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Boating experts call low-water levels a disaster

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Boating experts along the Lakeshore call low-water levels a disaster that's getting worse all the time.

R.J. Peterson, the owner of Tower Marina in Saugatuck, says low water levels are causing harbors to disappear in the Saugatuck-Douglas area.  Now, Peterson is working with Gov. Snyder on finding a solution to the problem.

Along parts of the Kalamazoo River where boats used to set sail, now birds stand on dry land.

"Its been totally neglected," says Peterson.

Peterson says he spends $100,000 on dredging the harbor, but it's never enough.

"There was no one in the state of Michigan who felt the slightest responsibility for these harbors," says Peterson.  more...



Environment  

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Eight Bells for William (Bill) Thorpe, US Sailing Judge and Umpire

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William P. (Bill) Thorpe IV (age 74), the 1993 Commodore of Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit), died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, December 2, after a long, courageous battle following surgery earlier this year to remove a malignant brain tumor. He had been a member of Bayview since 1972.  more...


Sailing  

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Wooden steamer sunk in Lake Huron found

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A wooden steamer that sunk in Lake Huron in 1910 has been found.

The Steamer New York, which was built in 1897, was discovered by the Undersea Research Associates, according to a Monday news release.

During a journey that started in Detroit and headed north on Lake Huron, the New York and two other boats -- the Steamer Mataafa towing the Waleback Alexander Holley -- were caught in a storm, according to the URA. Strong winds and waves caused the New York to lose power and fall onto its side.   more...

Other  

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About to run aground on EPA rules, coal-fired ferry seeks to rewrite the law

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When is an earmark not really an earmark?

A fresh bit of Congressional finagling raises that question in regard to yet another special favor for the coal-burning, ash-dumping carferry S.S. Badger – known to many in these parts as a stinky, creaky and rather pricey way across Lake Michigan that still beats the long drive around Chicago.

Since 2008, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began court-ordered regulation of various dumping practices by Great Lakes ships, the Badger has been promising to clean up its act. In return, EPA granted a five-year pass Lake Michigan Carferry, as the operating company is known more...



Environment  Other  

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Ballast bill rejected in House

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Federal legislation that was created to combat the growing problem of invasive species in the Great Lakes was defeated in Congress on Wednesday, though critics said the measure was too weak.

Rep. Louise Slaughter, co-chair of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, said language in the legislation was flawed and would have endangered the ability of New York state to enforce more stringent standards on vessels that dump their ballast water stored in tanks. The tanks are often filled in international waters, where species not native to the United State are collected, and are then released into local lakes and rivers.  more...


Environment  

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Your Green Life: "Eating Fresh Local Fish"

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Lake Superior is driving our local economy. Tourists from near and far visit the ports and the shorelines of the lake to take in its natural beauty. But tourists also are interested in what comes out of the lake. And everyone knows that the best smoked fish can only be found here.
 
The owner at the Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park, Eric Goerdt said, "When tourists come into the shop, they want what comes from Lake Superior. They look at my fish case and they say, what's from Lake Superior? So we sell a lot of whitefish and lake trout, and I buy that from local fisherman so it does help the local economy."  more...


Other  

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Water levels in Lakes Huron, Michigan head for record lows

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The dipping water levels in Lake Michigan have left docks out of the water and beaches extending hundreds of feet into West Grand Traverse Bay northwest of Traverse City.


Lakes Michigan and Huron sank to their lowest November levels in nearly a half a century and are expected to set new monthly and all-time record lows by early next year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts.

A continued lack of rain and snowfall in the Great Lakes basin will lead Lakes Huron and Michigan to break the record monthly low set in March 1964 — 576.05 feet above sea level — while all of the lakes are predicted to see lower-than-normal water levels.

"It's looking like new record lows will be set in January and February on those lakes," Keith Kompolotowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the corps, said of Huron and Michigan.   more...



Environment  

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Paddling Instructor is dead. Long Live Paddling Headquarters

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I

Paddling Headquarters Logo

’m super excited to finally unveil Paddling Headquarters, the next step for Paddling Instructor.
 
