The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES January 14, 2021 7:00 pm, Zoom Call (see info below) due to COVID-19

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Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Butch Uhl

Catharine Calder

Barry LaRoy

Absent:           Ed Kane

Guests:           Melanie Foose-EGLE AOC Coordinator

Rick Hobrla-EGLE AOC Supervisor Great Lakes Management Unit

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Micka, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed via roll call.

Approval of minutes from November 12, 2020 meeting – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed via roll call.

COTE Chairman and Vice-Chairman Nomination – Motion for Brian Egen to remain as COTE Chairmain and Barry LaRoy remain as COTE Vice-Chairman by Micka, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed via roll call.

River Raisin PAC Implementation Plan from U of M Students: COTE members discussed their input on the RR PAC Implementation Plan (plan) and the survey questions.  COTE members were encouraged by Melanie Foose (EGLE) and Chairman Egen to complete the survey by the deadline for input.  Micka input included four topics (PAC perception-move COTE content to beginning versus middle, Public Outreach partnering, Joining the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative, and Life after Delisting).  Stefanksi input included COTE background, ordinance establishment, associate members.  Rick Hobrla (EGLE) gave an introduction on his background and indicated once delisted the PAC doesn’t exist any longer but is encouraged to look beyond the PAC.  Discussion continued with how to use the PAC report, considering adding it to the agenda permanently once finished to update it, bring speakers/people to COTE meetings on their background/efforts such as the 1st AOC Coordinator (Roger Jones), working outside the AOC / City limits.  Felder/Stefanski noted COTE works outside the AOC/City limits-example is recent flowering rush spray within Frenchtown & Monroe Twps along with the AOC projects completed in 2012-14.  Egen added once final report done we can add to agenda, discussed discussion with the DDA chairman on DDA projects tied to river & working with COTE, and pre-COVID education work already done.  Calder added to start small, mentioned that the library is partnering with MCRC to place story markers along the roadways, starting at Dorsch, consider using the framework established for river story markers.  Melanie Foose stated the students will take the communication and update the report, Stefanksi added we are all champions for the river and desires to have COTE and members develop.

2020-2022 PAC Support Grant: Discussed PAC grant tasks (1, 2, 5 & 6).  Task 1 (documentary) is ongoing, waiting for winter to end to restart filming.  Suggested task 2 & 6 schedules to flip flop, task 5 will be later in 2021. Content provided for task 6-non-scientific poster, showed a markup draft, asked COTE for assistance in reducing the proposed poster wording.

Future Topic Items: Discussed adding PAC Implementation Report to agenda in future, adding speakers for each meeting (i.e. Port, Matt Doss, etc).  Send recommended speakers to COTE Chairman or Vice-Chairman.  Felder introduced a topic on open burn policies within the City limits for COTE input and to send him any thoughts.

EGLE Items:

  • River Raisin AOC BUI status update provided, send questions to Melanie Foose.
  • Mike Alexander has not provided the CAP report since no monitoring done in 2020, working on workplan for 2021 CAP monitoring, once done will provide 2019 monitoring results to COTE (Lee/Meghan).
  • 2020 dredging sample results almost done/available from Army Corp of Engineers from the navigational channel, will provide to COTE once available.
  • BIG Thanks to Ed Kane for the mink trapper assistance. Mink trapping is needed for AOC work near old Ford Motor facility, tissue samples for deformity BUI-will help with other species tracking (tree swallows, forge fish, bald eagles, and herring gulls).  COTE assistance requested for gaining access with no restrictions on weekends.  LaRoy volunteered to assist.
  • Rick Hobrla noted the U.S. AOC Conference will be in Muskegon, MI on 9-29-21/9-30-21, AOCs encouraged to attend, thanks for having him on COTE mtg, SPAC mtg March 9, 2021-virtual so all are encouraged to attend.

Members Time:

Beaudry-Behind St Mikes – island in the river – suggested City and Sisters IHM partner to develop it for an observation deck.

Micka-Discussed a meeting with the International Wildlife Refuge on potentially using left over Rail Consolidation funds for purchasing some property for wetland development.

Stefanski–discussed the prior bridge to the Sisters IHM island in the river.

Felder-discussed funding for island development and will discuss potential with City Manager.

Uhl-supports island development idea, discussed open burn and problems encountered with the practice.

LaRoy-mentioned Fish Passage 4 (behind post office) issues, went through background, request for redesign/rebuilding funds to NOAA/EGLE.  No update per EGLE, will email contacts for input on funds.

Egen-Showed image from Tony (DDA) on potential drainage structures work.  Has been requested by Dr Hartig to write a chapter in an upcoming book.

Citizen Comments: none.

Adjournment: 8:56 pm a motion made by Stefanski, Seconded by Felder to officially end the meeting, motion passed via roll call.