In order to investigate the nature and causes of pollution in Lake Michigan, a daily boatload of students have set sail to examine it.
In order to investigate the nature and causes of pollution in Lake Michigan, a daily boatload of students have set sail to examine it. The students are part of a University of Michigan and Federal government sea-grant programme.
Everyday this summer the students cruise around Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. Their tasks include taking its temperature, measuring it's currents, sampling it's water, and the life in the water. In addition, they give the Bay a through physical and chemical analysis.
The researchers chose Grand Traverse Bay because it resembles a miniature Lake Michigan. It's long, narrow, deep, and has its highest population at the south end.
The students try to learn from laboratory analysis how long it takes for waste products to break down, what happens to raw sewage, how much acid there is, how much washed out fertilizer, and what effect all that is having on the Bay's life system.
There has been Great Lakes research before, but never so intensely in such a confined area, and never with the goal of stabilizing the relationship between the water and the people who use it.
The sea-grant people are trying to blend their knowledge of Grand Traverse Bay into an overall management plan for the entire Great lakes system.