The idea for the rebrand started a couple of months ago when I was looking back through the site archives and I realized that even though there is a lot of teaching resources and “how to teach” articles scattered throughout, the site is much bigger than that. I think the name; Paddling Headquarters is more about what this place really is. A spot for people to come and discover the crazy weird stuff out there related to the outdoor world.  more...


Other  Watersports  

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Hundreds of hectares for sale on Lake Superior

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Hundreds of hectares of land along Lake Superior — the world's largest freshwater lake — are for sale near Terrace Bay.

It's one of the most unusual — and one of the priciest — property sales in northwestern Ontario.
 
More than 1,800 hectares near Terrace Bay are on the market — a parcel that envelops 30 kilometres of shoreline, including frontage on Lake Superior, Hays Lake and the Aguasabon River.
 
A vice president with Ernst and Young, the receivers for Terrace Bay Pulp, said the property is being marketed online to a variety of potential customers, including international buyers.  more...


Other  

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Water Runs Through Us: Muskegon's port more than just shipping business but also a tourist draw

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BBC Elbe ship enters Muskegon ChannelJim Fuhlman spent more time than he’d like to admit watching the ships on the Mart Dock from his seventh floor room in the Shoreline Inn.

Here with his wife, Sharon, the Fuhlmans were in Muskegon at the beginning of October visiting family. There aren’t 462-foot ocean-going cargo ships unloading huge turbine blades and tower sections back home in Cedartown, Ga. between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Fuhlman said.

“It was intriguing,” Fuhlman said of the commercial ship operations going on below his hotel balcony. A retired office furniture plant manager, Fuhlman said shipping is an area of business that he really never understood but has always drawn his attention.  more...



Environment  Other  

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National Parks protect Great Lakes nearshore land and water

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Filmmaker Ken Burns and his longtime cohort Dayton Duncan are getting a lot of buzz now over their latest blockbuster documentary, The Dust Bowl, a two-part series that examines farming practices of the early 1900s that led to what many consider America’s worst ecological catastrophe.

Three years ago, they captivated PBS viewers with a six-part documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Both have some lessons that can be applied to the Great Lakes region’s near-shore water quality.  more...



Environment  

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Great Lakes algae concerns city councillor

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Windsor city councillor Hilary Payne is searching for answers after viewing a video on the effects of algae on area lakes.

The video, produced by the Essex Region Conservation Authority, raises awareness to what it calls a pressing issue.

Payne, who said Lake Erie is "a disgrace," is calling on the federal government to take immediate action.

"This has basically turned Lake Erie into something like the Dead Sea," he said. "Millions of dollars were spent back in the '70s and '80s to keep phosphate out of the Great Lakes. We'd thought we had solved the problem but ... it's worse than ever."  more...



Environment  

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Cargo ship carrying soy beans grounded in St. Lawrence River

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SOREL-TRACY, Que. - A cargo ship ran aground on the banks of the St. Lawrence River near Sorel-Tracy in the Monteregie region of Quebec just a few hours after leaving Montreal on Wednesday.
 
The freighter, registered as Tundra, had weighed anchor in the late afternoon, leaving the Port of Montreal en route to Halifax.
 
Transport Canada's Marine Division has been called to the site to investigate what took place.
 
Nathalie Letendre, a spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard, confirmed that the Cyprus-registered vessel was carrying soya.   more...


Other  

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What’s Eating the Local Food Movement?

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EVENT Tuesday, December 4. The Northern Michigan Culinary Arts Community invites the public to a talk by Patty Cantrell, “Local Food: A Prescription for National Healing.” With free, locally sourced appetizers made by SEEDS kids and some of our area’s most talented chefs. 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Frankfort Rec Center, across from the Frankfort Laundromat.   more...


Events  Other  

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How low indeed

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The News-Review reports Harbor Springs is lowering its docks to contend with ultra-low Lake Michigan water levels. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council asks "How low can we go?" in its quarterly Current Reflections. For some of us we can still picture small fishing boats going under the Harbor dock back in 1964 when historic low water levels were recorded.

Of course those same some of us can remember 1986 when the lake levels were at historic highs.  more...


Environment  

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