September 6

Storm Drain System Surrounding Bear Lake

The storm drain system mapping on Linderman Road was completed.

A team of experts including Rob Carson, Manistee County Planning Director, Pat Bentley, Project Surveyor for the Spicer Group, and Dick Graham, the Bear Lake Watershed Alliance Storm Drain Chairperson, mapped the entire Linderman Rd. network of drains.

This is but the first of many storm drain systems that empty into Bear Lake. Mapping the drains is necessary before a full drainage system analysis can begin. Eventually, all the storm drain networks will be mapped and analyzed to their effectiveness. The goal is to protect and preserve the water quality of Bear Lake and the mapping will show where to respond in the event of a hazardous spill into the system, and should provide low cost practices to minimize pollution, erosion, and flooding.

BLWA has submitted an application for a state grant to perform the complete system analysis. Improving the existing community storm drains is a major on-going project undertaken by BLWA.

July 23

Does Bear Creek Have Mussels?

The Manistee County manager responsible for community efforts to control invasive species, Kirsten Sheffield, has received reports that there are mussels in Bear Creek. She would like to perform a study and needs your help to direct her to locations in Bear Creek where mussels have been spotted.

July 14

The 2014 Interim Report on the progress of implementing the Greater Bear Watershed Management Plan has been completed and available at the link below.

2014 interim report

May 6,

To get where we want to go, we needed a plan. We were given a grant of $132,380 to develop a plan. It has been completed and approved and is in the Plan tab section. It is a good plan. The money was well spent.

The plan is not just sitting on a shelf. We are implementing the plan and sharing our progress as we go. Please review the Action Reports tab section for reports of our progress.

There are two great examples of how government entities initiated action to help local volunteers in our implementation efforts. The first example is the effort to control the unintentional spread of invasive species. The U.S. Forest Service and Manistee County worked together to purchase a portable power wash station that will be used at boat launch sites. It will help educate the public about the invasive species problem as boats are being cleaned.

The second example is the help Manistee County Planning Department is giving with the Storm Drain System near Bear Lake. The system is old and there was little information available about drain sites and routes. Many drain sites are clogged with debris. Manistee County Planning worked with local volunteers to locate each drain, culvert, inflow and outflow to the lake. The GPS of each location was entered into the GIS data base and a map was created. Manistee County is working with Bear Lake volunteers to develop a step by step plan.

March 18, 2014

The Greater Bear Watershed submitted a grant application to provide funding for engineering work for goal 2A - Improve the Storm Drain System in Bear Lake. Grants were selected via a lottery method. A large number of grant applications were submitted. Unfortunately, the Greater Bear grant application was not one of the lucky applications selected by the lottery.

If we received the grant, we would have moved to the stage of engaging an engineering firm to prepare a plan. Since we did not succeed in the lottery, our next task is to identify who will accept responsibility for cleaning the clogged drains, who will pay for the work and when it can be done.