Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Michigan's Asian Carp Action Plan Available for Review

Update: Dec. 2, 2010.  U. S. District Judge turns down states' request to shut locks.  Read more by clicking here.

The State of Michigan DNRE has published its Asian Carp Plan at  I also recommend, as good background material, the paper done by Brammeier, Polls & Mackey in 2008:  Prelinary Feasibility of Ecological Separation of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes to Prevent Transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species. 

For a possible solution on how to get barges from one watershed to another, have a look at

-Tom K.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waste Water Education 501(c)3 Presents Web-Seminar on Pharmaceuticals in Water

PPCP series logoOn Wednesday December 1, 10 am EST -

Prescription For The Future?  

The presenter is Herbert T. Buxton - U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Coordinator.

The second seminar in this series, examining the potential and realized impact of pharmaceutical products in the environment, will be presented via live internet video feed at 10 am EST on December 1.

There is no charge for attending this internet seminar but space is limited. To register contact - or call 231 233 1806.

It will run until approximately 11.30am. The meeting will stay open for discussion afterwards.

The presentation is free to the public - you may attend via your own computer at home or office or can attend in person at the Benzie County Health Department - where the event is being sponsored by the Benzie County League of Women Voters. This option is offered for people who want to discuss the issue afterwards or don't have a high speed internet service.

Content will be a review of recently completed and current research in progress, on the presence of, environmental and public health impact of, pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater, drinking, surface and ground water.

There is growing concern about the long term effects of PPCPs on human health and the natural environment - through a series of science based seminars WasteWater Education 501(c)3, seeks to provide some clarity to the risks involved.

What's in Our Wastewaters and Where Does it Go?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has implemented a national reconnaissance to provide baseline information on the environmental occurrence of "emerging contaminants" such as human and veterinary pharmaceuticals (e.g., fluoxetine and lincomycin), industrial and household wastewater products (e.g., p-nonyphenol and triclosan), and reproductive and steroidal hormones (e.g., equilenin and progesterone) in water resources. 142 streams, 55 wells, and 7 effluent samples were collected across 36 states as part of this national reconnaissance effort. A majority of the sites sampled were those suspected to be susceptible to emerging contaminants from animal or human wastewaters. This national reconnaissance of emerging contaminants is the first of its kind in the United States. (Source: )

Whether your drinking water comes from a private well and aquifer or via a municipal system; whether you have a private onsite wastewater system or connect to a municipal sewer; if you live by an ocean, a lake or a stream - traces of pharmaceutical products have been detected. When prescriptions and over-the-counter drug purchases now run in the billions annually it's not surprising. The general misconception is that the body consumes the total dose - which is far from true. In addition, some municipal wastewater treatment process can increase the toxicity of flushed medications and cannot effectively remove them prior to discharge to a local lake or river.

Although the amounts are measured in parts-per-billion or million, what is the long term accumulative effect on people and the environment? USGS lead research attempts to provide some answers.

To register contact - or call 231 233 1806.

The first seminar in this series, Al Alwan, Ph.D.Water Quality Branch, Water Division, Environmental Protection Agency Region 5: Alternative Approaches to Address Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCP) Environmental Fate . - may be viewed at this link. -

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recent Activities at the Inland Seas Education Center

A Full House for the Asian Carp Seminar by Mark Breederland on Nov. 9

Suttons Bay High School Students, under the direction of Mr. T, planning their video shoot for TV Teleganza
UpNorth TV Teleganza is tomorrow, Nov. 20 at the State Theatre.  It's a big deal, and a good deal!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay" to be Presented in Elk Rapids

The Elk Rapids Area Historical Society’s final program for 2010 is, “An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay.” It will be presented by Tom Kelly on Wednesday November 17th, 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Elk Rapids Township Hall, 401 River Street (across from the tennis courts). Note: this is the only Wednesday night program this season.
Zebra Mussels in Grand Traverse Bay.  Chris Doyle Photo

An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay is a program that tells the story of the changing environment of the Grand Traverse Bay region, from the glaciers to the present day.

There are many stories to be told, from the immense continental glaciers of the late Pleistocene to the tiny zebra mussels and other invader species that have transformed the Bay in the last few decades.

The effects of lumbering, fishing, damming, farming and urbanization are included, as is a peak through the curtain into the future ecology of the Bay.

