Freshwater Weekly 1/18/18
This week: help stop a Lake Superior sulfide mine + the predator-prey balance on remote Lake Superior islands + clean water for all + ice watch + funding opportunities + ways to make a difference.
HELP STOP A FEDERAL LAND SWAP FOR LAKE SUPERIOR SULFIDE MINE
Our neighbors in Minnesota are in an urgent struggle to protect Lake Superior from the PolyMet open-pit sulfide mine. We need your help to block a federal bill (HR 3115) that would require a land exchange transferring 6,650 acres of Superior National Forest land to the PolyMet mining company, which plans to build a sulfide nickel-copper mine near Lake Superior. Over 60 regional environmental groups oppose the land swap, and the National Congress of American Indians has passed a resolution in opposition.
TAKE ACTION: Learn more—and take action—here.
CARIBOU AND MOOSE AND WOLVES, OH MY
In an effort to save the Lake Superior region’s last herd of caribou, nine of the animals were transported by helicopter from Michipicoten Island—where the herd has been decimated by wolves—to the nearby and nearly wolf-free Slate Islands.
Meanwhile, on the US side of Lake Superior, the National Park Service is set to release a final plan for reintroducing wolves to Isle Royale, where the absence of this apex predator has led to an unsustainable population explosion of more than 1,600 moose.
CLEAN WATER FOR ALL
Freshwater Future is proud to lead efforts for the national Clean Water for All campaign here in Michigan. Organized in response to the Trump administration’s June 2017 proposal to eliminate key federal protections for U.S waters and the Great Lakes, the Clean Water For All campaign has been working hard to ensure that community stakeholders are informed and engaged on this matter and making every effort to keep the current provisions in place. You can read more about Clean Water for All—and what we’re doing as part of it—on our blog.
Our office overlooks Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, and we love observing the way the lake changes with the days and the seasons. Some days the bay appears to have frozen solid overnight (it hasn’t), some days it’s covered in a thin layer of ice pancakes, and some days we still see deep blue open water. We’re kind of obsessed with the daily and ever-changing ice show.
Great Lakes ice cover is now at 35.5%, and has already surpassed the peak ice cover figure for winter 2015–2016. Last winter’s peak was only 19.4%, and at this time last year a mere 13.2% of Lake Michigan was covered in ice compared to 26.3% ice cover at present.
FUNDING FOR GREAT LAKES CLEAN UP & RESTORATION WORK
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Great Lakes Commission are offering small grants to support local efforts to clean up Michigan rivers, streams and creeks. The application deadline is February 20, 2018. Information about applying can be found here.
Sustain Our Great Lakes is soliciting applications for funding to restore and enhance habitat in the Great Lakes basin. The program will award grants in 2018 to improve and enhance: 1) stream and riparian habitat; 2) coastal wetland habitat; and 3) water quality in the Great Lakes and its tributaries. Pre-proposals are due February 13, 2018. Find more information and download the full Request for Proposals here.
Learn more about this and other grant opportunities on our website.
There are lots of simple ways to help protect our waters. Find more at freshwaterfuture.org/take-action.