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Illinois | Michigan | Minnesota | Ohio


Nature Takes Control at Chicago Sand Dune
Elizabeth Ulion reports in the Medill Reports at Northwestern University’s Medill school, on Montrose Beach, Chicago’s only sand dune a mile from Lake Shore Drive and in view of the cityscape.

Created in the 1930s, Montrose Point was built with sand shipped in from Indiana. Now it hosts a harbor, a bird sanctuary, a beach, a dog park and Chicago’s only naturally formed sand dune. Montrose is unique because all the dunes that used to be in the city were destroyed as the city grew,” said Michael Chrzastowski of the Illinois State Geological Survey. “They have all been bulldozed away.”

>> Read the full story online


Some of $165,000 in fed grants will go to Saginaw Bay
Michigan will receive $165,000 in federal stimulus dollars to restore fish and wildlife habitat on private lands, including on Saginaw Bay.

The funding will support voluntary habitat improvement projects completed through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, Department of Interior officials said in a news release. Those projects include wetlands restoration in the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay watersheds to benefit migratory waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

Source: The Bay City Times


Taconite Tailings Find Second Life in Road Construction
Minnesota has long shipped taconite pellets to steel-makers outside the state. Now there may be a market for the rock left over from the mining process. A researcher at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, says the leftover rock, or tailings, from Minnesota's taconite mines is an ideal material for road construction.

"In this case, the taconite rock that we're looking at here; it's about as hard as any aggregate that's out there in the market right now," researcher Larry Zanko said. "In fact, it's probably the hardest material that could be used for roadbuilding."

Zanko says that could save the public money in areas like Chicago, where the available aggregate material is soft rock such as limestone and dolomite. Roads built with hard aggregate are safer and last longer.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Truckload Sale!
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and the Regional Stormwater Protection Team will host a rain barrel and composter sale on June 27th, 2009 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the lower east Lake Superior College parking lot.

For more information, download the brochure from or call 218-722-3336.


Agricultural Drainage Management:
Benefits Could Range from the Bin to the Gulf

Managing agricultural drainage water in the Midwest could represent the next great step forward in agriculture, with benefits that reach from conserving subsoil moisture on individual tile-drained fields to reducing nutrient loading all the way down in the Gulf of Mexico. Control structures with movable weirs, or "stop logs," allow growers to hold water in their soil or release it depending on the needs of their crop, their fieldwork schedule and the environment.

"The first step was to drain the land so it was farmable," notes Don Pitts, state water and air quality specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Champaign, Ill. "Now it's time to manage that drainage."

Research shows that drainage water management can reduce annual nitrate losses from tile-drained fields by 15 to 75 percent, depending on location, climate, soil type and cropping system. Most of the reduction in nitrate results from the reduction in water flow from the field through the tile.

>> Read the full story online

USDA Funding Available For Ohio Grassland Owners
The USDA Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the availability of the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) for Ohio producers. This program was reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, is voluntary, and provides opportunities for agricultural operators to protect grazing uses and other related conservation values by restoring and conserving eligible grasslands and certain other lands through rental contracts and easements.

For more information: Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service

OLEC Funds Projects to Promote Regional Collaboration,
Advance Research on New Technologies

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) will provide grants for four studies that will enhance regional collaboration, study environmental concerns along the lake and provide educational resources for those in the watershed. On June 3, OLEC members approved the latest round of Lake Erie Protection Fund small grants. The grants fund a variety of projects that provide direct benefit to Lake Erie and its tributary watersheds in Ohio.

For more information, visit: Ohio Department of Natural Resources


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. GLIN Partner