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Small grants available to clean Michigan rivers

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Local governments can apply for small grants to help clean up Michigan's rivers, streams and creeks.
 
The Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Commission said Tuesday they will divide $25,000 into smaller amounts for cleanup projects.
 
Participating local governments can team up with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups to do the work. They are required to match 25 percent of the grant they receive.  more...


Environment  

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Return of Swan 42, resurgence of Melges 24 bolster Quantum Key West

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Quantum Key West 2013John Hele has wanted to compete in the popular annual race week off Key West ever since he got into sailboat racing. The New York Yacht Club member will finally get to achieve that goal next month because the Swan 42 class is coming back to the beautiful blue waters off the Conch Republic.
 
"Key West has been on my bucket list for a long time. That is one of the most spectacular locations to go sailing and I'm very much looking forward to it," Hele said.
 
     The return of the Swan 42 as a one-design class and the resurgence of the Melges 24 fleet are among many highlights of Quantum Key West 2013. The Event Organizer and officials with title sponsor Quantum Sail Design Group see those two success stories as further indication the popular winter regatta has weathered the storm.  more...


Sailing  

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Low Water Levels Reveal Sunken Ships in the Great Lakes

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 Remains of a sunken ship near Door County - UW Sea Grant InstituteWater levels are low enough in the Great Lakes that parts of sunken ships have become visible.
 
John Karl, science communicator for the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, says Wisconsin actually leads the nation in the number of shipwrecks listed on the national register of historic places. He estimates there are more than 700 sunken ships near Wisconsin, and some are well preserved because of the Great Lakes' cold, deep, fresh water.
 
Karl says most went down in the 19th century, when they were becoming a major vehicle for commerce.  more...


Environment  Other  

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The seagoers arrive, heralding a boom in Great Lakes shipping

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satsuki.jpgA steel, 670-foot-long, 80-foot-wide handymax bulk carrier painted fire-engine-red proves once again that Canada is a good neighbor.
 
The arrival of the Federal Satsuki on Wednesday morning at the Port of Cleveland brought tidings of comfort and joy to the whole Great Lakes region -- and to Ohio manufacturers and exporters, in particular.
 
"There is no more important international transportation connection for our state," said Will Friedman, CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. "It's the most direct, cost-effective, fuel-efficient link to Europe."   more...


Other  

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Historic car ferry S.S. Badger's future in doubt after it doesn't get EPA exemption

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The S.S. Badger, the last coal-fired steamship on the Great Lakes, steams from Ludington to Wisconsin. She was launched in 1952.The future is in doubt for the S.S. Badger, a historic coal-fired ferry that's been crossing Lake Michigan for nearly 60 years.
 
The Coast Guard reauthorization bill that has been sent to President Barack Obama for his signature does not include a provision that would have allowed the Badger -- a 410-foot vessel that carries freight, passengers and cars from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wis., from May to October -- to operate under its current permit without regard to any expiration date.  more...


Other  

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Keeping an eye on the Great Lakes canary

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Back in the 1970′s, Lake Erie – often referred to as the Great Lakes’ “canary in the coal mine” – was closely monitored by government agencies. As lake health improved, that scrutiny was gradually withdrawn and funds diverted elsewhere. But with the advent of new problems, from dead zones and algae blooms to invasive species like Asian carp, there are again many eyes on the lake. And as independent producer Karen Schaefer reports, the samplers are coming up with some surprising discoveries.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Canadians alert for missing buoys

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Scientific buoys that were placed on Lake Erie lie on the floor of a storage unit. The buoys are used to record temperature data of the lake. Three are missing, and the officials are asking for help to recover them. The best friend we have on the planet is asking for a hand. Because that’s what good neighbors do, Canada  should be able to rely on the folks in Michigan and Ohio to help out.
 
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is searching for three missing scientific buoys that apparently worked loose from their moorings on Lake Erie.
 
The Lake Erie Management Unit from the province positioned the buoys in the west-central area of the lake in the spring, in places where the water is 33, 49, and 66 feet deep. When crews went out to retrieve the buoys this fall, they were gone.  more...


Other  

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Sneak Peek: The New and Improved P&H Aries

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P&H Aries

I recently got sent a couple photos of the updated P&H Aries that is just starting to arrive in North America from the UK factories. The Aries is the fibreglass (or Kevlar) model that is very similar to the rotomolded plastic and highly successful Delphin.
 
