Environmental Articles

Articles containing information about Environmental Science.

Celebrate the Apostle Islands during National Park Week, April 20-28

Celebrate the Apostle Islands during National Park Week, April 20-28

Video courtesy National Park ServiceThe Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a national treasure. It's also one of more than 400 national parks being celebrated during this special nine-day event, April 20-28, 2024.The National Park Service has given each day a theme: Saturday, April 20: Discovery What will you discover? A new place, a new interesting fact, a new activity. For parks that have them, entrance fees are waived on this day. (The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore does not charge entrance fees.) Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is doing an Earth Day Community...

Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

From the single-use water bottles, containers and bags you might carry into the park to microplastics detected in the lake water around the islands, plastics are having an impact on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Doing something about our personal and global dependence on plastics is the global theme of Earth Day 2024.Earth Day is an annual event designed to promote the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. On that day, an estimated 20 million people nationwide attended the inaugural...

Earth Day Community Clean-up in Bayfield set for Saturday, April 20th

Earth Day Community Clean-up in Bayfield set for Saturday, April 20th

As part of Earth Day 2024, please join us for a Community Clean-up event in Bayfield on Saturday, April 20th. This year's Earth Day theme is Planet vs. Plastics, so we're doing what we can to keep plastics and other trash out of Lake Superior.Meet at the National Park Service Headquarters courtyard on Washington Avenue at 9:30 Saturday morning. Bring your own gloves. Bags and safety vests will be provided. We'll also have some muffins and coffee for you. Our community clean-up will run until noon. If you have questions, email jill@friendsoftheapostleislands.org.Volunteers gather for an...

Dark Sky Week: from the first lighthouse beacon to the starry skies of today and beyond

Dark Sky Week: from the first lighthouse beacon to the starry skies of today and beyond

Michigan Island Lighthouse - 1913 - NPS photoThe first brilliant beam pierced the ink black skies over the Apostle Islands like a lightning bolt. The year was 1856, when the first keeper lighted the lamp atop the original Michigan Island lighthouse for the first time. In the years that followed, keepers lit a constellation of new lights on Long, Raspberry, Outer, Sand, Devils and Michigan Islands.All of the light stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s were designed to help mariners navigate their way around the Apostle Islands while avoiding dangerous shoals in the dark of night....

How you can celebrate International Dark Sky Week in and around the Apostle Islands

How you can celebrate International Dark Sky Week in and around the Apostle Islands

International Dark Sky Week draws worldwide attention to light pollution, promotes simple solutions and celebrates the irreplaceable beauty of a natural night. High school student Jennifer Barlow started International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) in 2003. In explaining why she founded the event, Barlow said, “I want people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future. I want to help preserve its wonder.”Here are some ways you can discover the nightGet outside at night with friends and...

Retiring NPS Division Chief Julie Van Stappen reflects on decades of service to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Retiring NPS Division Chief Julie Van Stappen reflects on decades of service to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

After dedicating more than three decades of work to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Julie Van Stappen retires as Chief of Planning and Resource Management at the end of 2023. Julie grew up in Chicago; she spent vacations and later summers in northern Wisconsin. Her love of - and appreciation for - nature and science grew during her college years, during which she studied geology, earned an advanced degree in aquatic ecology and gained experience in the US Forest Service and at various locations in National Park Service before landing her dream job at the Apostle Islands National...

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

Northern lights celebrated during 6th annual Aurora Summit at Red Cliff

The weekend of November 3-5th saw one of North America’s largest displays of aurora borealis (northern lights) this year, visible as far south as Colorado. While clouds obscured the display in the Apostle Islands, even cloudy skies could not dampen the enthusiasm of the several hundred skywatchers gathered at the Legendary Waters Resort in Red Cliff for Aurora Summit 23.“The Aurora Chasers knocked it out of this world over the weekend at Aurora Summit 23,” said Melissa Kaelin, co-founder of the Aurora Summit, and author of Below the 45th Parallel: The Beginners Guide to Chasing the Aurora in...

Native plants are important assets to a healthy Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Native plants are important assets to a healthy Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

After a winter of record-breaking snowfall – approaching 185 inches – the native plants are slowly emerging from the Gaylord Nelson Memorial Garden at park headquarters in Bayfield. Volunteers recently gathered to tease out the weeds and look for old friends that have been in residence since the garden’s establishment in 2006.“It’s always good to see our early bloomers, pasqueflower (an important food source for nesting female bees) and prairie smoke,” said Erica Peterson, one of the garden volunteers. Columbine was blooming and pollinators were busy in the wild geraniums. (Click to enlarge...

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Protecting the Apostles from plastics one lunch at a time

Sandra Harris just wanted to make her kids a healthy lunch. She may have started a revolution that could change your next trip to the Apostle Islands. Harris, who worked as an investigative journalist, was all-too aware of the worldwide plastic pollution problem and its associated health issues. But from years in the nonprofit world, she knew too that change could happen if people just had the tools to work with. Then, an idea came to her one-day while packing school lunches for her kids.Stainless steel lunch boxes and snack containers - Ecolunchbox photo“I wanted to eliminate plastics from...

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

After a hot, sweaty hike, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the lake at Julian Bay Beach on Stockton Island. If Lake Superior stays calm enough long enough, the shallowest water, warmed by the sun, can be pleasantly refreshing. Wade out farther and you’ll find the significantly colder water just a few feet below the surface. However, if you throw in some wind and waves, the water temperature can and does drop dramatically. On a much larger scale, surface water temperatures in Lake Superior are always changing, as they are in Julian Bay. In late July surface water temperatures on...