Read about:  a little history of Earth Day, an April 29 workshop, a sad goodbye to Mary Mahoney, a Montague Middle School environmental project, and upcoming meetings and events

The White Lake Public Advisory Council is a formal council of members from throughout the White Lake area that works to provide the public with information, services, and projects which will improve the environmental quality of White Lake and its affiliated watersheds.

Through these activities the Council works to advise agencies, express views and voice the concerns of the local community. 

Visit the White Lake Public Advisory Council website for more information.

Your source of information
about White Lake restoration!

Welcome to the April 2015 issue of the White Lake Public Advisory Council’s E-Newsletter!  

Scroll down for:

A little history of Earth Day
An April 29 workshop
A sad goodbye to Mary Mahoney
A Montague Middle School environmental project, and 
Upcoming meetings and events

A big THANK YOU to  Laura Neubauer Connell for the masthead photo of turtles sunning  at the Whitehall Causeway habitat restoration site!

April 2015 Edition

A monthly publication of the White Lake Public Advisory Council

Editor:  Tanya Cabala
(231) 981-0016

White Lake Public Advisory Council Officers

Chair:  Greg Mund
(231) 893-7145

Vice-Chair:  Ken Mahoney
(231) 894-8608

Funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Commission to the Muskegon Conservation District for the White Lake Public Advisory Council. 
Earth Day, April 22

The founder of Earth Day was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. The Congressman, who also served as a state senator and governor for Wisconsin, loved nature and made environmental protection a focus of his legislative work.  He was dismayed by the visible pollution during the 1960s -- trash strewn across the landscape, polluted rivers and lakes, and hazy, sooty skies.  Back then, existing environmental laws were weak and enforcement was lax. 

Senator Nelson was especially disappointed in the lack of action by his colleagues in Congress and considered how to press them to action.  He was impressed with college students and decided they could stimulate change.  The plan was for a massive nationwide “teach in.”  It had to be done before summer break, so the event was scheduled for April 22.  The year was 1970.  What happened met Senator Nelson’s expectations -- twenty million people across the country took part and an environmental movement was born.  Congress took note and environmental issues were suddenly at the top of the nation’s list of priorities. 

Before the year was over, President Nixon established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to manage environmental programs for the country and implement environmental laws.  By 1980, Congress had passed 28 other significant pieces of environmental legislation and strengthened existing environmental laws. 

For local activities and events, see Muskegon Area Earth Week.  

Beyond Delisting: Protecting White Lake Workshop, April 29
Free White Lake Delisted Tote Bags!

Photo credit:  Laura Neubauer Connell
White Lake was officially delisted as a Great Lakes Area of Concern in October of last year, but the work of the White Lake Public Advisory Council (PAC) is not yet done. 

On Wednesday, April 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., the PAC will be coordinating an educational workshop for area residents interested in learning what state and federal programs are in place to address ongoing and future environmental issues associated with White Lake.

The free workshop, Beyond Delisting:  Protecting White Lake, will feature a lineup of expert presenters, including: 
  • Michelle Bruneau, project manager/health educator for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, on fish consumption guidelines for White Lake;
  • Heather Hopkins, environmental quality analyst for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on contaminated site cleanups;
  • Luis Saldivia, environmental manager for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on shoreline permitting;
  • John Perrecone, environmental protection specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on federal environmental programs and resources;
  • Matt Doss, policy director for the Great Lakes Commission on its programs and policy initiatives;
  • Dr. Thomas Tisue of the White Lake Association and the White River Watershed Partnership on the groups' environmental quality monitoring programs; and,
  • Mike Mack of the White Lake Area Sustainability Network on community sustainability initiatives.
There will be information booths for each discussion topic, as well as a booth with recycling resources from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  A free tote bag with a new “White Lake the Beautiful Delisted” logo designed by Whitehall resident Joan Scott will be provided to all attendees. 

The workshop panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session and an opportunity to visit with the presenters at their information booths.  The workshop location is the former Whitehall High School library in the Community Services Building, 541 E. Slocum Street in Whitehall.

A Sad Goodbye to Mary Mahoney

Mary and Ken Mahoney

Montague resident Mary Mahoney, one of the early local activists who raised the alarm about pollution problems at the Hooker Chemical plant, died earlier this month after a long illness.   We are truly indebted to Mary for her work on behalf of the community. She was an environmental hero and an exceptional woman.  She will be missed by many. See Mary, with husband Ken, in this video interview, as they tell their story.  
Marine Debris Focus of Montague Middle School Students

Jen Szegda's classes are researching and looking for solutions to the marine debris problem.  Each of her classes is taking on a different activity.

1st hour class:  Built five monofilament bins.  They will install the bins on May 1 at the following locations: Lyon’s Den, NAPA Auto, bike trail bridge by Dog-N-Suds, Montague boat launch, and at the Pier (Medbury Park).  They will partner with the Muskegon area nonprofit organization, Darling Cetaceans, who will monitor the bins and empty them.

2nd hour class:  Created an informational video for the public.

3rd hour class:  Developed an informational PowerPoint presentation for the public.

5th hour class:  Created a brochure to educate the public.

7th hour class:  designed a place mat that will go to area restaurants.

All students will participate in a beach cleanup on April 21 during Earth Week.

Ms. Szegda is a science teacher at Montague Middle School.

  Meetings and Events

April 29, 6 to 8 p.m. Beyond Delisting: Protecting White Lake Workshop
Former Whitehall High School library
Community Services Building
541 E. Slocum Street, Whitehall

Thursday, May 7, White Lake Public Advisory Council Business Meeting. 8:30 a.m. 
White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
124 Hansen Street
Whitehall, MI  49461
Copyright © 2015 White Lake Environmental Network, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp