written by Susan Daniel
Researchers from the GLC returned to sampling the Great Lakes as a part of the Great Lakes National Program Office Biology Monitoring Program after various engine troubles arose earlier in the year. Operations were set to be business as usual with a few additional health and safety protocols, including the requirement of COVID-19 vaccinations and ship-wide negative PCR results. The ship, and GLC staff Susan Daniel and Angela Tulumello, set sail out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 27th. Shortly after leaving, the weather turned and thus started the many, many dashes to ports throughout Lakes Michigan and Huron that ultimately extended the survey by a week. To avoid high waves, the ship had to wait out the weather in the Michigan ports of Muskegon, Marquette, and Alpena. The benefit of these many stops was a rare opportunity for researchers to visit cities on the shores of the lakes and stretch out their sea legs!
Highlights from this survey were the beautiful photos of sunrises and sunsets afforded by the bad weather. One of the most interesting and exciting things to happen was a very curious flock of American white pelicans that investigated our ship while sampling a station in Green Bay. The American white pelican is a native waterbird that is closely related to the oceanic brown pelican. The white pelican has been increasing in numbers over the last several years, but only started to nest in the Green Bay area in the 1990s. Overall, the crew was able to successfully collect 150 benthic samples and gained connections that will last a lifetime.
Image caption: Rough weather made for some brilliant sunsets and sunrises on the Great Lakes.
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