Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last Day to Comment on the Corps of Engineers GLMRIS (to stop the Asian carp and other invasive species)

This today from the US Army Corps of Engineers:

Today, March 31st, is the last day to comment on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study. Don't miss your opportunity! Please encourage interested parties to give their input. The US Army Corps of Engineers greatly values the interest and comments received during this comment period, which opened on November 16, 2010. Comments may be submitted online through the GLMRIS Web site.

The GLMRIS Team looks forward to a continuous relationship with our stakeholders. Periodic newsletters will be published to update you on the study's progress. Opportunities for public involvement, new documents and other important news and events will be posted on the GLMRIS Web site (a new Involvement page will go live in April) and sent to the GLMRIS e-mail subscription list. Please, join the conversation and discuss GLMRIS topics with the Corps and other stakeholders at and Twitter @GLMRIS.

Tell 'em what you think!  Democracy doesn't work unless the people speak. 

Early Spring Work on the Schooner

Allen making up a new quarter lift.

The snow covers the ground, and Suttons Bay is locked in ice, but work on the ship continued all winter.  Volunteer crew members Allen Wolfe, Bob Hagerman and Dale Whalen have been busy with refinishing brightwork and science gear, splicing new lines, and repairing the steering wheel (Dale crafted a new handle to replace one that was damaged).  Next week Capt. Remy and other volunteers will return and spring outfitting will begin in earnest.
Allen & Bob continue with splicing.
Dale stands beside the wheel with his new ash handle installed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sign Up Now for Tall Ship Birding Cruise

Ruins of the Ustick Cottage on Gull (Bellow) Island

On June 5th we will sail to Gull Island in Grand Traverse Bay to see the nesting colonies of herring gulls, double crested cormorants, and Caspian terns.  A guest faculty of experts will share their knowledge of these birds, the island and the fascinating history of attempted human settlement.  For more information and booking, go to the Leelanau BirdFest website or call the Leelanau Chamber of Commerce at 231-271-9895. 

Cormorants nesting in dead elm tree (now fallen)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Low Tide on Lake Michigan

Low tide...don't I wish.  These photos show our docks yesterday afternoon with the lake level at about 577.15 ft. above sea level.  The long term average for Lake Michigan is 578.83 ft. The record low was in 1964 at 576.48 ft.  You can keep track of the day to day changes in lake level at the NOAA Great Lakes Level Data web page. 

Floating docks aground at Inland Seas, Suttons Bay 3-21-11

The dock in the background has been lifted by the ice and will have to be re-set.

Looking East along the old Coal Dock
Hoping for a wet spring, --Capt. Tom

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pram Building Continues in the Inland Seas Boat Shop

On Saturday March 19, students in the Pram Building class began making the centerboard trunk and puttying the 300+ screw heads on each boat.  More photos are available on our Flickr page.


Putty Application

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A 1000 Mile Walk On The Beach

Last evening (3-15-11) Loreen Niewenhuis presented photos and stories of her 1000 mile trek around Lake Michigan.  Afterward she signed copies of her book "A 1000 mile Walk on the Beach"  (She said she actually walked 1019 miles).  We have several signed copies of her book at the Education Center if you would like one.

We had a full house for this event with over 60 in attendance.  Thanks to all who came to hear Loreen.

Loreen signing her book at the Inland Seas Education Center
To learn more about Loreen's trek around Lake Michigan, go to

Monday, March 14, 2011

ISEA Boat Shop in Action

Each Saturday morning the ISEA Boat Shop is in full swing with students, parents and ISEA Volunteer Instructors building two Opti Prams and a strip planked canoe.  More photos are on ISEA's Flickr pages.

Funding for the Pram Building Class is provided by the Collectors Foundation of Traverse City.  Many Thanks!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A 1000 Mile Walk On The Beach!

The Inland Seas Education Association will host author Loreen Niewenhuis at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 15th. This program will discuss Loreen’s recent book about her 1,000 mile trek of the perimeter of Lake Michigan. The author will be available to sign purchased copies of her book after her presentation.  For more info click here.

See her tonight (3-11-11) at Brilliant Books.

-Tom K.

Winter Lingers On

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The local bays (Northport, Omena, Suttons) remain ice covered, but there is little ice on Grand Traverse Bay.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Potential Asian Carp Hotspots?

On my recent visit to Chicago, I wanted to familiarize myself with potential routes for Asian carp to get to Lake Michigan. When you hear talk of "closing the locks", one of these is on the Chicago River (actually in Lake Michigan) near Navy Pier. The other is the Thomas J. O'Brien Lock on the Calumet River, #6 on the map below. 

 Map from:

As close as I could get to the Lock
 Unfortunately I could not get close to the lock to take photos (and there was a push-boat heading into the lock at the time I got there, which would have added interest).  Where there was once a public viewing area and restrooms, now was behind a fence with a very serious sign informing you that there is no entry, no photo taking, no note taking, map making, sketching, etc.  I assume this is in response to national security concerns, not fear of environmentalists coming to dump rocks in the canal.

I also visited the mouth of the Portage-Burns Waterway, also known as Burns Ditch, at Burns Harbor (# 5 on the map). There is a nice beach here that is part of the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. To the east are the Midwest Steel and Bethlehem Steel plants, hard on the lake shore. I guess we are spoiled here in Northern Michigan.
Portage Burns Waterway looking N towards Lake Michigan

Outlet of Portage Burns Waterway at Lake Michigan.

The Portage Burns Waterway is connected to the Little Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Canal to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.   These waterways are above (north) of the electric barrier (#7 on map).
----Tom K.