Viewers’ Choice 2018

Fish and goats, boats and butterflies, rivers and snails are all topics of the most viewed Nature Change stories published in 2018. With over 30,000 page-views this year, subscribers and visitors checked out 118 new and archived stories at Nature Change over the past year. Here’s a quick review of the ten most frequently viewed stories for the year, all published in 2018. (Just click on the title to see the full story!)

Topping the list as the most viewed story for 2018 is a mini-documentary video on the arrival of a new invasive plant in our region, a plant that kills monarch butterflies. A Monarch Killer Comes to Kingsley tells the story of a local hero who recognized the sneaky killer and called in the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and their volunteers to fight the invader.

The second most viewed story on Nature Change focuses on the multi-agency and multi-governmental effort to remove the defunct Sabin dam and restore the Boardman River to free-flowing, natural conditions. The informative mini-documentary, Bringing Down Sabin – Another Step in Restoring the Boardman River includes many close-ups and wide-angle drone video clips of the de-construction work, thanks to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the Conservation Resource Alliance.

Innovative efforts by the Leelanau Conservancy to control the invasive growth of garlic mustard is the camera’s focus for Kids’ Work – Conservation Grazing with Baby Goats. The third most frequently viewed story published by Nature Change in 2018, this video provides lots of information and clearly shows why baby goats are both incredibly cute and great for controlling invasive plants.

Fourth on the list of top 10 publications, The Fate of the Lower Boardman River presents a short discussion between river-watcher and poet, Michael Delp and the Executive Director of the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, Christine Crissman. Together, they discuss options for improving the parts of the Boardman River flowing through Traverse City and options for managing future development.

The author and environmental policy expert, David Dempsey provided the next most viewed publication for 2018, the photo essay, Are You a Shore Walker – Sharing Our Water Resources. In this brief discussion, Dempsey helps to explain your rights to Michigan’s Great Lakes shorelines.

Sixth on our list of top ten publications this year, Rivers of Snails is a mini-documentary about a new exotic species that has recently invaded several of Northern Michigan’s most prized trout streams. With help from the Conservation Resource Alliance and researchers at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, this Nature Change video clearly demonstrates the increasing ecological threat presented by New Zealand mudsnails and what you can do to help stop it.

The goals and effects of dam removal efforts on the Boardman River are explored in the video, The Changing River – Delta Formation at the Mouth of the Boardman River. This mini-documentary shows how river restoration experts are working to restore the natural flow of the river and what that means for the transport of sediments – past, present and future.

Next in the top ten list of Nature Change publications for 2018 is a short, and very engaging discussion between Michael Delp and the well-know river guide and Traverse City fly-shop owner, Brian Pitser. In The River Guide, Pitser calls for improvements in the biological management of the rivers of northern Michigan and greater control over access to the Boardman River.


The Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay provides the focus for the ninth most viewed publication, Collecting the Evidence of Change. Complete with stunning drone video of the teaching schooner under sail, this publication shows how students and volunteer scientists have amassed a 30-year, multi-point data set that documents changes in the ecology and water quality of this area of Lake Michigan.

Rounding out the top ten publications is The Fisheries Management Biologist. Another in the series of conversations lead by Michael Delp, this short video features Heather Hettinger a lead fisheries biologist for the Department of Natural Resources in Northern Michigan. In this conversation, Hettinger talks of the quality of river fisheries, the positive impacts of dam removal, and the improvements anticipated with the new Boardman River fish pass structure to be built in Traverse City.

These are just the most frequently viewed Nature Change publications for 2018. There are dozens more informative stories about changes in nature nearby and how people and organizations are reacting. Nature Change topics for the year have included: the changing fisheries of Lake Michigan, the impacts of climate change on forests and trees, the control of aquatic invasive plants, the management of increasing quantities of stormwater, a family’s reasons for installing solar power production, and many more topics.

What Nature Change stories would you like to see in 2019? Which topics are most important to you? Please, let us know! Just post a comment below or send an email to

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