FoBR Sponsors Pipeline Presentation

On August 4, the Friends of the Boyne River, along with six other environmental organizations, sponsored a presentation by Dr. Ed Timm at the Charlevoix Library entitled “Oil Spill in the Great Lakes? How Safe Are the Pipelines?”

He is a retired Senior Scientist and Consultant to Dow Chemical’s Environmental Operations Business who recently prepared an engineering opinion for the lawyers at FLOW (For Love of Water) on corrosion and structural issues with Line 5 pipeline, which runs from Superior, Wisconsin, through the Upper Peninsula, under the Mackinac Straits (where it splits into two pipelines), through lower Michigan to Port Huron, where it crosses the St. Clair River to its final destination at a refinery in Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline covers 645 miles and crosses at least 45 waterways and 23 counties.

Dr. Timm explained that while the pipelines were well-built using state of the art technology in 1953, 62 years of corrosion, stress from the buffeting effects of strong currents in the Straits, loss of protective covering, structural impacts from zebra and quagga mussels on the pipeline exterior have taken their toll. The flow of oil through the pipelines has been increased 80% from its original recommended carrying capacity, further stressing the aging pipes. While Enbridge, Inc, owner of the pipelines, claims the lines are safe and in excellent condition, they are under no obligation to release results of their inspections to Michigan regulatory agencies or the public. Dr. Timm concluded that the Straits pipeline poses an unacceptable risk to our Great Lakes and that risk increases exponentially with each passing day. Over 100 people attended a presentation.

Below is a video that details the issues presented by Dr. Timm:

September Meeting

Our speaker for the September 9th meeting will be Jon Mauchmar.  He is an Environmental Specialist with the LTBB and will be talking about Climate Change Adaptation.  The Tribe has a growing concern about local impacts of climate change that people are already seeing and issues that our natural resources will face in the future and specifically about impacts to rivers and fisheries. Jon is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, and, if his name sounds familiar, its because he was the recipient of the FoBR Scholarship for the academic years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007!

As usual, the meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Boyne District Library at 7:00 p.m. and refreshments will be served.  If you would like to help with them, please call Chitra at 838-1579.  We hope to see you there.

June – August: Stroll the Streets for New Members

As part of our effort to increase our membership this year, FoBR will have a street table on Friday evenings during Boyne City’s Stroll the Streets this summer.  We will have information about the FoBR, the Boyne River and the new Nature Area and invite people to join our organization. Stroll the Streets runs from June 27 to August 29, 6-9 pm. We need volunteers to staff the table on individual Fridays, so please consider joining us.

Call Adam Kennedy 231-582-2923 to sign up. 

August 22: 3rd Annual Northern Michigan River Sweep

River Trash

River Trash

Friends of the Boyne River will join volunteers across Northern Michigan for the 3rd annual six-river clean up on Saturday August 22.  Participants will walk river banks and float the rivers collecting trash along 100 river miles of the Boyne, Jordan, Maple, Bear, Pigeon and Sturgeon Rivers.  Please join us for the Boyne River sweep, 9 am-Noon.  An after-event party will be held at Boyne Outfitters, Boyne Mountain Resort, for all participants, 5-8 pm.  Call Adam Kennedy to volunteer 231-330-2923.  We will meet at the Veterans Park boat launch at 9 am.

Boyne River Ecosystem Quality : Grade A

The Boyne river once again has received a Grade A for water quality as part of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s volunteer stream monitoring program.  Click here for the full stream monitoring report on all streams in the program.

New Boyne River Nature Area Open!

Thank you Nancy Cunningham!!

Thank you Nancy Cunningham!!

On November 10, 2014, the new Nature Area was formally opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Constructed by the FoBR to share the beauty of the Boyne River and surrounding woods, and to provide an access to the river and educate the public about the environmental importance of wetlands to our rivers, the Nature Area is only possible because of the financial support from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Oleson Foundation, the Great Lakes Energy People Fund, the City of Boyne City and an anonymous private donor.


It's official! The Boyne River Nature Area is open!

It’s official! The Boyne River Nature Area is open!

Located at the back of Boyne City’s Air Industrial Park on M-75, trail signs, a small parking area and a bike rack welcome visitors.  Adjacent to the parking lot is a rain garden filled with native plants and a roofed education pavilion with picnic tables.  A path leads down a ravine from the parking area and into the heavily wooded wetland area which lies between the river and several steep hills along the south bank of the river.  The pathway continues northwesterly along the base of the hills and at three places along the pathway there are stairs down to boardwalks that cross the wetlands and end at docks where visitors can fish or just enjoy the river view.

Boyne River Nature Area (courtesy of Gary Osterbeck).

Boyne River Nature Area (courtesy of Gary Osterbeck).









To get to the Boyne River Nature Area, enter the East entrance of the Air Industrial Park on M-75 at Moll Drive.  Follow Moll Drive about one block, where it ends at Lexamar Drive.  Turn right on Lexamar Drive and the Boyne River Nature Area sign will be on your left a few yards down the road.

