From Chairman Robert Smith for 2016
The primary commitment of our Council is to monitor the Les Cheneaux recreational water quality which has been ongoing since 2001 and has been exclusively underwritten by the Les Cheneaux Island Association. Fortunately, there has been no measurable difference in the recreational quality of our LCI waters during the past 14 years based upon laboratory analysis of our water samples by the University of Michigan chemists.
We presently have a major opportunity for control of Eurasian watermilfoil using a native, safe, biological control agent. This is a highly significant landmark event driven by LCWC board members. LCWC is preparing for a third year of evaluating an experimental aquatic fungus which, if we repeat the degree of efficacy observed during the past two years, will be promoted for commercialization by a third party manufacturer and marketed across the U.S. and Canada. If our biocontrol agent is commercialized then LCWC will be in a position to receive royalties from the manufacturer which will relieve our Council from financial concerns for a long time to come, thereby allowing us to concentrate even more on keeping the Les Cheneaux waters pristine. This project has been conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Dept of Agriculture.
Other larger projects which we have successfully completed in the recent past include:
- Reduction of weed nutrients from the ClarkTownship wastewater treatment plant discharge waters by 100 fold. At this point seasonal waterfowl contribute more nutrient enrichment to CedarvilleBay than is contained in 30 million gallons of treatment plant effluent delivered to the Bay via Pearson Creek twice each year.
- Development of a comprehensive watershed management plan. ($600 K)
- Managing Eurasian watermilfoil using aquatic weevils. ($200K)
- Dredging of the federal channels within the islands under a $2.4 million dollar project with the Corps of Engineers
The last three of the above projects were conducted under support from State or Federal grants written by LCWC members.
- CedarvilleHarbor upgrade to provide adequate docking for local transient boaters.
- Invasive weed management to restore ecological balance among our aquatic plants and minimize recreational boating hazards.
- Maintaining GovernmentIsland trails with US Forest Service.
- Frogfest…community involvement, especially youngsters to help develop the next generation of environmental caretakers.
- Website upgrade to serve as a resource for Les Cheneaux environmental issues and communicate on same.
- Advocate for:
o Less rise and fall in the levels of Lakes Michigan and Huron.
o More accountability by Enbridge Corp for pipelines crossing the Straits.
o Efforts to restrict Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Long range plans:
Our long term priority remains as it is today: to address water-centric issues that affect our Les Cheneaux community ecologically and economically.
Development of the biocontrol agent for Eurasian watermilfoil control with a third party manufacturer will take significant effort during the next 3-5 yrs. Our work will be well worthwhile by bringing an effective, safe alternative to the chemical herbicides presently used. Royalties to LCWC will also allow us to undertake longer term aquatic ecology projects.
- Long term projects include:
o Improving the fishery by increasing mayfly populations to the levels they were 40 to 50 years ago.
o Bringing back the native mussel colonies that were dessimated by invasion of the zebra mussel.
o Increase the red leach populations, a favored perch bait, that are presently exceedingly rare in LCI