Though the Aries has been out for a couple years, they have made some design adjustments based on feedback from boat owners and P&H team paddlers (which I’m a member of).
 
Apologizes in advance as a couple of the photos are not the greatest but it will give you an idea of what to expect in the spring when the boats show up at your local paddling shop.  more...


Boat Reviews  Other  

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Falling Lake Michigan Water Levels Could Lead To Rising Pollution

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 If the Lake Michigan water level drops six inches, the locks in and out of the Chicago River will have to be closed to keep polluted water out, federal officials said on Monday.

Durbin held a wake up call by the lake, which is 28 inches below average and only two inches above its 1960 low point.

Army Engineer Col. James Schreiner said if the level continues dropping, locks might have to be closed to keep polluted water from the lake.   more...



Environment  

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Scientists track potential Great Lakes invaders with searchable watchlist

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More than 180 non-native species have already made a home in the Great Lakes basin, and more could make their way in.
 
Scientists and government officials have their eyes on a watchlist of 53 species that are most likely to become established in the Great Lakes region if they get in.
 
Take for example: killer shrimp.
 
Rochelle Sturtevant is a Regional Sea Grant Specialist for Outreach at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor.  more...


Other  

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Drought’s a Grinch – years from now

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Ken Prince, owner of KP Tree and Nursery in Allendale, is one of many Christmas tree growers in the state who faces a potential business crisis because of last summer’s drought.

“Drought was bad for planting new trees,” Prince said. “We are going to ramp up the planting by 30 percent to make up our loss from the drought.”

He said the loss is hard to measure. “We will only see the loss in eight to nine years because we probably won’t have enough trees at that time.”

“The real impact is not about this year’s trees,” said Bert Cregg, a Michigan State University horticulture professor.

He said Christmas trees need eight to ten years to grow to marketable size so the impact will not appear at least until them.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Michigan expands Great Lakes muskie stock

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The muskie production program of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has turned a huge corner by stocking only Great Lakes muskies.

DNR’s Fish Production Section operates six large fish hatcheries, including the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan which the muskie program belongs to.

Based on the department’s figures, hatcheries produce 13 million trout and salmon and 30 million walleye, muskie and sturgeon annually. That’s a total 600,000-700,000 pounds of fish a year stocked in the state’s public waters.

The department has raised muskellunge for stocking for decades but had always used northern muskies. This is the second year it produced strictly Great Lakes muskies.  more...



Fishing  

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Sally Barkow Takes Carlos Aguilar Match Race Title

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The USA's Sally Barkow played the 'comeback kid' by defeating the USA's Dave Perry 3-0 in the Finals at the 5th Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by Ulysse Nardin/Trident Jewels & Time.
Barkow, who has raced this regatta four times, took second last year after a narrow defeat by Finland's Staphan Lindberg. The sorrow of that defeat made this year's win for Barkow and her crew - Annie Lush, Alana O'Reilly, Erik Champaign and Maggie Shea - all the sweeter.  more...


Sailing  

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Force 5 – The Class That Even a Powersaw Couldn’t Kill

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Editor’s note: My first sailboat, purchased with summer job earnings when I was 16, was a Force 5. I was considering a Laser, but was drawn to the Force 5’s mahogany blades, thwart and splash coaming, Harken blocks and 91 square foot North sail that gave the Force 5 more horsepower than the Laser. A friend of my father’s worked for AMF (the builder of the Force 5), and when he offered his employee discount I became the proud owner of #4935. Incidentally, AMF owned Harley-Davidson at that time and I was also keen on the 350 Sprint, an Italian import built by Aermacchi. Alas, my assertion that it would provide practical, economical transportation fell on deaf parental ears.  more...


Sailing  

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Carlos Aguilar Match Race - Sally Barkow victorious in St. Thomas

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The USA’s Sally Barkow played the ‘comeback kid’ by defeating the USA’s Dave Perry 3-0 in the Finals at the fifth Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by Ulysse Nardin/Trident Jewels and Time. Barkow, who has raced this regatta four times, took second last year after a narrow defeat by Finland’s Staphan Lindberg. The sorrow of that defeat made this year’s win for Barkow and her crew – Annie Lush, Alana O’Reilly, Erik Champaign and Maggie Shea – all the sweeter.   more...


Sailing  

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