Author: Shelli DiFranco
Grand Traverse Region Beach Testing Begins June 19
| June 14, 2019 | 12:43 pm | Community News | Comments closed

Contact:
Sarah U’Ren
The Watershed Center
suren@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

GRAND TRAVERSE REGION BEACH TESTING BEGINS JUNE 19

THE WATERSHED CENTER TO SAMPLE 26 LOCAL BEACHES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 11

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 14, 2019 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay will begin its annual beach testing on June 19. Twenty six area Lake Michigan and inland lake beaches in Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties will be tested for harmful E.coli bacteria every Wednesday through September 11.

Beach test results will be available by noon on Thursdays and posted shortly thereafter on the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy’s (EGLE) BeachGuard website, as well as The Watershed Center 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 compromised 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.

“Every year, we are proud to be able to offer this service within the watershed,” said Sarah U’Ren, Program Director at The Watershed Center. “Our weekly testing for E.coli bacteria is an integral piece of our efforts to keep our residents, visitors, and beaches healthy.”

The Watershed Center also reminds beachgoers not to swim near storm drains, especially during and immediately after rain, as water from the storm drain may contain E. coli and other harmful pathogens from animal feces that are washed into the drains during 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency BEACH Act Funds, as well as EGLE’s Clean Michigan Initiative, the City of Traverse City, and Acme Township. Testing will be conducted at the following beaches:

Lake Michigan

  • Empire Beach
  • Frankfort Beach

Grand Traverse Bay – West

  • Bryant Park (Traverse City)
  • Sunset Park (Traverse City)
  • Senior Beach (Traverse City)
  • Clinch Park (Traverse City)
  • Volleyball Beach (Traverse City)
  • West End Beach (Traverse City)
  • Greilickville Harbor Park
  • Suttons Bay Beach
  • Suttons Bay Marina Park Beach
  • Northport Beach

Grand Traverse Bay – East

  • East Bay Park (Traverse City)
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Acme Bayside Park
  • Sayler Park (Acme)

Inland Beaches

  • Almira Township Park (Lake Ann)
  • Bellows Beach (Crystal Lake)
  • Beulah Beach (Crystal Lake)
  • Gilbert Beach (Long Lake)
  • Interlochen State Park (Duck Lake)
  • Neddows Beach (Lake Leelanau)
  • South Bar Beach (South Bar Lake)
  • Taylor Beach (Long Lake)
  • Twin Lakes Park (North Twin Lake)
  • Whitewater Township Park (Elk Lake)

 

# # #

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.

 

Registration Now Open for the Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay
| June 5, 2019 | 5:30 pm | News & Events, Point of (Water) View Blog | Comments closed

May 31, 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 Tomorrow for Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay


Traverse City, Michigan −
Celebrate clean, healthy water in Grand Traverse Bay with a fun half-mile point-to-point open water swim aimed at swimmers ages 12-17 on Friday, August 9 at 6pm. Registration for the second annual Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay opens tomorrow, Saturday, June 1 at 8am EDT at www.swimforgtbay.com.

 

What:              Registration opens on Saturday, June 1 for the second annual Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay. Registration fee is $25 per swimmer; unlike the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay, the Kids Swim does not have a fundraising component.
When:             Registration opens Saturday, June 1 at 8am EDT for the Kids Swim, which will take place on Friday, August 9 at 6pm.
Where:            Registration is available at www.swimforgtbay.com
Who:               Youth swimmers looking for a fun event with their teammates and friends
Why:               The Kids Swim is a family-friendly companion event to the Swim for Grand Traverse Bay and was launched in response to community interest. The Kids Swim is hosted by 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.

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.

# # #

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.

# # #


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.

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.

# # #


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.