VOL. 8, No. 6 August 23, 2010
Friends, Isopods, Water Boatmen and BoatWomen alike:
On behalf of the FLG Board of Directors, we hope you and your families could take a few days away this summer and that your trips took you to watery havens somewhere in Michigan. Hope most of you are back with a renewed appreciation for our bountiful (albeit low levels of) fresh water resources. Two quick notes please?
Item #1. Boat Launch Project Help Needed:
DeWitt Township manager Rod Taylor has requested assistance from FLG members and Friends, in two forms: 1) a letter of support for a small grant intended to seed a boat launch project @ Looking Glass River Park on Herbison (attachment), and, 2) assistance from a dozen or so of our brawny folks who have a few hours to lend a pair of hands on Saturday morning -- THIS Saturday. Jon Morrison and I met with Rod on site and we're calling all available hands and their attached bodies to help clear a few fallen maple trees and some limb debris out of the river and help stabilize / remove a part of the existing observation platform. Anyone who can help, please sign up...a call to my cell ph (881-1758), or preferably, a return email is your first step. We'd like to know numbers so Rod can be sure to have enough waters, soft drinks and snacks on hand. The work party begins @ 9AM this Sat the 28th and goes to approx noon-ish. There is approx 2' or less of water in the river - hardly enough to drench a muskrat. (You may be lucky to see the resident juvenile mink on site, who is a fearless and adventurous little critter). We'll need about 3 or 4 people in the stream and 8 - 10 people on the bank. If you're willing to help (bring along your high schooler for a hands-on, good-old fashioned civics lesson), here's a handy checklist:
- hip waders for the water dogs
- work shoes/boots for the shore crew
- 6 - 8 twenty foot nylon ropes or tow straps. Ropes need to be 3/4" dia. or so - no wimpy ski ropes or clothes lines
- gripper gloves
- a couple of HD wheelbarrows
- a 12" - 16" bar chainsaws
- safety goggles
- your sense of humor and vengeance for maintaining a high-quality river
- very few if any bugs, but there is "some" poison ivy, so be aware.
We can also use a good photographer to document the work, from all angles if you fit that description and need a byline credit or have an ailing back.
The Township and City of DeWitt will supply the HD chipper and an operator.
(Reminder: This is also a qualifying round for our annual LGR LogJamBee, set for Friday Sept 24. Check the website often and LOG your calendar for that date too please?).
Item #2: Bridge Sign Installations.
Low water season is also the best time to help post some of our remaining bridge ID signs that help river users to determine their locations and distance to the next bridge, town, etc. This can be done after dinner for an hour or two, or on weekends. Same sign up situation as Item #1 please.
That's it for now, except to say that I witnessed more sediment pollution in the river at the Old 27 bridge tonight, thanks again to MDOT low-bidder Davis Construction in the form of plume of what appears to be highly concentrated mustard-colored clay particulate matter.
The source appears to be the piledriving of the steel coffer dam wall sections, and a huge maple tree that was torn from the riverbank before the coffer dam was completed. (The stump & bank repair was shot after work stoppage for the day after sediment had washed downstream). The plume could be seen more than a half mile downstream. I'm sending photos to MDNRE and asking for an explanation. It may not be an effective way to stop the flow of heavy sediment downstream, but both ends of a torn-in-half-and-destroyed floating debris barrier flaps uselessly in the current as an example of the apparent lack concern for the river by this company and perhaps by those who are supposed to be supervising them. More later.