Michigan has been blessed with some of the most spectacular natural resources on our planet, and yet, very few people are aware of the magical world that exists only a few inches below Michigan’s inland lakes and rivers, said Nancy Washburne, author of the Snorkeling Guide to Michigan Inland Lakes.
After 20 years of field research, snorkeling over one thousand Michigan inland lakes, dozens of rivers, and taking over 700 hours of underwater video, Washburne will be sharing some of these amazing images starting this week. The new video section of her website, snorkelmichigan.com, will showcase a fascinating array of 49 different species of fish and turtles being themselves in their natural habitats.
Nancy’s work as an underwater videographer was featured during the 30th Anniversary of Our World Underwater, alongside the work of five-time Emmy winning cinematographer and underwater film producer Stan Waterman. It was also featured on the popular Michigan-Out-of Doors TV, on PBS.
Washburne was also asked to present her Michigan underwater videos at the Shedd Aquarium; the Tennessee Aquarium; the 2002 Convention of the North American Native Fishes Association; the Michigan DNR Fisheries Group Symposium; the Illinois Council of Skin and Scuba Divers; the Quiet Water Symposium; the East Lansing Children’s Film Festival; and dozens of Trout Unlimited, Audubon, and Nature Centers all over Michigan; along with Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs, banking conventions, and 66 Michigan bookstores, including all Barnes and Noble bookstores, Borders and many independent bookstores and dive shops.
“We have been blessed with these magnificent resources, and it is our duty to preserve them for future generations in their most pristine form. I want our children to be exposed to this magical world. Once they know it, they will love it and they will protect it. That is why I want everyone to discover the enchanting beauty of Michigan’s natural aquariums and observe nature at its best,” said Washburne.
“I want to encourage people to come face-to-face with a multitude of species in their own habitats; fish and turtles galore being themselves in beautiful surroundings. Imagine being able to witness the spawning rituals of several species, observing the miracle of life unfolding right before your eyes. If you can breathe you can snorkel,” Nancy concluded.
The beauty of snorkeling is that it applies to the entire demographic spectrum, starting with the educational benefits for children and young kids, and the fabulous therapeutic and recreational benefits for everyone. Parents are going to love when their kids put their techno gadgets aside for a little while and get up close and personal with nature.
Another fabulous thing is how accessible and inexpensive snorkeling is for the people who live in Michigan; for them, Washburne points out that magical scenes like the ones she is showing on her videos, are coming soon to a lake near you.