From the Helm . . .
“If you seek a beautiful peninsula, look around you.” Nowhere could this have been more evident than the October weekend of our Annual Conference on West Grand Traverse Bay. We are truly blessed to live in a state filled with forests and surrounded by the greatest freshwater lakes in the world. But these life-sustaining waters are in grave danger right now. Over 180 different invasive species threaten to destroy their economic and recreational value to the people of our great state and all who come to visit us. Lake Huron has already lost its once superb salmon fishery, and Lake Michigan’s fishery is in serious trouble.
The November elections have passed, and we’ve seen the impact a united citizenry can have on its government. Those who ignore the will of the people are gone. We must travel this same road to save our Great Lakes to insure our children and generations to come may enjoy them as we have. I challenge each and every one in our membership to write your senators, congressmen and state legislators and demand they take immediate action to end, once and for all, foreign species from entering our Great Lakes. We have a moral responsibility to the lands and waters in our stewardship to do this.
On another front, MCBA’s Random Drug Testing Program is under USCG audit and temporarily shut down. Steady progress is being made in the writing of a completely updated drug program that will meet the needs of our membership well into the future. We are in regular contact with the USCG and they with us as we move forward in this endeavor. We will have a final draft ready to present for their approval by the end of December.
MCBA is also working with the Michigan Sea Grant Agents to set up important informational sessions regarding new USCG regulations that went into effect on 01 October 2010.
Of critical importance will be the individual captain’s responsibility in writing his own personal drug policy and his plan to implement it. I strongly encourage you to attend one of the Sea Grant spring sessions.
MCBA is over 600 strong. We are a major player in the Great Lakes scheme of things. United, our voices will be heard. United, we will make a difference. We owe the generations to come no less.
Captain Terry Walsh
President – MCBA