This is part of our “Jeopardy in July for Lake Lovers” feature, where we will post Great Lakes trivia throughout the month. Check back for the answers – and new questions. survey solutions
The answer to the previous question: Lake Michigan islands include Beaver, North and South Manitou, Washington and Rock islands.
There is yet another reason to stay glued to our phones. The myBeachCast smartphone app, released in 2011 by the Great Lakes Commission, has just added a new feature — beach hazard warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The free app is available for download here. Although drownings appear to be on track to fall from a record high in 2012, the overall trend from the past several years have seen consistent increase, according to the Great Lakes Surf Commission. The hazard warnings on the app informs users when and where there is a potential for dangerous rip currents.
This is the second of four Great Lakes Now broadcasts exploring the major environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes and produced by Detroit Public Television and The Nature Conservancy. It looks at the safety and health of the beaches, low lake levels and the threats of E. Coli, sewage and algae. The special features two panel discussions hosted by MiWeek‘s Christy McDonald. Panel 1: How Safe Are Our Beaches? Katherine Kahl, Ph.
High bacteria levels plague Great Lakes beaches by EmanueleB
Climate and infrastructure both play a role in beach health. Extreme weather events and old sewage systems are enabling bacteria to pollute Great Lakes beaches. According to a 2012 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, bacterial levels measured in 2011 of Great Lakes beaches exceeded national recommended health standards more than beaches in any other region. Dr. Joan Rose is the Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research at Michigan State University. She joined Current State’s Mark Bashore to discuss beach health.
Landowners on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron are being encouraged to plant natural vegetation on their beachfront property. Planting trees and other native plants on the bluffs can help prevent shoreline erosion, stormwater runoff, habitat loss and climate change, according to the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. The first step was putting together a guide for lakeshore landowners explaining how they can protect the bluff ecosystem, said Geoff Peach, coastal resources manager for the Centre. “The Bluff Ecosystem Stewardship Guide can provide some advice on how to deal with common environmental issues,” Peach said. “It’s about to go to print, and then will be distributed to landowners along Lake Huron’s bluffs in southern Ontario.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, natural lakeshores with abundant trees, shrubs, and native grasses are “living shorelines” that use deep, strong plant roots to stabilize soil.
Ecologists encourage property owners to plant their beaches to reduce erosion and provide wildlife habitat. Upshore gardens can prevent pollution and runoff. And maintaining native plants impedes invasive species.