Newsletter #87: June 2009

Making Lake Michigan Great

Since 1998, the W.G. Jackson vessel will have visited 33 ports of call in Lake Michigan as part of the Making Lake Michigan Great Tour.  The purpose of the tour, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office, is to spread the word about the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) and to gather input on lakewide issues from the public at the various ports of call.  This is done in a variety of ways, such as water quality sampling cruises, open houses on the vessel, exhibits, and public meetings.  Local contacts at each port coordinate the programs and take registrations for the cruises.  Thousands of people in four states have participated in the tour throughout the years.

The idea for the Making Lake Michigan Great Tour emerged when the U.S. EPA's Lake Michigan Forum held a meeting in Grand Haven in 1997.  Forum members went out on the W.G. Jackson and were impressed by its capabilities.  Dr. Janet Vail of AWRI, current co-chair of the Lake Michigan Forum, suggested the idea of using the vessel for public outreach throughout the Lake Michigan basin.  The Forum and U.S. EPA agreed and the tour has become an annual event since then.

This year the W.G. Jackson has already traveled to Milwaukee, WI and Port Washington, WI.  We were part of the Gathering Waters Festival at Lakeshore Park in Milwaukee.  The Festival Coordinator, Kae DonLevy, arranged a Jackson trip for public officials.  The Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, was among the dignitaries onboard.  The Executive Director of the Port Washington Tourism Council, Kathy Tank, hosted our Port Washington visit.  In July, the Jackson will be traveling to White Lake, Beaver Island, and Charlevoix.  Dr. Don Uzarski, a former research scientist at AWRI, is coordinating the visit to Beaver Island.  We hope to be working with the Raven Hill Discovery Center for events in Charlevoix.  Pending continued funding from U.S. EPA, we plan to have a Making Lake Michigan Tour again in 2010.

List of Ports of Call:

MAKING LAKE MICHIGAN GREAT - 33 Ports of Call in the Lake Michigan Basin

Beaver Island, MI                     Menominee, MI

Charlevoix, MI                          Milwaukee, WI

Chicago, IL                               Muskegon, MI

East Chicago, IN                       Michigan City, IN

Escanaba, MI                            Pentwater, MI

Frankfort, MI                             Petoskey, MI

Grand Haven, MI                      Port of Indiana, IN

Green Bay, WI                          Port Washington, WI

Hammond, IN                            Racine, WI

Harbor Springs, MI                   Saugatuck, MI

Holland, MI                               Sheboygan, WI

Kenosha, WI                            South Haven, MI

Ludington, MI                           St. Joseph, MI

Manistee, MI                            Sturgeon Bay, WI

Manistique, MI                         Traverse City, MI

Manitowoc, WI                        Waukegan, IL

                                                White Lake, MI 

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