Tom Kelly is the Executive Director of the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA). He has worked for the University of Michigan as a limnologist on the Great Lakes and inland lakes, and as a Sea Grant Marine Field Agent in Traverse City, MI. Beginning in 1978, he did consulting work in fisheries and water quality. In November 1986 Tom sailed aboard the sloop Clearwater doing environmental education programs for students in the Hudson River Valley. This experience led to the formation, in 1989, of the Inland Seas Education Association. Tom is currently the Captain of ISEA’s flagship, the 77’ schooner Inland Seas.

Tom’s greatest joy comes from bringing the wonders of the Great Lakes to those who have not experienced them before. During the 2010 ISEA Schoolship season, 3,284 students sailed on the schooner Inland Seas (86,393 since Inland Seas Education Association was founded in 1989).

ISEA conducted dockside programs for 4,263 people at the Escanaba City Marina, Fayette State Park, Traverse City Film Festival, Tall Ships Chicago, and the Michigan Schooner Festival. Additionally, ISEA’s Summer Music Festival attracted 1,300 people.

Admission Fee: $5.00 suggested donation for adults and $2.00 donation for students (under age 18) is requested at the door for these programs. Any free-will donation will be graciously accepted! All proceeds benefit the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society.

For more information contact Dan LeBlond, President, Elk Rapids Area Historical Society;

Tel. 231-264-8984 or send e-mail to: Visit our website at: view a listing of 2011 programs and special events.

Propeller Service With A Smile

Our friend and favorite working diver, Chris Doyle, came to the ship yesterday and greased the Max-Prop feathering propeller. This service is needed once or twice a year to keep the propeller working properly. Thanks to Chris for donating this service.

30" Max-Prop

Chris at Work

Allen Wolfe and Chris Doyle after the dive.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Attention Teachers: Invasive Species Workshop in TC

Join the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) for the Invasive Species Teacher Workshop on November 15 & 22, 2010 from 4:30 - 7:30pm at the Boardman River Nature Center in Traverse City. The session on November 15 will focus on aquatic invasive species, and the session on November 22 will focus on terrestrial invasive species. The goal of this workshop is to provide teachers with content knowledge about aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, promote a sense of stewardship for the Great Lakes watershed, and prepare teachers to teach their students about invasive species prevention and control.

This 2-session Invasive Species Teacher Workshop will use a unique combination of content presentations and classroom and outdoor activities to inform teachers about current invasive species issues and how they can incorporate invasive species curriculum into their classrooms. Presentations will be provided by recognized experts and will include an overview and history of invasive species, identification of common invaders, and efforts to control and prevent their introduction and spread. Teachers will participate in activities that can be incorporated into their classrooms, and will be provided with a wealth of educational materials, including fact sheets, watch cards, identification books, posters, DVDs, and curriculum.

The Invasive Species Teacher Workshop is free of charge, but space is limited to 20 participants. Participants will receive a stipend for each session they attend, and an additional stipend for classroom supplies to those attending both sessions. Dinner will also be provided. For more information or to register for the workshop, please contact me at the ISEA office.

Christine Crissman
ISEA Education Director
(231) 271-3077

Asian Carp Seminar in Sutons Bay Tonight

"Asian Carp: the Latest Threat to the Great Lakes" November 9, 2010

The Inland Seas Education Association will present a seminar that focuses on current issues involving Asian carp at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 9th, at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay. The program will be presented by Mark Breederland, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator. This seminar is free and open to the public.

Bighead Carp, Illinois River, Dec. 3, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Schmuckal Oil Co. Helps Keep Inland Seas Running Smoothly

The photo below shows Inland Seas' Tom Kelly accepting one of two cases of Shell Rotella oil donated by Paul Schkmuckal and the Schmuckal Oil Company of Traverse City.  Thanks to Schmuckal Oil for this annual gift that keeps our John Deere diesel running smoothly all season long. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leelanau School Students Help With Fall Clean-Up

Four students from Leelanau School came to the Inland Seas Education Center yesterday afternoon to help with fall chores.  Led by Elizabeth Blondia, the group put away our small boats, washed the boatshop windows and exterior walls, and installed the covers on the AC units. We look forward to having these hard workers back again.  Thanks to Nina, CJ, Daniel, and Danny! 

Inland Seas Covered for the Winter

This past week Inland Seas received her winter cover.  The crew, led by Capt. Champt, put on the shrink wrap cover during a break in the windy fall weather.  The frame was installed before we left our home dock in Suttons Bay.  Thanks also to crew members Bob and Allen. 
Inland Seas at Center Pointe with cover frame installed

Cover in place. 

Thanks to Center Pointe and Harbor West 25 LLC for providing our winter berth!  -Capt. Tom