By Jeff Kart
This story originally appeared Mr. Great Lakes and is republished here with permission.
1 — Ducks were down in a recent survey. But state biologists say they still believe populations are stable.
Staffers from Michigan Department of Natural Resources took to the skies in small aircraft earlier this year to count ducks, geese and swans.
They observed more than 148,000 ducks, which was down by 5 percent from about 157,000 ducks observed in 2016.
Biologists say the decline can be attributed to cold arctic blasts in late December and early January that pushed birds southward. Some ducks bypassed Michigan altogether.
The state has conducted aerial surveys of wintering ducks and geese since 1991. The results are important for helping manage habitat for the species.
2 — Yellow dots on trees in Bay County mean they’ll be treated to fight emerald ash borer.
Officials with County Gypsy Moth Suppression Program say they are including hundreds of healthy, living ash trees in an annual Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Project.
Trees scheduled to be treated this year will be marked with a yellow dot on the side facing the road. These trees were last treated in 2013.
Trees marked with a green dot were treated in the spring of 2016.
The treatments help to maintain the health of ash trees and should protect them from further emerald ash borer damage for at least two years.
3 — Spring is here, and action grants are available from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.
The group has set a deadline of April 14 for proposals.
They’re looking for organizations with great ideas for projects that focus on natural resource restoration, education and promotion, or sustainability.
The funding is available to organizations working to make improvements in neighborhoods, communities, and watersheds.
The Network will award grants of up to $1,000 to successful applicants. A one-to-one match is required.
More information is available online at SaginawBayWIN.org.