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Repairs Needed at Great Lakes Harbors & Piers

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There's no question that the Great Lakes are one of this region's biggest draws.

But, there are concerns that the "pier quality" is no longer up to par.

The issue is that the area right along the shoreline needs to be dredged and it's needed the work for decades.

Many harbor users are also complaining of the fact that some harbors are not being properly maintained. Vince Pierleoni is a charter boat operator and fisher. He's been on the job for 28 years and says the water levels are the lowest he's seen.   more...



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Shipping Brings Billions to The Northland

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The Twin Ports are among more than 100 commercial ports in the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway system, but the local economic benefits of the ports have never been studied with the help of both the U.S. And Canada, until now.

The first bi-national survey to show the economic impact of shipping on the Great Lakes Seaway was presented to day to the Rotary Club of Duluth. It shows that the shipping industry supports over 11,500 jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, (SLSDC) is a government agency that helps keep cargo ships running smoothly in the seaway and helped produce the study.  more...



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Boats running aground as lake levels head lower

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For many Michigan boat owners, these are the waning days of the best season of the year. The chill has set in and days of warm weekends on the water are pretty much over.

Typically, the last rite of the season is pulling the boats from the water and getting them into storage. But 2012 has not been like most years.

After a 12-month stretch of less-than-normal rain and snow, the bodies of Lake St. Clair and each of the Great Lakes are roughly a foot or more below their historic averages for this time of year with forecasts of record lows in the coming months. The levels have been down throughout the spring and summer and now, the lakes are beginning to see their seasonal decline — effectively making a bad situation worse.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Betsie River Meeting with Ray Franz

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A quick update: About 40 people showed up at City Hall for the hastily called meeting with Josh Mills, State rep Ray Franz, and the DNR’s Frank Foster. They assembled discussed possible reasons for the problem we’re experiencing with low water (including the dredging of the St. Clair River) as well as possible funding sources for a dredge or other project, such as narrowing the channel in other ways, to increase the rate of water flow out of the Betsie River. more...


Environment  

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Richardson Trophy victory for Don Wilson and crew

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The Chicago Match Race Center's Don Wilson and his crew of sister Jen Wilson, Sally Barkow, Tod Reynolds and Erik Shampain have today claimed victory in the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes' 100th edition of the Richardson Trophy on an impressive streak of victories: in 24 flights, Wilson and team lost only three matches in the three days of this event. By doing so, Wilson joins a long tradition of repeat winners of this venerable trophy, the world's oldest match racing trophy that is not a challenge cup.

'The top four teams were all solid, but we knew we had our work cut out for us in the semis and finals,' says Wilson. 'The scoreline made the finals look easy; it was anything but that. Sally and the team did a great job keeping us on the lifted tack at all times which was crucial to success upwind. We are stoked to have won this two years in a row.'  more...


Sailing  

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Classic wooden canoe enthusiasts gather at river’s edge on the AuSable

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Antique_Canoes_1_009.JPGIt was a quintessential fall day: cool and sunny with color in the trees, bold splashes of yellow and orange lining the banks of the AuSable River. What made it all the more colorful was company I was keeping and the canoes they paddled, each made of wood and rich in history.

Floating close by was Dave McDaniel in his early 1950s Peterborough canoe, its varnished wood ribs finished bright.

McDaniel, a rugged looking man, paddled solo sporting a broad-brimmed hat. He appeared relaxed as he negotiated the river’s obstacles.  more...



Other  Watersports  

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33 stranded on ferry in Lake Erie

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Thirty-three people will spend Thursday night on a ferry that has run aground near Kingsville, Ont., southeast of Windsor.

The Jiimaan, which services Pelee Island in Lake Erie, got hung up on a sandbar 60 metres (200 feet) off shore at 1:45 p.m. Thursday.

The ship is carrying 18 passengers, 15 crew members and two transport trucks hauling grain.

