About Dr. Karen E. Vigmostad

Working to improve the conservation of the islands and lakeshore of our magnificent Laurentian Great Lakes.

Wonderful Detroit Free Press multi-media report on Belle Isle (Detroit River)

I grew up exploring the wonders of this Detroit River island.  I walked; swam; rode horses and later bicycles; watched the tiny wild white deer (penned up the last time I was there); enjoyed the children’s zoo (closed in 2002), conservatory, and aquarium; watched synchronized swimming; toured Dossin Great Lakes Museum; picnicked; and imagined dancing in the 1930s.   I learned of this special report by Detroit Free Press reporters Gina Damron and Brian Kaufman today while reading Great Lakes Echo.  The Echo offers terrific reporting on Great Lakes issues and I check it daily.  Click here to enjoy video, photographs, and other links and resources about the lovely Belle Isle.  It’s fantastic!  The reporters spent a year creating this treasure so make sure you watch to the very, very end to see what they went through to complete the project.

You can help support some of the remaining treasures of this island through the Friends of Belle IsleFriends of Belle Isle Aquarium, Friends of Belle Isle Marsh, Belle Isle Botanical Society, and Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  I will be adding links to these and many other island nonprofit organizations as I can learn of them.  Check out the new page above, “NGOs”.

Gathering on Beaver Island August 28-30, 2010

Peter Annin, journalist and author of the 2006 book Great Lakes Water Wars, has organized a marvelous long weekend for top journalists on Beaver Island.  I’ll be joining colleagues from all five Great Lakes this Saturday to help journalists experience the very special Beaver Archipelago and learn more about the special characteristics and vulnerabilities of the islands of the Great Lakes.  Beaver Island is #10 on the list of most threatened Great Lakes islands in the brand-new Islands of Life report by Henson, Kraus, McMurtry, & Ewert (July 26, 2010).  Beaver Archipelago includes ten islands with ownership in the hands of many.

I will post highlights from our adventures this weekend and perhaps really get this blog going.


This evening we are kicking of the blog of the Great Lakes Islands Network.  We will be moving images and resources from a decade-old website to here very soon.  In the meantime, stay tuned as we develop this blog as a way to foster a network of people dedicated to conserving the 31, 407 islands of the Great Lakes!