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DeWine seeks $100,000 study to launch beach project at East Harbor State Park

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DANBURY TOWNSHIP -- Decades ago, East Harbor State Park boasted loads of swimming access along its roughly two-mile shoreline. But since the 1970s, erosion has taken its toll on beaches and marshes alike.

To try to ward off Lake Erie waves, U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio has earmarked $100,000 for anti-erosion studies at the park. The money is included in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill for 2004, which was approved by legislators late last week.    more...

 

 



Environment  

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PIRGIM raps state for clean-water enforcement

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The state has received a failing grade for its enforcement of clean-water laws and the Granholm administration concedes that some of the criticism is deserved.

An environmental organization, the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, gave the state an "F" on its report grading a cross-section of nine states for enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act.

PIRGIM concluded that Michigan deserves a failing grade in 10 of the 12 categories studied. Georgia and Wisconsin also were assessed as failures while New Jersey got the best overall grade, a B-plus.   more...


 



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Pressure mounts to put it downtown

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News that a planned high-speed cross-lake ferry service might not dock in Muskegon's downtown but in a western neighborhood brought several community leaders to city hall Tuesday to pressure elected officials to use more clout to get the ferry downtown.   more...

 





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Michigan hosts last great lightship

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In the tradition of the lighthouse, lightships once lined the Great Lakes to prevent huge ships and freighters from running aground in shallow waters. The only lightship left in the nation has been restored and preserved as a museum in Port Huron, Mich.   more...

 

 

 

 





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The Dead Stream Swamp

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The Dead Stream Swamp, one of the largest white cedar swamps in the country, is located in parts of Missaukee and Roscommon counties in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

The swamp, between 11,000 and 12,000 acres of land within the Au Sable State Forest, was designated a national natural landmark in 1976. It is home to a variety of plants and animals.

Many locals call it Dead Man's Swamp, where legends abound about hunters and loggers who entered the swamp and never returned. Some of the tales date to the 1800s.

A 90-year-old-plus man who lived his entire life in and around Dead Stream Swamp explained it this way in an old newspaper report: "It's a feeling you get like nowhere else in Michigan.

"Maybe it's the danger, the sense of overpowering solitude that makes it a compelling place to visit. I went there often, but never after dark. Only a fool would enter Dead Man's Swamp at night."   more...

 



Environment  

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Shores residents say drain needs monitoring, fixes

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Residents along Revere and Lange streets in St. Clair Shores are optimistic the Macomb County Public Works Department will hire contractors before winter to dredge sediment and clean out pipes leading to their PCB-contaminated canals.

"It's been two years -- they've got to hurry up with this cleanup," said Joyce Thurman, a Lange Street resident. "First and foremost this is a health issue."

Many residents who attended an outdoor news conference Tuesday hosted by the grass-roots group, Toxic Free Shores, said they are concerned that the 10 Mile storm drain has not been maintained or monitored in 40 years. The drain, on Harper Avenue near 11 Mile Road, is considered the most likely way PCBs entered the downstream residential canals on Revere and Lange streets two years ago.   more...


 



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Water plants win promise of faster spill notification

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An industrial plant somewhere along the St. Clair River dumps hazardous chemicals into the water.

Within minutes, 48 computer-programmed phone lines begin calling, faxing, paging and e-mailing operators of St. Clair County water filtration plants.

The water plants stop pumping water until the hazardous materials are safely downstream.

That's how communication should and will work in spill situations, say county emergency planners, with a new first responder alert system.   more...

 



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Feds OK plan to save water snakes

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a formal management plan to bolster the endangered Lake Erie water snake population.

The rare reptiles are only found on nine Ohio islands and along the Catawba Island-Marblehead shoreline. Citing dwindling snake numbers, federal officials drafted a recovery strategy and solicited public input on Kelleys Island earlier this summer. Biologists hope the population will rebound by about 2013.   more...

