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CSI: Invasives

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Great Lakes researchers are using new DNA techniques to track down and control the spread of invasive species.

The techniques are sort of like what you see on all those CSI television dramas where scientists analyze DNA left at the crime scene and use it to prosecute the culprits.

Well, not quite. Fiction is faster, the scientists say.

“What it does though, is it makes you jealous of how they’re able to solve crimes in an hour, because it doesn’t happen that way,” said Christopher Jerde, a professor at the Notre Dame, which is creating a basin-wide surveillance program. “That would be nice.”  more...



Environment  

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Spring brings Great Lakes ships

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A ship enthusiast documents the 730-foot long Algoma Montrealais exiting the Soo Locks upbound Monday in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The shipping season on the Great Lakes started at midnight Monday with the reopening of the locks after winter maintenance.

The Great Lakes bulk carrier Paul R. Tregurtha opened the sailing season to Lake Superior on Monday when it passed through the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The 1,013-foot ship was headed to the port in Superior for a load of coal.

Also, five of the six ships berthed at Milwaukee over the winter have left the port to begin the sailing season. The first foreign ship is scheduled to arrive here next week with a load of steel from the Netherlands.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Funding cut jeopardizes beach testing

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The future of beach testing is uncertain this year. The Environmental Protection Agency yanked funds for the program.

That means beaches across the country and here in our area could be at risk, in turn leaving swimmers vulnerable.

Since 2003, Door County's health department has partnered with the DNR and UW-Oshkosh to test dozens of area beaches to ensure safe waters for swimmers.  more...


Environment  

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Low Lake Levels: Don’t Fight Nature, Plan for It

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The Great Lakes hold 20 percent of the world’s available surface freshwater–enough to cover the continental United States with 10 feet of water if you turned them upside down. In many places along the lakes, you can stand on one side without seeing the shoreline on the other because they are so huge. It’s difficult to remember that you’re looking at an inland lake instead of an ocean. The vast lakes seem limitless, but are they?  more...


Environment  

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Port Huron unveils possibilities for Lakeside Park

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The Port Huron Recreation Department unveiled the possible future of Lakeside Park on March 11.

Nancy Winzer, the city’s recreation department director, along with Pam Blough of PM Blough Inc. gave a presentation to the city council and displayed the proposed Master Plan for Lakeside Park.

The plan was developed after two public meetings were held and input was received from the community on the needs of the park’s future look. Included in the plan are ideas to bring the park up to date with the American Disabilities Act, along with features such as a new bathroom facility and concession stand. more...


Environment  Other  

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National Park Service program promotes paddling on Lake Erie, Cuyahoga River as a way to connect with nature

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Few paddlers think about testing the wide waters of Lake Erie or cruising the Cuyahoga River, but they are key elements of new initiatives by the National Park Service to connect Ohioans with nature. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program developed by the NPS is working with hikers, bikers and paddlers, as well as local communities, parks, clubs and conservation groups to make it happen.  more...


Other  Watersports  

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Lakes shipping season to start this week

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The 2013 shipping season will get under way in the Twin Ports late today or Wednesday when the 1,000-foot laker Mesabi Miner is expected to be the first departure of the season.

The Miner is scheduled to begin loading coal this morning at the Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior after which the ship will move to the Port Terminal to load and install a drive motor for its conveyor system before making a Lake Superior delivery to Marquette, Mich.  more...



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Busy beavers expanding their local territory

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Video of a beaver around the Rouge and Detroit rivers may be a sign that the animal is expanding its range here after being gone from the area for more than 75 years.

In 2008, when the first beaver was captured on video along the Detroit River closer to Lake St. Clair it grabbed international attention including comments from TV personalities Jay Leno and Regis Philbin.

In January, a beaver at DTE Energy's River Rouge power plant was seen on video in what is further evidence the beavers are back and that the Detroit River is cleaner, said John Hartig, manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge which runs south of the River Rouge along the waterfront. "It is one of the single most dramatic ecological recovery stories in North America. It's really neat and it is in our backyard," Hartig said Monday. The beaver is another sign the river has improved, he said, along with the return of lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, peregrine falcons, osprey and bald eagles.  more...



Environment  

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Presque Isle Bay advisory group discusses its future

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Sequestration has put a hitch in proposed plans for future monitoring of fish, water and sediment in Presque Isle Bay.

The bay on Feb. 13 was removed from the Area of Concern list under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Presque Isle Bay Public Advisory Committee on Monday held its first meeting since the delisting and talked about what happens next with the bay and the group."Here's the glitch," Lori Boughton, head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Office of the Great Lakes, told the committee.  more...


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Whitehall moves quickly to dredge city marina

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The City of Whitehall is expediting the dredging of its city marina in hopes it will be ready for the boating season.

The city is facing a crisis at its marina because of record low water levels in Lake Michigan and White Lake. Waters levels around the city marina�s docks are down to four feet.

Last Tuesday, the city council approved the expenditure of $7,500 for engineering of an expected $182,000 dredging program at the marina.

The council approved an engineering proposal by the firm, Prein&Newhof.

The city has applied for $182,000 in Emergency Dredging funds to remove 5,200 cubic yards of sediment and the grant has been tentatively approved pending legislative approval of the 2013 Emergency Dredging Plan. The $21 million plan to dredge 49 public owned harbors was approved by the Senate March 7. It was approved by the House Appropriations Committee last Wednesday.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Invest in our military daughters: 12 girls need your support

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This summer, cities along the Great Lakes will join together for a bicentennial commemoration of a decisive moment in United States and Canadian history. We believe that the trials and strengths of women throughout history, and the courage of today's military daughters, should not be forgotten. Help us give families in the United States Military and Canadian Forces the opportunity of a lifetime for their daughters. Help these girls climb aboard with Sisters so they can grow from our hands-on confidence-building leadership program.  more...


Other  Sailing  

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Michigan boaters alert: Harbors, marinas would get dredging help under bills moving through Legislature

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Michigan lawmakers are advancing bills aimed at helping marinas and harbors tackle dredging projects needed because of declining Great Lakes water levels.

The bills voted on Thursday are part of a broad effort aimed at making more money available for dredging and making the permit process easier and faster.  more...



Environment  

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MDCH releases report on drinking water wells after Kalamazoo River oil spill

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We’re rounding the corner on the three year anniversary of the Enbridge oil spill near Marshall.

The cleanup isn’t over yet and so far, more than a million gallons of thick tar sands oil have been cleaned up from the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek.

State officials have been looking at possible health risks from the spill.  more...



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Wisconsin Communities Prepare For Climate Change

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About a dozen communities in Wisconsin have created task forces to address regional symptoms of climate change — specifically, higher temperatures, more winter precipitation, and more droughts. more...


Environment  

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Great Lakes Boating

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The cover story in the latest issue of Boat U.S. magazine is "Cruising the Great Lakes." The issue features a special section on recreational boating in the Great Lakes, including an article on how to have a front row seat (in your boat slip) for the 200th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie.  more...


Other  

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