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Low Great Lakes water levels predicted into 2013

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Lower lakes such as St. Clair should stay safely above their all-time lows but will still measure far below their historical averages.The Lake Michigan/Huron system is at great risk of seeing an all-time low water level in the next six months, according to statistical projections that will be released today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
After a winter with little snow followed by a spring with little rain, each of the Great Lakes endured a 2012 boating season challenged by low waters.
 
The water loss has shortened the recreational boating season for many and forced the shipping industry to reduce the amount of tonnage its vessels can carry. more...


Environment  

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Canoeing in the 1900’s was a Hot Bed of Sin

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Canoeing in Detroit 1907

I recently stumbled upon an article that was originally published in Collectors Weekly back in July. It looked at how back in the 1900-1920(ish) canoeing was viewed as a very sexy activity. If you were looking to get away from people for a little "private time", the canoe was the only way to do it.

"Adolescents took to the waters with the urgency of salmon fighting their way upstream, spawning a veritable canoe craze, particularly in places like Boston along the Charles River and at Belle Isle, near Detroit. While any canoe would do, companies such as Old Town, Kennebec, and White marketed “courting canoes” specifically designed for waterborne lovebirds." more...


Watersports  

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Michigan cities may soon receive windfall from Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to operate parks and rec

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Southern Michigan cities struggling to operate parks and recreational facilities may soon receive a windfall from an unlikely source: the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The fund was established in 1976 to buy land for natural resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding comes from royalties paid by companies that drill for oil and gas on state land.  more...



Other  

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Erie Canal transformed New York

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On Oct. 26, 1825, the Erie Canal opened for traffic. It was the first direct link between the eastern United States and the interior of the United States, and it made New York City the country’s primary port.

The 363-mile canal directly connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean using a system of 83 locks to manage the 568-foot elevation change between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. The 4-foot-deep, 40-foot-wide canal also used 18 aqueducts to cross ravines and rivers. The canal reduced the cost of shipping by as much as 95 percent; opened up western New York for rapid development; and made settlements near the Great Lakes more accessible for settlers and businesses.  more...



Other  

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Sign Of Fall: NYPA Removes Docks, Buoys From St. Lawrence

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Despite mild weather, the New York Power Authority has started preparing for winter by removing docks and buoys along the St. Lawrence River.
 
Boaters and anglers typically don't like it when the docks are removed early. They're hoping to squeeze in as much time on the water as possible before bad weather sets in.
 
Charter fishing boat operators say removing the docks when weather conditions are still good makes it tough to book customers . more...


Other  

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Kids study water levels' impact on St. Lawrence wetlands

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Construction of the giant hydropower dam near Massena in the 1950s forever tamed the once-wild St. Lawrence River. It allowed engineers to harness the river's natural ebb and flow for energy production and to protect homes and ports at the same time. But in the process, it hurt the indigenous plants and animals that depend on those highs and lows to survive.   more...


Environment  Other  

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Future of buoy could be sunk without funding

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Thunder rolled in the distance over Lake Michigan. Drops of rain cracked the glass-like surface of Lake Macatawa as Ed Verhamme and Brandon Ellefson eased their boat into the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, a $50,000 weather buoy trailing behind. If the floating data center was still anchored in Lake Michigan, 2 miles off Tunnel Park, they could have been reading live reports about wind speed and direction, wave height and air and water temperatures as the storm approached.  more...


Other  

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Seaway bridge statuses hit smartphones

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So much for blaming getting stuck at a lift bridge when you're late for work.
 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation figures it has put that old Niagara canard to bed by releasing its bridge statuses to the public. Motorists will now be able to check the status of the bridges over the Welland Canal via smartphone.  more...


Other  

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Enbridge to Increase Oil Flow through Straits of Mackinaw

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The same company responsible for the worst inland oil spill ever wants to increase the amount of oil going through its pipeline under the Straits of Mackinaw.
 
Enbridge Energy says it has increased safety inspections since the disaster at the Kalamazoo River a couple of years ago. And the company says the pipeline that runs underwater west of the Mackinaw Bridge is perfectly safe.
 
But a Great Lakes environmental group isn’t convinced and is trying to stop the plan.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Lake Express ferry owner criticizes Walker for backing SS Badger permit

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In a pointed letter to Gov. Scott Walker, the owner of Milwaukee's Lake Express ferry says the governor is wrong to ask the federal Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily extend a permit that allows the ferry SS Badger to continue to dump coal ash into Lake Michigan.
 
Sheldon B. Lubar, and his son, David, are the founders and owners of the Lake Express ferry, which operates between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich. The Badger, owned by Lake Michigan Carferry, operates between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich. The Badger is the last coal-fired steamship on the Great Lakes.  more...


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Boating in a winter wonderland

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A beautiful view of the River CamI have lived afloat on my narrowboat Lucky Duck for over four years now. My home is only 48ft long and 7ft wide,  but I adore life on the river and I'd like to share a bit of it here.

I get a lot of questions from curious passers by when I am outside working on the boat on my Midsummer Common mooring. For my first post, I thought I'd answer one of the most common questions that we boaters get asked: "Does it get cold in winter?" 

The short answer is that no, it doesn't get cold, in fact it is pretty toasty warm if you get it right! The long answer is that in order to keep warm, we use similar systems to those found in houses. Many of us have central heating, but instead of using a boiler which runs on mains gas like most houses, boaters use little cast iron stoves.  more...



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Register Online And Be Key West Bound In 2013, January 20-25

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Calling all Melges 32s — Quantum Key West 2013 is the perfect way keep your program running full steam ahead, not to mention it is simply an amazing event to attend. QKW 2013 also serves as Event No. 2 on the 2013 Midwinter Championship Series Circuit! Please take the time to read this very special message from Premiere Racing's Event Director Peter Craig and plan to GO!  more...


Sailing  

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Storing a boat for the winter? Get the scoop on E-10 gas

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Almost a full tank or nearly empty tank? That is the big question that boaters are now posed with in the midst of preparing their boats for the long winter hibernation. The concern is ethanol - an octane enhancing gasoline additive that has some unfortunate, harmful side effects on marine engines.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some tips learned from fuel industry insiders on how to store a boat with E-10 gasoline (containing 10% ethanol) over the winter.  more...


Other  

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An Interview With The Worthy 2012 MC Scow National Champion Jamie Kimball By Eric Hood

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We are visiting today with our new 2012 MC Scow National Champion Jamie Kimball from Spring Lake, Michigan. First of all on behalf of the entire MC Class we have to say congratulations Jamie on winning big at the National Championship at White Lake, plus winning two other majors and the season class rankings. We have some questions we would love to get your thoughts and insights on about your sailing program that might help the rest of us get better with our sailing programs. So here we go with our first question.

E Hood: Jamie can you give us some basics on how long you have been sailing, how you got started and talk about a few mentors who really made a difference for your enthusiasm and career for sailing?   more...



Sailing  

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GVSU Lake Michigan wind buoy collecting data for potential offshore wind farm developments

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Lake Michigan wind buoyAs a public controversy and a viable alternative energy source, Lake Michigan offshore wind farms have disappeared from West Michigan radar screens.

But the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center continues to directly study the wind patterns in the middle of Lake Michigan, gathering a tremendous volume of data for future scientists and wind energy developers.

The bottom line of the initial GVSU research data: There is plenty of wind in the middle of Lake Michigan for commercial wind energy production. The steady and consistent winds are closer to the surface of the water than expected.  more...



Environment  Wind  

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