 



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Toxic spills a flashpoint in Chemical Valley race

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Its trademark petrochemical stacks and tanks once graced the back of Canada's $10 bill. But times have changed in Sarnia-Lambton's Chemical Valley, where voters can no longer rely only on prestigious, high-paying petrochemical jobs for their lifeblood.

The riding has a diverse economy driven by a mix of agriculture, auto parts, manufacturing, engineering -- and the Chemical Valley.

But unlike the heyday of the 1960s and '70s when new plants sprang up, many petrochemical sites have closed, downsized or moved south.    more...

 



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Ferry shaping up to be a giant

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The high-speed ferry that will cruise across Lake Ontario beginning next year is big.

How big?

“The size of it is going to destroy people,” said Bob Mansfield, operations and technical manager for Canadian American Transportation Systems. “It’s like a five-story building. People just can’t envision how big it is.”

The ship more resembles the look of a cruise liner than what many people might consider a small passenger ferry. It is 248 feet long and about 78 feet wide, and has two passenger decks, two vehicle decks and a bridge deck. The ship sits so high out of the water because its hull is made of aluminum.

The length is a little more than three-fourths the distance from home plate to the right field fence at Frontier Field (325 feet).   more...


 



Powerboating  

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'Frankenfish' cousin found in state

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The giant snakehead, a voracious, predatory fish that can wriggle short distances on land, was discovered by the state Department of Natural Resources in the Rock River south of Janesville, officials said Tuesday.

The discovery of the 2-foot-long fish this month represents the first time the non-native snakehead has been found in Wisconsin waters, and it underscores the state's vulnerability to exotic species.  more...

 



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Manmade runs that now provide more steelhead per mile than any other rivers in the U.S.

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John Randolph PhotoI cast the Black and Chartreuse Marabou Spey across the pool, mended once, and let the fly swing across the tailout. I let it hang at the bottom of the swing for several seconds and was about to pick it up for another cast when my arm was jolted by a strike. A chrome-bright steelhead shot into the air and jumped wildly across the pool in its attempts to throw the fly.

I soon had the 8-pound hen at my feet, reached down and quickly released the barbless fly and let the fish swim back into the pool. It was an experience I could not have had years ago, when I first began fishing the Lake Erie tributaries, but I have been around long enough to see the development of an entire fishery.   more...

 

 





Fishing Techniques

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The easiest way to catch a big fish on a fly is on a streamer, a wet fly that imitates a small baitfish that larger fish feed on. If you can cast 20 feet, you can catch fish in streams and rivers on a streamer. You can even strip line off the reel and into the water and let the fly drift in the current and catch fish. The line swims the fly, making it look like a swimming baitfish.   more...

 





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Wrapping up boat season

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PhotoBob Riley said his profession is like painting with fire.

Riley and his wife, Jill, are among those in the Blue Water Area who specialize in boat shrink-wrapping, a procedure gaining popularity despite being around for at least 20 years.

Low cost and a lack of storage options are the main reasons boaters increasingly are deciding to wrap their boats.

"More and more people are getting into it," said Bob Riley, owner of Riley's Shrinkwrap.

Similar to a pork chop covered in Saran Wrap, boats are covered in plastic. The plastic then is heated by torch until it shrinks, creating a weather-tight barrier against winter.

The Rileys this year will cover and torch about 200 boats.    more...

 



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Volunteers work to make historic lighthouse shine

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TWO RIVERS — It is no light task, but the restoration of the wooden lighthouse at Roger’s Street Fishing Village is under way.

Completed on Oct. 14, 1886, the lighthouse stood on the end of the Two Rivers North Pier until 1969. The U.S. Coast Guard donated the lighthouse to Roger’s Street in 1975, where it sat next to the Kahlenberg Engine Room until 1988, when a staircase was built for it.

“We thought it was time it was checked out,” said Sandy Zipperer, director at Roger’s Street. The last repairs were made following a storm in 1923, which severely damaged the west side of the lighthouse.   more...

 



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