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The eNews
Douglas Lake Improvement Association
PO Box 472, Pellston, MI 49769             March 16, 2020

Corona Virus Impacts Northern Michigan
            Schools are closed for three weeks. The Harbor Springs Community pool is closed. Restaurants and bars are closed as of today for in-house dining, although some restaurants are offering carry-out service.  Cheboygan and Petoskey libraries are closed.  It’s difficult to keep up with the cancellations and postponements of events.  Please check organizations' web sites for current information. However, as of March 16th, no positive tests for folks in northern Michigan.
     First sighting of a Canada goose on the ice at Douglas Lake a couple of days ago and smaller ducks in the open waters of the streams from woods to the Lake are indications that spring is surely on the way. Stay positive. Stay healthy. Practice social distancing and wash your hands often.
On an optimistic note: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Cheboygan Green Infrastructure Free Workshops
The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is offering a series of free workshops on reducing stormwater and flooding issues this spring.  While the emphasis is on City of Cheboygan concerns, these workshops should be of interest to Douglas Lake residents. Due to COVID-19 closures, the first two workshops have been postponed.
The topics are:
Introduction to Green Infrastructure, March 23, 2020 (POSTPONED until a later date); 1:30-4 pm at the Cheboygan Public Library
Visioning Green Infrastructure in Cheboygan, April 24, 1:30-4 pm (POSTPONED until a later date), at the Cheboygan Public Library
DIY Rain Barrels, an Earth Week Plus Adventure, May 18, 2020, 5-7 pm at Festival Square in Cheboygan (registered participants paint and take home their own rain barrels.  Registration space is limited.)
The first two workshops are on hold until a healthier time.  You can still register with the Watershed Council and you will be notified when the workshops are rescheduled.
Register under GetInvolved/Events on the TOMWC  website,
Update: PFAS in Pellston Wells
            For a change of pace from COVID-19 anxieties, we can update you about residential well testing for PFAS. Last month PFAS had been detected in a well one block south of Pellston Airport. The area of greatest concern is currently west of US-31 directly south of the airport. Nearly 175 residential wells have been tested so far, with 12 testing for greater than recommended criteria for the chemical. It remains unclear as to what clean-up costs or remediation methods might be at this point.This is the first example of a water source in Emmet County showing PFAS readings that are considered actionable.
     A town meeting was scheduled for March 25 at the Pellston Middle/High School Auditorium.  However, it is likely that this will be rescheduled given the COVID-19 mandatory school closings and limitations on group gatherings.  Links to PFAS information and the Pellston situation in particular are provided on the Emmet County website
A Benefit of High Waters
     In the spirit of “every cloud has a silver lining, “ a recent commentary in the Petoskey newspaper credited the high water levels of Lake Michigan for a lower dead bird count last fall. Watershed Council volunteers walked 120 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.  66 birds were found, similar to the same monitoring period in 2013, although that is double 2018's count  of 31. But in 2012, 900 birds were documented.
     The high water levels and cool lake temperatures reduce the production of a naturally-occurring toxin called botulinum, a neurotoxin that makes its way from algae to water fowl, causing paralysis, and eventually death.  If you’ve seen a dead bird on a Great Lakes beach, it is likely to have died from botulinum.
      Common loons made up the majority of dead birds that are found probably because they are deep diving birds who feed on round gobies. Researchers have found that the main pathway for botulism to enter the food chain is from round gobies eating zebra mussels who eat and live in dead algae.
Botulism can make humans, pets, and wildlife sick if they come in contact with an infected bird.
     If you find a dead bird, leave it alone and keep pets away.  Wearing gloves, birds can be disposed of by either burying birds above the water line or collecting them in a trash bag and placing them in a trash can or dumpster.
(Credit to Caroline Keson water resource specialist at the Watershed Council who authored the guest commentary in the Petoskey News Review of January 14, 2020.)

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Douglas Lake Improvement Association    ─   Dues are $25 a year 
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The eNews is published twice a month on-season and
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The DLIA Newsletter is published twice a year - Fall and Spring.
The Spring Newsletter is distributed approximately mid-May. Deadline for news and obituaries for Spring Newsletter has not been announced yet..
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