Friday, August 1, 2008

Invasive Species Field Course For Teachers - July 28 - 30

Gary with ROV

This three-day course took 25 teachers from the Great Lakes region (and beyond) through the lastest information on invasive species problems in the Lakes. The course was a combination of presentations by experts in the field and field work in wetland, shore and open water habitats. Groups of teachers completed a research project aboard the schooner Inland Seas. Special thanks to Gary Longton and DTE Energy for the use of their new ROV. This course is a joint project of ISEA and the NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, with funding by the US EPA and the Oleson Foundation.

On our way to Suttons Bay with 20kt breeze

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    News reports for the past month have been reporting trash floating across Lake Michigan from Wisconsin, and accumulating on area beaches. The mystery is still under investigation. On Saturday morning, August 9th, something else floated into Suttons Bay that had originated in Wisconsin.

    Suttons Bay residents awoke Saturday AM to find that another green schooner was out in the bay -anchored just off the old coal dock near the double masted schooner “Inland Seas”. The triple masted schooner “Denis Sullivan” had sailed down Grand Traverse Bay and needed to drop anchor and send one of their crew to shore for a trip to the Med Center to be treated for rope burns, and another passenger for a sprained ankle.

    The schooner Captain, was none other than our own Capt. Remy Champt (off on ISEA leave). The student crew on board were from the Chicago area, and were taking part in a Shedd Aquarium Lake Michigan Exploration Program. They had hiked South Manitou on Friday and were very tired. After setting anchor, sending those to shore who needed medical attention and a long deserved nap, they ate a late lunch.

    In the afternoon some of the crew , the Shedd Scientists and students were off loaded and toured the schooner “Inland Seas” and the ISEA Center. Their comments about “Inland Seas” ranged from how large the sleeping quarters were to the design and layout of the schooner. The Invasive Species Exhibit in the Center drew lots of interest from everyone, and we received many compliments from the Denis Sullivan educator Amy, as well as the Shedd Scientists and students.

    After leaving the ISEA Center, they headed uptown for ice cream, camera batteries and checked out the side-walk sales and other businesses. Before returning to their schooner, a shoreline walk and a Petoskey stone hunt occurred.

    The 3 masted schooner departed Suttons Bay on Sunday morning, 8/10 heading for Milwaukee and where ever the winds would take them – with 3 days to get there.