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Beaver Island’s citizens association (BIA) is teaming with the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council to offer a webinar designed specifically for homeowners and landowners on Beaver Island facing high water issues. The Summit is set for August 25 at noon and is expected to run about 90 minutes.

“The webinar will feature experts both on the science of lake level rise as well as how to best to respond to the problems it may cause” says BIA Board member Pam Grassmick.  Jennifer McKay, policy director at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, says the agenda was specifically designed to address the issues homeowners are facing with current high water. “The focus of this Beaver Island High Water Summit is to equip seasonal and year-round homeowners and land owners with a better understanding of the impacts and options available. When considering what actions to take along the shore of the Island to combat high waters, it is important to consider the health and the dynamic variability of the Lakes and the potential impacts on neighboring property. Excessive or poorly designed structures can increase damage to neighboring properties and disrupt the natural processes along the shoreline,” she said. 

Indeed, the planned agenda is robust.  Presenters will include Dr. Drew Gronewold, Associate Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, whose expertise and research spans the field of hydrological science.  “In other words, he’s an expert on why water levels rise and fall and Great Lakes forecasting,” said Grassmick.  Also on the agenda are Joseph Haas, District Supervisor for the Water Resources Division of the Gaylord Field Office at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy who will address strategies to respond to rising water—what works and what does not – as well was the permitting process for shoreline protection efforts. Scott Kendzierski, Director of Environmental Health Services at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, will participate as well to address drinking water well and septic system issues that can arise from high waters.

Advance registration is required. To register for the webinar, visit the Watershed Council website and click on the “Get Involved” tab and click on “Attend an Event or Webinar:” There is an opportunity to submit questions for presenters at the summit as part of the registration process.

The seminar is also part of the Beaver Island Sustainability Fair’s ongoing series of virtual events this summer.  Previous seminars have covered sustainable sources of food and clean energy systems.  Financial support for the seminar comes from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation (, the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation ( as well as the Beaver Island Association. 

A dive to the lake at the end of the steps is likely not what the owner had in mind.
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