WUOMFM

rivers

The magic of kayaking on freezing water

Dec 17, 2015
Tamar Charney

During the summer, cars with kayaks or canoes on top are a common site. But even in the winter – when you'd expect to see skis – you can sometimes spot a kayak on the roof rack. One of those kayak-toting cars of winter is mine.

There's nothing wrong with kayaking in the summer. I do it all the time, though some weekends it's hard to escape the hordes of drunk tubers on the river or the throngs of pontoon boats on the lake.

Winter kayaking is a whole different scene.

Flickr user Justin Leonard / Flickr

Water is one of Michigan's most abundant and precious resources, but the rules for governing its use aren't always clear.

Wayne State Law Professor and water law specialist Noah Hall joins us to discuss the rules surrounding the use of creeks and rivers. 

USGS

Federal scientists just wrapped up a look at the health of the nation’s streams and rivers. It was a big effort, looking at 20 years of data.

Daren Carlisle is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and the lead author of the study.

CrowdHydrology

If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in science but thought it sounded like a lot of work, now all you have to do is send a text.

Chris Lowry is an assistant professor of geology at the University at Buffalo. He’s the co-creator of CrowdHydrology. You can think of it as crowdsourcing information about water.

“So basically how this works is we have some giant rulers that are set up in streams and there’s a little sign on the top of the ruler that says ‘please text us the water level’ and people who are walking by these signs with their mobile phones can look at the ruler and make a measurement off that ruler of what the water level would be at that particular time of the day and send us a text message," he says.

Then, the data you enter goes into an online database.

"And about five minutes after they send in that text message there’s a point on the plot that appears on our CrowdHydrology web page,” Lowry says.