEACHES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 12, 2017 – The Watershed Grand Traverse Bay will begin its annual beach testing on June 14. Seventeen area Great Lakes beaches will be tested every Wednesday through September 6.

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 bacterial levels, beaches will be posted as necessary by local Health Departments and immediately re-tested.

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.

“We’re proud to continue to offer this service within our watershed,” 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. By comparing the information we collect this summer with that of the last 15 years of data, we’re able to better predict which beaches may see elevated bacteria levels after rain events, thus protecting public health.” The Watershed Center also uses this data to support restoration projects to reduce bacteria levels at local beaches.

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

Grand Traverse County:

  • West End Beach
  • Clinch Park
  • Bryant Park
  • East Bay Park
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Acme Bayside Park
  • Senior Beach
  • Sunset Park
  • Volleyball Beach
  • Sayler Park
  • Dock Road

Benzie/Leelanau County:

  • Empire Beach
  • Frankfort Beach
  • Northport Beach
  • Suttons Bay South Shore Park
  • Suttons Bay Marina Park Beach
  • Greilickville Harbor Park (Elmwood Park)

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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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Seeking volunteers for upcoming tree plantings
| June 5, 2017 | 3:26 pm | News & Events | Comments closed

The Watershed Center is proud to be involved with two local tree planting efforts, one in Northport on Saturday, June 10, and another in Elk Rapids on Saturday, June 17. The tree plants are part of an effort lead by ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree organization through the U.S. Forest Service, and aims to increase local tree canopy and have a positive impact on water quality.

ReLeaf Michigan tree experts will be present to teach volunteers how to properly plant trees. All ages are welcome. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring a shovel if you have one; event will occur rain or shine.

RSVP’s requested but not required:

  • Elk Rapids: Please RSVP to Brad Kluczynski at vllgpfwinfo@elkrapids.org or 231-264-9971
  • Northport: Please RSVP to Barb Von Voigtlander at vadmin@villageofnorthport.net or 231-386-5182 ext. 13

 

 

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Swim for Grand Traverse Bay – August 12, 2017
| May 15, 2017 | 3:30 pm | Community News | Comments closed

Registration is now open for the Second Annual Swim for Grand Traverse Bay! The swim will be held Saturday, August 12. Details and registration are available at www.swimforgtbay.com.

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