A Great Lakes group wants paddlers to help in the fight against invasive species.
Michigan Sea Grant – a group run by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University – is starting a program to teach kayakers and canoers to report aquatic invasive species found along waterways.
The organization recently announced a $200,000 grant from the state.
Mary Bohling, an educator with Michigan Sea Grant, says they want to recruit a team of volunteers across Michigan.
“We’re trying to get more eyes and ears out there to get more reports of things that look suspicious,” Bohling says, “so that we can catch things early – before they can become a really overwhelming problem for a particular waterbody.”
Michigan Sea Grant will hold workshops on a dozen water trails in Michigan next year, including on Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and Emmet and Cheboygan counties’ Inland Waterway.
“We’ve got these people out on waterbodies all the time paddling,” Bohling says. “They’re moving pretty slow. They know their waterbodies and know what might look unusual. Why not tap into those resources?”