With two vessels operating, cruise participants need to be clear as to which vessel they have reserved and where the vessel will be docked. The W.G. Jackson is usually boarded at the GVSU Lake Michigan Center facility of the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute on the waterfront in downtown Muskegon ( Figure 1). In front of the tan and green building that you will see as you enter through the Lake Michigan Center's gate, you will find ample parking near the W. G. Jackson vessel, . Use the sidewalk near the water to reach the W. G. Jackson. However, there are times when the vessel will be at a different location such as when it is on the annual Making Lake Michigan Great tour. Unless specifically notified, assume the vessel will be at the Lake Michigan Center located directly across the channel from the West Michigan Mart Dock and near Heritage Landing in Muskegon.
In a typical cruise, the vessel leaves the dock at Muskegon Lake and makes its way across the lake to Lake Michigan. Muskegon Lake is 4,149 acres in size. Many of the industrial areas along the shoreline of Muskegon Lake are being re-developed. A paper mill and a power plant operate on the lakeshore. The area once had active logging and numerous industrial operations. Homes and marinas also surround the lake. Significant heavy industrial activity along with municipal wastewater plant discharges, combined sewer overflows and urban runoff in the past have led to contamination. Muskegon Lake has been designated an "Area of Concern" under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Muskegon River watershed drains into Muskegon Lake and influences the water quality, especially near the power plant ( Figure 2 - Muskegon River Watershed Map). Besides Muskegon and Big Rapids, the watershed has no large cities and is relatively undeveloped.
The D.J. Angus docking site is on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. Dedicated in 2006, the new dock area has ample parking and an onshore restroom facility. The map in this manual ( Figure 3) shows the location of the Harbor Island dock location. In case of construction on U.S. 31, there are alternate routes south and west of the dock site.
Weather permitting, the D.J. Angus makes a trip to Lake Michigan via the Grand River. Along the route to Lake Michigan, there is a sand mining operation, a large commercial unloading dock, marinas, and a power plant. The headwaters of the Grand River are near the city of Jackson and the river also flows through the cities of Lansing and Grand Rapids ( Figure 4 - Grand River Watershed Map). Besides urban areas, land use in this watershed is largely devoted to agriculture with relatively few natural areas. The other sampling point for the D.J. Angus is in Spring Lake. Spring Lake is surrounded mainly by homes and has experienced elevated nutrient levels.
Remember to check where your vessel will be by calling AWRI at (616) 331-3749.
Usual Location Of W. G. Jackson
Usual Location Of D.J. Angus
Grand Haven, Michigan