Sunday's Bay City Times contains an editorial about cleaning up our watershed. It's from somebody who cares about the environment!
An FYI to the local environutz who are out to create even less jobs in the tri-city area and kick chemical industry butt, I have cared about the Great Lakes and especially the Saginaw Bay when many of you were still wearing diapers! My family have been boaters since the 1960s. Industry began creating non-phosphate cleaners way back then. We always made sure our cleaning products, dish soaps, etc. for use when we were boating contained no phosphates!!!
NOW... just want to share a 2004 photo album I created showing the Bay City State Park in mid-summer. All the other State Parks were already buzzing with activity. Here's the album: Beach
Here is the editorial for anybody who might not have read it:
Make 2008 the year we saved Saginaw Bay
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saginaw Bay is sick.
Rotting muck has ruined sandy beaches.
Human fecal matter - yes, that! - and animal waste are in that mess.
Invasive phragmites are taking over our shorelines.
Accidentally imported animals are remaking our native waters into ecosystems we don't recognize.
Yet the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality didn't even list Saginaw Bay in the first draft of its ''impaired waters'' report this year.
The bay needs action, now.
It demands a comprehensive plan.
Yet, we see no outrage.
Where, for example, are the environmentalists?
Lately, they seem more attuned to chemicals in the bay than they are to what rots and stinks up the place.
Refocus, you guys and gals: We need your dedication and experience.
The few steps taken to turn the bay around are commendable. The Bay County Board of Commissioners has enacted a ban on phosphates in lawn fertilizers to stop the growth of algae that dies to become muck. The bay needs more help than that.
In the past year alone, municipal wastewater treatment plants in Saginaw, Saginaw Township, Bay City and Essexville dumped 388 million gallons of only partially treated sewage into the Saginaw River. That's enough to fill 456 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Shrugs all around. What can we do?
Stop it, that's what.
Build more retention basins used to hold combined sanitary sewage and storm runoff. Or separate sanitary sewage from storm water.
Yes, it will cost millions of dollars, even billions. The work will take years.
So we better start now.
Nobody knows how many rural homes and cabins send their raw sewage downstream through failed septic systems.
Nobody has looked in any comprehensive way.
Find them and fix them. Take the Bay County ban on phosphates in fertilizer to all 22 counties in our watershed. Ban phosphates in
When people became enraged about industrial pollutants, laws were written and the offenders were found and fined. That pollution stopped.
The same outcry and the same, strong government response is needed to stop the biological poisoning of Saginaw Bay.
The work won't end once we get a grip on wastewater and runoff.
What do we do about zebra mussels?
Nobody knows, because little is known about the tiny bivalves that took over the bay more than 18 years ago.
Even less is known about the other invaders.
Study continues at the pace of a snail.
Ramp it up, and find solutions.
Get angry, get involved and get that bay of ours clean.
We will not be ignored if we stand as a region.
Determined that, together, we will cure our sick Saginaw Bay.
Starting this year.