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Letters 04-21-2014

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Dark waters/Volunteers wanted/Pig farm mess

- May 24th, 2007
Something Fishy: James Crossman, a student with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU, netted a 25 pound sturgeon as part of a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour hosted by Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow in the Black Lake watershed.
Each spring, the sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) head up select rivers to spawn along the rocky riverbanks, almost oblivious to nearby human activity, making these rare fish susceptible to poachers and illegal harvest.
The lake sturgeon is a threatened species in Michigan and a rare species throughout the United States. That’s why a group of conservation officers, volunteer off-duty National Guard personnel, and other volunteer groups concentrate in these areas 24-hours a day during spawning season to safeguard the fish from poaching. Photo by Marci Singer.

Dark Waters?
Some residents of Alba are questioning the wisdom of a plan to pump contaminated water from the Bay Harbor kiln dust pollution site into a well in northern Antrim County.
CMS Energy, which is responsible for the toxic kiln dust cleanup, owns the property on which the proposed disposal well is located. The company would like to truck in 135,000 gallons of runoff water daily for disposal in the well in Star Township. The company claims that the geology of the site is ideal for the project, being largely impermeable limestone.
The EPA is reviewing the permit application for the project, which is drawing opposition from Star Township residents.

Volunteers Wanted
The Traverse City Film Festival needs volunteers, supplies and fundraisers for the July 31 - August 5 event.
Contact jane@traversecityfilmfestival.org or call 231-392-1134 if you are able to help the festival with an in-kind donation this year.
The festival is also hosting a Film Trailor Contest to promote the event. All trailers must be in English and should be a maximum of 30 seconds in length. They may be of any genre (comedy, drama, documentary, horror), with a limit of five film submissions per person. Submissions should be mailed in DVD format to:TCFF Competition Submission, PO Box 4064, Traverse City MI 49685.
Info? Go to www.traversecityfilmfest.org.

Pig Farm Mess
How would you like a big, smelly pig farm next door to your property?
That could be a reality for some Michigan residents due to four bills (SB 501, 502, 503 & 504) that would dramatically weaken Michigan’s regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
The Sierra Club of Michigan says the bills are on a fast track in the State Senate.
Among other things, the bills would, “chill the public’s right to file complaints with the DEQ regarding potential violations of environmental laws by banning anonymous tips and threatening fines for “unverified” complaints.“
The Sierra Club also charges that the bills would allow for the degradation of Michigan‘s water resources by weakening discharge regulations from highly-polluting factory animal farming operations.
Info at www.michigan.sierraclub.org

TUFF TUG: Watch out polluters and alien species: the 22-foot aluminum Baykeeper tug is on patrol.
The tug is used to patrol the Grand Traverse Bay, along with educational events and monitoring the water quality of the region’s lakes and streams.
A project of Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay at Northwestern Michigan College, the tug helps boost public awareness on the importance of water quality in the region. “We are excited to be out showing the public our boat. It is a visible symbol of our commitment to preserve and protect our waters now and for future generations,” says John Nelson, the Watershed Center’s Baykeeper.
 
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