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Marsh restoration brings long-missing birds, plants home again

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The restoration of a southeast Michigan marsh has already returned rare plants and birds to a Lake St. Clair park.

On tap: Yet more work to divert stormwater and reduce beach closings at the Lake St. Clair Metropark.

Among the birds returning after a nearly decade-long hiatus is the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). A dark, duck-like bird with a flamboyant splash of red on its beak, the moorhen is threatened in Michigan.  more...



Environment  

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Detroit Boat Show opening weekend up 20 percent

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Long lines of anxious boaters awaited the opening doors of the 55th Annual Detroit Boat Show today at Cobo Center. Steady crowds filled the halls throughout the day despite the bad weather.

 “Opening day is always a hit, but having general attendance increase by 20 percent is a sure sign of a rebound,” said Show Manager Nicki Polan.

 Exhibitors were also happy with the buyers in the crowd. “Great Traffic with lots of interest, we had strong sales and it seems people are buying more higher end products than in the past,” Chuck Heil, C&C Sports, Brighton, Mich.  more

Events  



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How to Keep Working Waterfronts at Work National Symposium March 25-28

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Waterfronts are getting squeezed. Traditional activities once considered vital to coastal communities – boat building, fishing, recreational boating and other water-dependent businesses – must now compete for limited space on the shoreline. Residential development, zoning changes, shifting populations and energy production are just some of the pressures against a robust working waterfront. There’s also a new factor - more frequent, massive storm events – that is inflicting massive change, begging the question: “How should devastated areas be redeveloped?” And if so, what are the best uses for waterfront land?  more...


Other  

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Photos: Great Lakes surfing, Superior style

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SurferIt seems impossible, but on Lake Superior there's a thriving scene of about 50 surfers who brave the frigid water for waves they swear can compare to some of the best surfing in Hawaii or California. With nearly 10 mm of wetsuit between him and the cold, Eric Wilkie of Webster, Wis. grabs his surfboard from the top of his truck Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at Stony Point in Duluth, Minn. "I'll be out there for an hour, hour and a half, or if I ride three big waves or have three big wipeouts. Whichever comes first," Wilkie said of his Monday surfing plans.  more...


Other  Watersports  

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Groundwater: The Great Lakes region’s second-class citizen

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Did you ever want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to a Great Lakes issue? Put a spotlight on a potential problem before it becomes a crisis and the media is all over it? Here’s your chance.

Start championing groundwater conservation. And tell elected officials to do the same.

Groundwater in the region is in the early stages of stress from an ever-increasing demand for water to support agriculture and fracking.  more...





Presque Isle Bay no longer Area of Concern

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A healthier Presque Isle Bay is no longer an Area of Concern.

The delisting notification came from the U.S. Department of State, which has the final say on delisting the bay.

"I am pleased to be able to inform you that the United States government and the government of Canada have agreed to remove Presque Isle Bay's designation as an Area of Concern (AOC) under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement,'' said Matthew M. Rooney, an official with the Department of State in a letter to the International Joint Commission.  more...



Environment  

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Lack of precipitation is not the cause of low water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron

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If you've been to the water's edge on Lake Michigan or Lake Huron recently, you are probably wondering where our lake water is going.

While water levels are noticeably lower than normal, it's not being caused by lack of precipitation over Michigan. I explain why in this story. more...



Environment  

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Big ships dock at Port of Milwaukee for maintenance in winter

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Ice has thickened in the harbor, but the work hasn't slowed much at the Port of Milwaukee, where some of the biggest ships on the Great Lakes are moored for a winter overhaul.

Six of the vessels are here until the start of the 2013 shipping season in late March.

Winter is the only time of year you can get a close-up look at 1,000-foot ships in Milwaukee because, other than being docked here for winter repairs, the biggest ships on the Great Lakes don't stop at the port on Jones Island during their regular sailing season.

If one of the big ships were stood on its end, it would be taller than the U.S. Bank building.  more...



Other  

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Hunters, anglers get Michigan licenses cheap

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Fish-license-featured-art-2-12.jpeg
Much has changed in Michigan since 1997: Gasoline prices have tripled, food prices increased more than 40 percent and health-care costs have skyrocketed.

It seems that everything costs more today than it did 16 years ago — unless you hunt or fish in Michigan. The price of hunting and fishing licenses here hasn’t increased since then. more...



Environment  Fishing  

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What if Everyone Jumped in a Lake?

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Let’s give a slightly refined version of the question.

If everyone on Earth went for a swim at the same time in Lake Michigan, how high would the water level rise?

I have two primary assumptions to start with. First, I will assume that during this time the volume of water in Lake Michigan will be constant. So if the people make the water level rise, the water level will indeed rise instead of pushing water into the other Great Lakes. Second, I will assume that all of the humans in the lake are floating. If they aren’t “swimming” or touching the bottom, then it will be easier to calculate the rise in the water level.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Skating on Lake Ontario a hardy adventure

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Island resident Kathleen McDonnell skates near Centre Island ferry dock in this file photo.Skating on natural surfaces like Lake Ontario isn't condoned by the city of Toronto, but a few hardy experts won't give up on tradition.

Like Joni Mitchell, many of us wish we had a river to skate away on.

While Toronto’s rivers don’t freeze up well, it still has a few places where people can skate on natural surfaces — though the warm winters and city regulations have conspired to make those opportunities few and far between.  more...




SNOW  

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Students compete in Great Lakes Bowl

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Do you know the name for a zone in a body of water where temperature rapidly changes with depth?

Students competing in the 2013 National Ocean Sciences Bowl are expected to know the answer. In fact, the question is categorized as “easy.”

This year’s Great Lakes regional competition was held Saturday, Feb. 9 at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Students from the college worked together with the Michigan Sea Grant to organize the event.

The Great Lakes contest is one of 25 regional competitions, held every February, that make up the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. This year schools from Michigan and Ohio participated.  more...



Environment  

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Testing out the Gill UV Tec Shorts at Key West Race Week

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What a week for racing!  Conditions couldn’t have been better for my first Key West Race Week with temperatures in the mid-70s and winds around 15kts each day.  

I spent my week aboard the GP42 Stray Dog in the competitive HPR class – although the results weren’t quite what we hoped, we still had some great racing… and some great team gear!
more...


Sailing  

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It Takes a Special Type to Iceboat

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DSC00103ClarkSail reporter Willy Clark recently got his first shot at iceboating when he followed the New England Ice Yachting Association to Squam Lake, New Hampshire for the 2013 Doc Fellows regatta. After a day spent watch the runners go by one thing is clear – it takes a special type to be an iceboater. Below are some of Willy’s thoughts on the matter.

I have seen iceboats race a number of times before, but I never really thought much about it until my cousin and close sailing buddy Oliver Moore got hooked into the NEIYA a few winters back. I knew that they were absurdly fast, and I obviously thought they were extremely cool and exciting. However I must admit that I never really thought much about iceboating. This is the way it is for a lot of “soft water” sailors; they are aware of iceboating and that it’s very special in its own way. But that is about the extent of it, and after a day spent in and around the things I think I can explain why – it isn’t really like sailing. More...



Sailing  SNOW  Wind  

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Ice Climbing in Pure Michigan

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By now, you probably know about a number of activities that can be done in Michigan during the wintertime – skiing, snowboarding, tubing, etc. Another lesser known activity to add to the list is ice climbing. With ice climbing being one of the activities featured in the Pure Michigan winter video series, we spoke with adventurer Lisa Nowak on what ice climbing in Michigan is all about.   more...


SNOW  Watersports  

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