Registration Opens Today for 2019 Swim for Grand Traverse Bay
| May 1, 2019 | 12:21 pm | News & Events | Comments closed

May 1, 2019
Contact:
Shelli DiFranco, Director of Community Engagement,
The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
231-935-1514 ext 5
sdifranco@gtbay.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Registration Opens Today for 2019 Swim for Grand Traverse Bay

Traverse City, Michigan − Celebrate clean, healthy water in Grand Traverse Bay with a 2-mile point-to-point open water swim on Saturday, August 10 to benefit The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. Registration for the fourth annual Swim for Grand Traverse Bay opens today, Wednesday, May 1 at 8am EDT at www.swimforgtbay.com. There will be a separate media advisory with details on registration for the Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay.

What:              Registration opens on Wednesday, May 1 for the fourth annual Swim for Grand Traverse Bay, benefitting The Watershed Center. Registration fee is $45 per swimmer; please note that swimmers are expected to meet or exceed a fundraising requirement of $150.

When:             Registration opens Wednesday, May 1 at 8am EDT for the Swim, which will take place on Saturday, August 10.

Where:            Registration is available at www.swimforgtbay.com

Who:               Swimmers looking for a timed event, triathletes wanting to practice in open water, recreational swimmers wanting to set a personal goal, or anyone passionate about clean water and wanting to make a difference at the local level are encouraged to participate.

Why:               The Swim for Grand Traverse Bay benefits The Watershed Center, a nonprofit organization based in Traverse City, Michigan that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve the Bay’s 1,000 square mile watershed.

For more information, visit www.swimforgtbay.com.

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The Watershed Center to Host Community Forum on PFAS
| April 5, 2019 | 6:55 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 FORUM ON PFAS
FREE EVENT PLANNED FOR THURSDAY, MAY 9

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – April 5, 2019 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay is hosting a free community forum where residents, business owners, and community members can hear from public health experts, environmental specialists, and leaders who are working to protect our drinking water from PFAS, a group of chemicals increasingly being found in water supplies throughout the state. The event will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at West Middle School, 3950 W. Silver Lake Road in Traverse City.

The forum will feature Steve Sliver, Executive Director of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, and local experts on PFAS in our region.

“PFAS are an emerging threat to drinking water everywhere, including in our watershed,” said Christine Crissman, Executive Director of The Watershed Center. “The more we learn about the topic, the more concerned we are. Michigan has recently completed a testing effort and will soon be setting drinking water standards for the state.”

The forum will include presentations followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session with the audience. Morgan Springer, News Director at Interlochen Public Radio, will moderate the event.

The forum is sponsored in part by Global Remediation Technologies, Inc. and Great Lakes Environmental Center. The community forum is not sponsored by Traverse City Area Public Schools.

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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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Grand Traverse Bay Officially Frozen
| February 13, 2019 | 5:16 pm | Point of (Water) View Blog | Comments closed

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GRAND TRAVERSE BAY OFFICIALLY FROZEN
SIXTH TIME THE BAY HAS FROZEN IN THE LAST 20 YEARS

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – February 13, 2019 – Grand Traverse Bay officially froze on Wednesday, February 13, according to The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. The bay is considered frozen when west bay freezes up to Power Island for at least 24 hours.

In 2018, the bay was declared frozen on February 11 and remained frozen for 14 days before thawing. This marks the sixth time the bay has frozen over in the past 20 years, according to Heather Smith, Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® at The Watershed Center.

“Back in the early to mid-1900s the bay froze 70-90% of the time,” said Smith. “Around 1990, we started to see fewer years of ice cover. Annual variation in ice cover is due to weather patterns, with changes in climate impacting the long-term trends. This decrease in ice cover is not unique to our region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that annual average ice coverage declined 71% from 1973 to 2010 in all five of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair.”

Besides providing recreational opportunities such as ice fishing and skating, wildlife can reap the benefits of the frozen bay, too. “Ice coverage can be helpful for some fish species, such as white fish, whose eggs may be protected from winter storms,” said Smith.

There will be variations in the thickness of the ice. As such, Smith urges extreme caution on all bodies of water, including east and west bay.

The Watershed Center will continue to monitor conditions on the bay and will keep the official log of the number of frozen days through the season.

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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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Discovery Center Great Lakes to Host Volunteer Open House on February 2
| January 25, 2019 | 9:16 pm | Point of (Water) View Blog | Comments closed

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

 

DISCOVERY CENTER GREAT LAKES TO HOST VOLUNTEER OPEN HOUSE ON FEBRUARY 2

EVENT WILL FEATURE FIVE WATER-FOCUSED NONPROFITS

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – January 25, 2019 – The Discovery Center – Great Lakes is hosting a volunteer open house on Saturday, February 2 from 11am – 3pm. The event is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to visit each participating nonprofit’s location on campus.

“We are thrilled to gather together to promote volunteering in our community,” said Tom Maynard, Impact Manager at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. “Our hope is that anyone with an interest in volunteering and a passion for the Great Lakes can find an opportunity to use their talent and time in 2019.”

There will be five water-focused nonprofits in attendance: The Great Lakes Children’s Museum, Inland Seas Education Association, Maritime Heritage Alliance, Traverse Area Community Sailing, and The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. Volunteer opportunities will range from individual events to regular commitments.

“Volunteering is fun and is a great way to really engage with your community and meet new people with similar interests,” said Heather Smith, Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER® at The Watershed Center. “We have a number of volunteers who donate their time and energy as a way to express their passion for clean water.”

The volunteer open house will take place at 13240 SW Bay Shore Drive in Traverse City.

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The Discovery Center’s mission is to create and maintain a collaborative educational facility where children, youth, and adults can learn the value of historic preservation, the importance of environmental stewardship, the joy of discovery, and the pleasure of water-based recreation as well as to provide support to the member water related charitable organizations for their respective operations and missions. For more information, visit www.discoverycentergreatlakes.org.

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Healthy Beaches Program Concludes for 2018 Season
| October 15, 2018 | 5:36 pm | News & Events | Comments closed

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HEALTHY BEACHES PROGRAM CONCLUDES FOR 2018 SEASON

SAMPLES WERE WITHIN WATER QUALITY STANDARDS 96% OF THE SUMMER

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – October 15, 2018 – The Watershed Center’s Healthy Beaches program, which monitors Great Lakes and inland beaches for E. coli bacteria, has concluded its 2018 season.

“All in all, we had a spectacular season for our Healthy Beaches program,” said Sarah U’Ren, program director at The Watershed Center. “We saw 12 beach advisories on five different days this summer that were mainly due to strong storms with heavy rainfall moving through the area. This means that 96% of the samples taken were well within water quality standards.”

The Healthy Beaches program included taking samples from 32 beaches during the thirteen week season. The longest advisory was for Sunset Park beach in Traverse City and lasted for two days in early August.

“We had a very wet August,” said U’Ren. “With rainstorms, we usually expect to have some advisories posted at beaches located next to storm drains.  This is because the rain washes pollutants like oils, trash, and bacteria off the roadways and parking lots into the storm drains and out into the bay.” Sunshine kills the bacteria and nearly all beach advisories are lifted the following day after being re-tested.

Funding for the Healthy Beaches program 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.

 

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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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