Adult zebra mussels are large enough to be seen in containers with moss balls.

Forget freighter ballast, these mussels got here on moss balls

MOSS BALLS: The new hitchhikers in the Great Lakes region aren’t stopping drivers with a thumbs up. They’re riding moss balls across the ocean, and aquarium owners should be on the lookout for invasive zebra mussels. The warnings come from MSU Extension, Michigan and Wisconsin natural resource departments and the U.S. Geological Survey. By Taylor Haelterman. FOR ALL POINTS.

A new EPA app aims to help track water quality at beaches

WATER TESTING: The EPA has a new app to help monitor contamination at freshwater beaches and other water recreation spots. But Michigan is ahead of the game with the BeachGuard program it’s been using for years. Last summer’s closures included beaches in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Macomb, Hurron and Isabella counties. We talk to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and District Health Department #10, which covers Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo and Oceana counties. By Sophia Lada. FORCRAWFORD COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, BIG RAPIDS, LUDINGTON, LAKE COUNTY, MANISTEE, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington.

Lighthouses plan to pursue restoration plans

LIGHTHOUSES: Lighthouse boosters and planning to kick off this year’s restoration projects, including necessary fundraising. They include Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington, Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse and Muskegon Breakwater Light. By Kristia Potsema. FOR HOLLAND, MANISTEE, ALCONA, OCEANA, MONROE, LUDINGTON, HARBOR SPRINGS, MARQUETTE, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE, MARIE, OCEANA, BENZIE, ST. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore off of Lake Michigan.

Great Lakes’ protection requires more education, study finds

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: Michigan residents worry a lack of environmental education threatens the state’s defining feature, the Great Lakes, a recent study said. Focus groups identified environmental threats for coastal communities and called for education on how to be better stewards of the lakes. Concerns varied by lake, but the most common themes were rising water levels and lack of environmental education. Other concerns: beach erosion, pollution, public access, invasive species and lake user safety. We talk to an MSU expert and the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative executive director. By Taylor Haelterman. FOR HOLLAND, MANISTEE, OCEANA, BENZIE, TRAVERSE CITY, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, MONROE AND ALL POINTS.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist Mike McCormick, co-author of a study on Lake Michigan’s deep water temperatures, stands on an instrument buoy in southern Lake Michigan.

Rising deep Lake Michigan temperatures may portend shorter winters

LAKE TEMPERATURE: The Great Lakes region should expect shorter winters, according to a long-term deep water temperature study of Lake Michigan. Abrupt changes in water temperatures in the Great Lakes would have profound effects on the region’s ecosystems, and fish populations could shrink as a result, a new study says. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor explain. By Brandon Chew. FOR HOLLAND, BENZIE, OCEANA, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, ALCONA, MONROE, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

A scuba diver explores the wreckage of the lost P-39Q Airacobra at the bottom of Lake Huron.

How archeologists excavate Great Lakes wrecks

LAKE HURON WRECKAGE. A World War II fighter piloted by a Tuskegee Airman and lost over Lake Huron in a training accident will be recovered and displayed at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It’s one of about 200 military aircraft that disappeared into the Great Lakes during the war. An underwater archeologist explains how the wreckage was found. The archeological director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes discusses the recovery of a sailing vessel that sank in Lake Erie in 1829. By Yue Jiang. FOR ALCONA, CHEBOYGAN, SAULT STE. MARIE, MONROE, MARQUETTE, OCEANA, BENZIE, LEELANAU, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, HARBOR SPRINGS, STE. IGNACE AND ALL POINTS.

The capsized Eastland in the Chicago River cost 844 lives in 1915.

Folk songs preserve memories of Great Lakes shipwrecks

SHIPWRECK SONGS: “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead,” including the 29-member crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald. A new study says folks songs memorializing victims of Great Lakes shipwrecks such as the Edmund FItzgerald, the Eastland, the Lady Elgin and the Rouse Simmons (a/k/a “the Christmas ship”) build public awareness and help preserve historic wrecks. A maritime cultural resources researcher, from Leslie, and a singer-songwriter specializing in the Great Lakes tell us why. By Eric Freedman. FOR MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, ALCONA, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, OCEANA, BENZIE, MONROE, LEELANAU, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

Katherine Eaton, the lead author of a recent study on kiyis in Lake Superior, developed a new way to identify the vision gene carried by the fish.

Fish vision genes could inform Great Lakes restoration of native, deep-water species

FISH GENES: Understanding how genes affect which fish can see deep in Lake Superior could help scientists understand how to protect them. Kiyis belong to the ciscoes, which play a key role in Great Lakes food webs and are food source for siscowet lake trout. They may have regained an ancestral adaptation that enables better vision in deep water. By Kyle Davidson. FOR MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, ST. IGNACE, ALCONA, MONROE, CHEBOYGAN, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BENZIE COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY AND ALL POINTS.

Scientists use simulations to protect walleyes.

Virtual walleyes fight new threats to real ones

VIRTUAL WALLEYE: Using data from Lake Erie and the Maumee River, scientists are simulating Great Lakes walleye on computers to find out how contaminants harm the fish. The new technique helps experts more efficiently discover how to clean up contaminants from farming, household cleaning products and medications that end up in lakes and rivers. By Taylor Haelterman. FOR MONROE, BLISSFIELD, DETROIT, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, ALCONA, SAULT STE. MARIE, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, BAY MILLS, LUDINGTON, BENZIE COUNTY, OCEANA COUNTY, MANISTEE, HOLLAND AND ALL POINTS.

The Michigan Shipwreck Research Association captured the first-ever footage of the SS William B. Davock shipwreck, determined to be a rudder that broke in the storm.

Impact of deadly 1940 Armistice Day Storm still felt today

STORM: The Armistice Day Storm of 1940 went down as one of the most impactful weather events in Midwestern history. It occurred when a low pressure system rapidly moved into the Great Lakes region. Temperatures plunged from low 50s to single digits,. A deadly blizzard followed with gale-force winds. The death toll: 154 deaths and numerous shipwrecks. It’s the subject of an exhibition at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. By Lillian Young. FOR HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, MASON, OCEANA, MANISTEE, CHEBOYGAN, ALCONA, HOLLAND, BENZIE AND ALL POINTS.