The 2012 Summer Discovery Cruises season approaches – don’t miss the boat!

The 2012 Summer Discovery Cruises season will offer new opportunities in southeast Michigan to learn about the Great Lakes by being on the Great Lakes.

Since 2002, more than 9,600 informal learners have been introduced to the wonders of the Great Lakes through the Summer Discovery Cruises program. These educational cruises, offered on Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie, are designed to stimulate an interest in the Great Lakes and help both young and old understand their influences on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes’ influence on them.

Developed as a companion to our Great Lakes Education Program, Summer Discovery Cruises are a collaborative effort between MSU Extension,Michigan Sea Grant, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a number of program partners, including DTE Energy, Michigan DNR, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and the National Weather Service. This summer, more than 20 cruise themes will allow participants to learn about a wide range of Great Lakes topics. New cruises for 2012 will highlight:

  • Lake Erie and its importance in the War of 1812;
  • the history of Lake St. Clair’s Harsen’s Island as a prime location for wildlife, boat building, and rum running;
  • the Centennial of the completion of the Livingstone Channel and its importance to Great Lakes shipping;
  • how Eco-Art can teach science; and
  • why the S.S. Seabreeze sank just offshore of Sugar Island. 

Favorite cruises from previous seasons will also be offered including, exploring the Great Lakes fishery, the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), coastal wetlands, Great Lakes lighthouses, shipwrecks, the influence of the Great Lakes on weather, how teachers can use Great Lakes science in the classroom, and more.

Evaluations of the Summer Discovery Cruises program have documented positive program outcomes that are both widespread and significant. Data from 2011 participant evaluations show that following participation, 95% felt a greater responsibility for the Great Lakes; 88% sought more information on Great Lakes topics of interest and 23% engaged in new Great Lakes stewardship activities.

The 2012 Summer Discovery Cruises season begins its 11th year this June and registration is open for both individuals and groups. For more information or to register, go to www.disccoverycruises.org. And, be sure to check out other opportunities MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant offer to learn more about our Great Lakes, such as our 4-H Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp and Teaching with Great Lakes Data workshops.


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