The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Segment 9 Day 1 Manitowoc->Whistling Straits 17 miles

High of 74 degrees.
August 26

I began this segment in Manitowoc and made my way south along the shore. It was great to be back on the lake trek.

This stretch of shoreline varied from sand to rock to very tall reeds. I met Lisa along the way. She was picking up trash on the beach. She said that she used to think, "Someone should pick that up," when she passed trash on the beach. Then it occurred to her that she was someone, so she began picking up trash regularly.

There was an enormous algae bloom (cladophora) along this stretch [bottom photo]. I'd seen patches of this algae other places along the lake, but never like this. The zebra mussels are contributing to these blooms by clearing the water and allowing more sunlight to penetrate the water. The algae can fasten itself to the mussel shells and then feed on the waste from the mussels. When they team up, they can cause these massive, matt-like blooms that the waves then toss up onto the beach. This is a complicated problem to solve.

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