Boyne River Photo Project

Gary Osterbeck has undertaken the daunting task of creating photographic slide shows, compete with music, of the entire Boyne River.  The project will be in four phases: the North Branch, Moyer Creek (a tributary to the South Branch), the South Branch and the Boyne River at large.  The North Branch,  Moyer Creek and South Branch phases of the project have been completed and are posted on YouTube where they can be viewed by clinking below (best viewed in full screen mode with a picture quality of 720p resolution):


The slide shows beautifully depict and describe various sections of the North and South Branches and indicate which sections of the river and its tributaries are located in the various nature preserves administered by  the Little Traverse Conservancy (and, therefore, accessible by the public).  Also, check out these videos Gary took of the Cafelli Falls on the North Branch (click on the highlighted words):

North Branch

Moyer Creek Falls on the South Branch (south of Boyne Mountain on the east side of US 131):

Moyer Creek

Creamer Creek, which flows into the North Branch at the Springbrook Bridge:

Creamer Creek

and these two upstream from the dam near Dam Road:

Upstream 1
Upstream 2

Our sincere thanks to Gary for giving everyone the chance to experience our beautiful Boyne River from any place, at any time, and we are looking forward to his completion of the last phase of his project, the Boyne River at large, which should be done in the near future.

FoBR Scholarships Awarded

Every year the Scholarship Committee of the Friends of the Boyne River picks a deserving student who is going to make a career in an environmental field to receive the Marie Zoberski Friends of the Boyne River Scholarship.  The money we use for this comes from Marie who donated the funds to the FoBR when she died.  In the past we have supported students who were going to be conservation officers, water quality specialists, civil engineers and in other environmental fields.  So far, they are all employed in an environmentally related field and are doing well.

This year, the Friends of the Boyne River changed the rules for our Marie Soberski Scholarship.  Usually, we give the scholarship to one student each year but this year we just couldn’t do that.

Margaret Durbin, who received the Scholarship last year, is continuing to study for a degree in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.  Her grades are continuing to be outstanding and she has been accepted for a summer internship with Consumers Energy working to increase the efficiency of their air filtration systems to prevent the release of particle pollutants.  Margaret has certainly earned a second year of our scholarship and we are really pleased to be able to give it to her.

We also received an application from Katerina Crowley.  Kat is a Junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife with a concentration in Conservation Biology.  Her grades and her recommendations are outstanding. She spent last summer as a Watershed Protection Team intern for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.  This included monitoring Lake Charlevoix Tributaries for flow, temperature, pH and conductivity data.  She also worked with Ed and Adam on our Crowdsourcing Project, collecting data about the flow of the Boyne River.

With these abilities, we just had to give Kat a scholarship also.

FoBR Quick River Updates

  • Boyne River Has CrowdHydrology Monitoring!  Check out the new “CrowdHydrology” page under “The River” tab above and become a Boyne River scientist!
  • Managing Purple Loosestrife.  
    Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife)

    Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife)

    Purple loosestrife is a very hardy invasive species which can rapidly degrade wetlands, diminishing their value for wildlife habitat. Wetlands are the most biologically diverse, productive component of our ecosystem. Hundreds of species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish and amphibians rely on healthy wetland habitat for their survival.

    However, when purple loosestrife gets a foothold, the habitat where fish and wildlife feed, seek shelter, reproduce and rear young, quickly becomes choked under a sea of purple flowers.

    However, the invasive loosestrife has met its natural deterrent, Galerucella calmariensis!  These are beetles that FoBR ordered through the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s invasives elimination program. The leaf-eaters seriously affect growth and seed production by feeding on the leaves and new shoot growth of purple loosestrife plants. They eat themselves out of food and then die. The size of a peppercorn, the beetles arrived in early June and were immediately released around the Boyne River mill pond from Riverside Park. This is the 3rd beetle release since 2007.

    Galerucella Calmariensis, the nemesis of Purple Loosestrife.

    Galerucella Calmariensis, the nemesis of Purple Loosestrife.

  • Toxic Wild Parsnip (pastina sativa)The wild parsnip, while beautiful, is a dangerous Eurasion invasive plant found in Michigan. Growing 60-200 cm (2-7 feet) high with bright yellow flowers in June and July, it beckons unassuming folks to cut blossoms.The plant contains chemicals in the sap of leaves, stems and flowers. It causes painful skin rashes, burns and blisters, especially in the presence of sunlight (photo dermatitis) and discolors skin. Seek medical attention.wildparsnip[1] It is typically found around ponds, lakes, rivers, lakeshores, the edge of forests and fields.

    The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council urges us to report aquatic invasive species. Wild parsnip is on their priority list. Email or call 231-330-5928 for reporting details. If possible, use cell phone GPS to note longitude and latitude.

  • Watch Out For Meth Lab Waste!  The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has put out an alert regarding meth lab waste which is now being found along rivers in northern Michigan.  Such waste is highly toxic and very dangerous to people who encounter it.  To read the flyer, click on the “The River” tab above and scroll down to the “Meth Lab Waste” heading.
  • Put Your Pills in the Pod!  The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has embarked upon a media and education campaign to raise awareness about the Northern Michigan Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Drop-off (POD) Program.  The POD program is an environmentally sound way for residents to properly dispose of medications.  By participating in the program you will help keep our lakes, rivers and drinking water clean and our communities and families safe.  Click here for a flyer with collection dates and locations, including one in Boyne City this fall.

Next Directors Meeting

The September Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Boyne District Library.  The public is welcome.


This website is dedicated to the communities that reside within the Boyne River watershed and to the many visitors that come here for recreation. We hope that everyone will find it to be informative and educational. It will help us to understand how the natural environment enriches the quality of life for everyone that passes this way.  Each one of us plays a role in the conservation of these values.
Please visit the site often.

We will be adding new material and up-dating on a regular basis.