Lake Huron Forever Initiative Awards $50,000 to Support Great Lakes Health

Friends of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary received a $25,000 grant to expand their existing “living roof” project to maximize the overall green roof footprint and cover as much available roof surface space as possible with vegetation to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the Thunder Bay River and Lake Huron. … More Lake Huron Forever Initiative Awards $50,000 to Support Great Lakes Health

Coastal Fens and Carnivorous Plants of Northern Michigan

The northern shores of Lake Huron are home to teal-blue waters, sun-bleached coasts of ancient bedrock and plants that eat meat. The thin soil found here contains very few nutrients, so plants like butterwort, bladderwort, sundew and pitcher plants have adapted to life in this rugged habitat by eating insects, much like the well-known Venus flytrap of the eastern United States. … More Coastal Fens and Carnivorous Plants of Northern Michigan

Our Wildflower: Protecting the Rare Habitat of the Dwarf Lake Iris

The official wildflower of the Great Lakes State is right at home anywhere it can get its feet wet along the rocky coast of Northern Lake Huron, but those places are getting harder to come by. This pint-sized perennial is known for its deep blue flowers that emerge mere inches above the ground for a fleeting few weeks in May and June. It’s a bit of a miracle this fragile flower exists at all. … More Our Wildflower: Protecting the Rare Habitat of the Dwarf Lake Iris

Beyond Rare: Restoring a River for Michigan’s Endangered Beetle

Michigan’s most endangered species is also one of the state’s smallest animals. The Hungerford’s crawling water beetle is smaller than a watermelon seed and its numbers are so few that Michigan’s entire beetle population—which is virtually every known Hungerford’s crawling water beetle on Earth—could fit in the cupped palms of your hands. … More Beyond Rare: Restoring a River for Michigan’s Endangered Beetle

Slow and Steady: How Connected Lands Help Blanding’s Turtle Stay in the Race

The Blanding’s turtle is distinguished by its helmetlike shell and mustard-yellow throat. Though not federally listed as an endangered species, it is one of special concern in Michigan where its habitats have been fragmented. As development increases in Northern Michigan, especially near coastal and wetland areas, the turtle’s habitat is disrupted by new construction, increased traffic and a shifting landscape. … More Slow and Steady: How Connected Lands Help Blanding’s Turtle Stay in the Race

Treasures in the Sand: Protecting One of Michigan’s Rarest Plants

On the remote shore of Negwegon State Park, where Lake Huron’s rugged coast gives way to long, narrow sand dunes, one of Michigan’s rarest plants is hanging on.For most of its life, the Pitcher’s thistle is a wispy tangle of short, silver-green stems.Below ground, the plant will spend the better part of a decade sending a taproot 6 feet down. … More Treasures in the Sand: Protecting One of Michigan’s Rarest Plants

A Few Good Things (and the Obvious Bad Ones) About Ticks

Let me lead off with a “good” fact about ticks even though it involves another one of Michigan’s maligned creatures: A single opossum can eat thousands of ticks every season. Say what you will about the opossum, whose leathery tail and scraggly fur strike a chord of disgust in some people, but the thought of … More A Few Good Things (and the Obvious Bad Ones) About Ticks

Reconnected At Last: Huron Pines Restores ‘Pivotal’ Shingle Mill Site on E. Branch Black River

A pipe culvert that obstructed the East Branch Black River for decades is gone and with it the persistent problems it caused with erosion, flooding and fish passage. In its place, a shiny aluminum arch ushers wild brook trout to 20 miles of habitat upstream of County Road 622 — vital spawning and nursery grounds supporting the river’s famed fishery. … More Reconnected At Last: Huron Pines Restores ‘Pivotal’ Shingle Mill Site on E. Branch Black River