Take care of our lakes this summer

The Detroit Free Press recently published an article saying tourism poses risks to Up North waters.

So many boats in the inland and Great lakes and so many feet walking all over the shorelines of those waterways are great for the Up North economy, according to the Free Press, but pose real dangers to the ecosystems, from increased risk of the spread of invasive species to the tromping of shoreline vegetation to increased trash that could put plastics and microplastics in the water.

“And so, we recognize (tourism is) vitally important, but it goes in hand that we have to take good care of our lakes and the water quality in order to sustain that tourism,” Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Executive Director Katie Wolf told the Free Press. “If we do not do that, then the tourists will go elsewhere. And so it’s very important that when we are in the high season, that we also work very hard to do the right things.”

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers some tips for how to recreate responsibly:

* Be kind by following posted rules, cleaning up after your pets, and being respectful of other people’s space.

* Know the seasons and make sure you have all the appropriate permits or licenses for any outdoor activity you’re engaged in.

* Take steps to prevent the spread of invasive species by draining and cleaning boats immediately after you take it out of the water, not taking firewood from one place to another, and cleaning off hiking gear immediately after a hike.

* Dispose of trash in properly marked receptacles, and try to limit plastics by using reusable straws and utensils.

Visitors, we love that you’re here, but we need your help keeping our waters safe.

Residents, we urge you to follow those guidelines, too, and set a good example for our out-of-town guests.

With a little bit of effort, we can keep Lake Huron and the inland lakes beautiful.


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