Let’s face it, the national political scene is about as entertaining as a never ending Nascar crash. As a result, local issues seem to be easily set aside. About a year ago Michiganfly, along with a number of far more credible sources, reported on the Grayling fish farm and their pursuit of a permit to operate the largest fish farming business in Michigan located in the East Branch of the Au Sable River (Michiganfly Piece).
To bring everyone up to speed, here’s what’s happened over the past year or so:
The Sierra Club and Anglers of the Au Sable weren’t able to win their case. On February 1, 2017 Judge Daniel Pulter upheld the MDEQ permit with modifications including requiring Harietta Hills to conduct additional water quality monitoring and install settlement basins at the downstream end of each raceway where fish waste would be collected for removal.
TDEQ Director Heidi Grether will reportedly make a final approval on the amended permit on March 8, 2017. If so desired, Director Grether has the authority to deny the permit although this isn’t seen as a significant likelihood.
When will the facility be operational?
The facility is reportedly able to begin ramping up operations at this time.
Can anything be done at this point?
Yes, there is still hope as Anglers of the Au Sable plans to take the case into the judicial court system. Those of us interested in supporting their cause can do the following:
1. Get educated
MLive piece Read This
Anglers of the Au Sable Trial Recap Read That
NY Times piece (hint: if you have anger management issues DO NOT read the comments) Read if you’ve got the time
2. Those active on social media are encouraged to share updates from the Anglers of the Au Sable website: https://www.ausableanglers.org/
3. Anglers of the Au Sable has spent several hundred thousand dollars and anticipate several hundred thousand more. Funding comes from the general public Get wallet and click here
4. Take a look at Congressman Dan Kildee’s legislation and write your congressman. So, new legislation was proposed by Congressman Dan Kildee on February 9, 2017 to ban fish farming in the Great Lakes and all federal “Wild Scenic Rivers” including the Au Sable. The legislation is called the Ban Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Act. Mlive has a nice overview of the proposed legislation (MLive Link)
This massive fish farm is a bad idea and needs to be shut down. Get educated and get involved by voicing your opposition and supporting those who are willing to fight the good fight. The national political scene is a mess, we all get that, but let’s not become complacent about what is happening in our back yard here in Michigan.