The Michigan Legislature has appropriated $250,000 to help combat the growing problem of swimmer’s itch in Michigan Lakes. These dollars are intended not only to help lake associations defray the significant cost of control work on their lakes, but to do the important work of more thoroughly understanding the lifecycle of swimmer’s itch, how to measure the levels of swimmer’s itch-causing parasites by interrupting their lifecycle, and how to creating a long-term, cost-effective program which will greatly reduce the incidence of swimmer’s itch.
MISIP, The Michigan Swimmer’s Itch Partnership, spearheaded the effort to bring the swimmer’s itch problem to the attention of the legislature. “Swimmer’s itch not only causes great discomfort for swimmers when they come in contact with the parasite, but it has a negative impact on our economy, and property values as well”, said Jim Vondale, co-chair of MISIP. “This appropriation, along with other dollars raised to combat this problem, can make a real difference to all of us to enjoy the waters of Michigan’s beautiful lakes.”
The appropriation will be utilized by MISIP through their partner and fiduciary, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.