BaySail Partnership: A Win-Win Effort for Conservation and Education
BY ANJANETTE BOWEN, ALPENA FWCO
Since 2009, the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) has partnered with BaySail’s Appledore Tallships based in Bay City, Michigan to enhance educational experiences of youth during BaySail’s Great Lakes Freshwater Ecology Voyages in the upper Great Lakes.
The voyages provide youth a hands‐on introduction to the Great Lakes, environmental issues, and field sampling. Students learn to develop scientific habits through data collection and exploration. The voyages take the students to a variety of locations across the upper Great Lakes.
We were able to partner with BaySail to have students minnow trap for round gobies and rusty crayfish at set locations during their voyages. The effort teaches students how to follow sampling protocols and use sampling gear to collect scientific data. The information on round goby and rusty crayfish presence/absence and relative abundance within Lake Huron is useful to the aquatic invasive species program at the Alpena FWCO.
during the voyage. Information on aquatic invasives
collected during the sail is provided to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Credit: David Leanza, BaySail.
The partnership provides a win‐win effort for conservation and education. In addition to Freshwater Ecology Voyages, BaySail also fosters public education about environmental issues in the Great Lakes and Saginaw Bay through other public cruises. Alpena FWCO has provided preserved invasive species specimens to the program, which allows cruise visitors to view invasive species up close. Invasive species WATCH identification cards are also provided to cruise visitors, helping them recognize and report any invasive species they may encounter.
For more information about BaySail’s environmental stewardship efforts or to learn more about their cruises, visit their website..