Freshwater Weekly: August 15th, 2019

Posted on August 16, 2019 by

August 15th, 2019

This week: Study Shows Larger Areas of Lake Michigan Suitable for Asian Carp + Swim Safe in Ohio + Homes with Toxic PFAS to be Hooked Up to City Water Supply + More

Study Shows Larger Areas of Lake Michigan Suitable for Asian Carp 

Bighead carp and silver carp (the species that jumps out of the water), the two species of most concern to establishing in the Great Lakes, would have suitable habitat in much of Lake Michigan according to a recent study.

Earlier research suggested that limited access to preferred food would limit where these species could establish in Lake Michigan. But past research didn’t account for the adaptability of bighead and silver carp to feed on a variety of food sources including waste from zebra and quagga mussels.

This study looked at the entire lake to determine suitable habitat and food sources. It found that at certain times of the year, all of Lake Michigan’s 22,000 square miles of surface area would provide suitable habitat. The harmful economic impacts of an established Asian carp population are far greater than the estimated costs to install measures necessary to prevent the introduction. 

Where to swim safely during the dog days of summer in Ohio?

Not sure where it is safe to swim on these hot August days?  Check out the Ohio Department of Health’s Beachguard, it provides recreational advisories due to algae along Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys, and Buckeye Lake.

The most recent Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin published by NOAA documents the location of the bloom.  Remember to keep pets out of any water that may have the toxic blue-green algae.


Homes with Toxic PFAS to be Hooked Up to City Water Supply

Twenty homes in Norton Shores, Michigan located near the airport tested positive for PFAS contamination.  Six homes had levels greater than 70 ppt of PFOA and PFOS, the U.S. EPA’s advisory for lifetime health exposure, will be hooked up to the city water supply.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has set lower health screening levels for drinking water in Michigan, far below the 70 ppt.  More action is needed to protect the public health of residents in this area and other locations with PFAS contamination.

Mine Permit Granted Despite Agency Concerns

Concerns about contamination to the Menominee River and impacts to wetlands from a proposed 83-acre open pit mine were raised repeatedly by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now named Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) and the U.S. EPA, yet the mining company was still granted several permits.  The information was revealed as a result of an appeal filed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.  Other evidence from the appeal revealed that a web meeting with the mining company was provided to keep information out of the public record.

300 Swim the Straits of Mackinac

Windy conditions and strong currents challenged the over 300 people that attempted to swim the 4-mile Straits of Mackinac on August 11.  The Mighty Mac Swim course follows the Mackinac Bridge. Listen to Michigan Radio report on keeping swimmers safe at the event.


PFAS Test Kits – Test YOUR Water!

Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!

Donate to Freshwater Future’s Walk, Paddle and Roll fundraiser

Friends of Freshwater Future are walking, paddling, biking, and swimming around the Great Lakes region this summer with a goal to raise $5,000 to support the people working tirelessly to protect and restore our waters from source to tap.

With YOUR support, Freshwater Future is making sure that community groups across the Great Lakes have the tools and resources they need to make sure their water is safe for drinking and recreation. With your gift, we will:

  • Test water in homes and schools for lead contamination

  • Educate and engage youth around clean drinking water, building tomorrow’s leaders for environmental justice

  • Identify waters contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals and educate people about this dangerous pollutant

  • Push for policy solutions that reduce pollution contributing to harmful algal blooms

  • And much more!


Thank you to our Corporate Supporters:

Blake’s Hard Cider

Lush Cosmetics

Busch Systems

Coming Soon: Citizens Cider


© 2022 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.