Lake Michigan Day 4: Friday July 9th

July 10, 2010

This morning the team met up with Mark Breederland from Michigan Sea Grant just after breakfast for our planned activities.

Our first stop was a visit with the crew of the Inland Seas Education Association, aboard their school ship schooner.

The schooner serves as an educational ship with programs for students to learn about water testing similar to those that the Lake Guardian does.

A museum nearby highlighted several of the aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes.

Everyone appreciated the hands-on displays and that even helped visitors understand methods of introduction for each invader.

One particular favorite was a giant sea lamprey that just seemed to take hold of us!

Our next stop was the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, which was located inside the Leelanau State Park at the tip of the Leelanau Penninsula.

The lighthouse has been guiding ships and sailors since it was built in 1858. “Today was great to see some cultural aspects of the Great Lakes.” – Aneal Padmanabha

Next on our itinerary was Fishtown Preservation Society.

According to its website, “The Fishtown Preservation Society (FPS) was originally created in 2001 through the efforts of local citizens dedicated to promoting and preserving the historical and fishing heritage of Fishtown.

In 2004, the Carlson Family decided to sell Fishtown and hoped to sell it to an entity which would preserve it. FPS soon after became the vehicle for the community to acquire Fishtown. In June 2006, FPS reached an agreement to purchase Fishtown for the amount of $2.8 million for the Fishtown real estate and $200,000 for the two fishing boats, and related fishing licenses and equipment from the Carlson family.

Tracey said, “I was completely impressed by the Fishtown Preservation Society Executive Director, Dr. Amanda Holmes. She clearly is a champion in a chain of enthusiastic support for a historic treasure!”

A rescue station near Sleeping Bear Dunes was next on our itinerary.

Susannah describes, “The rescue station was fantastic! I did not expect to get so much good information and pictures that I can directly use in my Shipwrecks Camp this month!”

The Sleeping Bear dune climb was our next stop.

Jeannie explains, “The ranger gave us some good information about the dunes before we jumped right into the climbing challenge. We learned about changes in the dunes, including erosion and invasive species (baby’s breath for example). Climbing to the beach would have taken more time and energy than we had left, so we cut it a little shorter by climbing only 2 slopes… but it was still really tough! The view of both Lake Michigan and Glen Lake was well worth the effort though. Plus the run down was a blast!”

Our final stop was the Sleeping Bear visitor’s center where we enjoyed the wildlife displays and a short rest before we returned to the Lake Guardian.

It has been a fun and information filled day. Matt said about today, “What a day traveling by vehicle in Leelanau Peninsula. I can’t believe the life saving crew would row out in seas of 10 to 15 feet- very courageous! The lake is beautiful! It is apparent why I love Lake Michigan!”

Tonight we will process our information and use it to build our flags and consider how we how we can use that information in our classrooms.

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