Low water levels are to blame for the incident, according to Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Company, which operates the ferry. She said days of high winds have moved sand into the channel and lowered the water levels.  more...



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Lake Huron nears record low level

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Lake Huron is approaching low water levels not seen in nearly half a century, say officials.

Environment Canada reported this week water levels in the lake fell 15 cm in September. That’s two and a half times its average decline of six cm, leaving it 27 cm below where it was a year ago.

The agency said Lake Huron began October just three cm above record low levels set in 1964.

“I don’t know where the water’s going,” said John McClennan, owner of Seven Winds Marina in Port Franks. “Somebody’s gobbling it up somewhere.”

September’s drop came at the end of the boating season, lessening the impact at the marina, McClennan said.   more...



Environment  

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12th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Conference

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The 2012 Great Lakes Beach Association conference will take place October 16-18, 2012, at the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Online registration for the GLBA Conference is now closed. Onsite registration will be available starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. Please select from the links at right to find out more about the conference. We look forward to seeing you this fall on Mackinac Island!  more...


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Lower Lake Erie water level bad for boats, good for beaches

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Water levels on the Great Lakes are down, causing concerns for recreational boaters and commercial shipping but possibly less erosion on beaches.

The mild winter of 2011-12 and this year's dry summer weren't what was needed to keep water levels up, several sources said.

Lake Erie's average water level in September was down four inches from August, 14 inches from the year before and eight inches from its long-term average, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers information. Levels in the other lakes also dipped. Officials are particularly concerned with upper Great Lakes like Michigan and Huron, but say their problems could eventually trickle down to Erie.  more...



Environment  

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Fight for final four at 100th Richardson Trophy

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With Double Round Robin nearly completed, two teams look strong for the Semi-Finals, but the remaining two slots will not be determined until tomorrow

After another day of puffy, challenging conditions off Belmont Harbor and just a few flights remaining in the Double Round Robin, two teams look strong to make it to tomorrow's Semi-Final stage in the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes' 100th edition of the Richardson Trophy, sailed at the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC). Reigning champion Don Wilson from CMRC continued his winning ways from yesterday and lost only one match today to ensure he and his team a place in the Final Four.  more...



Sailing  

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Detroiters strongly back Belle Isle lease

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More than 66 percent of Detroit residents favor a deal by Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to turn Belle Isle into a state park, according to a Detroit News poll.

Despite heated criticism of the proposal at City Council meetings, nearly 51 percent of 800 Detroiters polled said they strongly approve of a deal to lease the island to the state, with the city retaining ownership. Another 15.5 percent said they somewhat approved the deal. more...



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Spraying for phragmites wraps up this week

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Environmentalists won’t know until spring whether their efforts to the fight invasive plant phragmites in Northeastern Wisconsin have been effective this fall.Spraying the 12- to 15-foot plants wrapped up this week along the Green Bay shoreline and in patches of the Lake Michigan shoreline, according to Heidi Springborn, who is directing the efforts by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Phragmites Shoreline Control, Northeast Region. more...


Environment  

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Eh? Herring is haute

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Scott Graden of Duluth’s New Scenic Café will be one of several chefs competing in “A Salute to Lake Superior’s Sustainable Fisheries,” a professional chef cook-off and public tasting event. It will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Ten of the Midwest’s finest chefs will compete for $1,000 by turning Lake Superior’s lake herring into haute cuisine. more ...


Environment  Fishing  

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Water levels get overdue attention

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As the waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron continue to drop alarmingly, it’s comforting to see our federal leaders take notice.
This week two of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s top ministers, our own MP Tony Clement, the Industry Minister, and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, sat down with Georgian Bay Association representatives to discuss water levels.
For years, the Georgian Bay Association, cottagers, paddlers, anglers, marinas and many others whose lives depend on the Great Lakes have been sounding the alarm about out depleting waters - leading to a study by the century-old Canada-U.S. entity called the International Joint Commission. The findings concluded that, yes, water levels are dropping and will continue to. The causes included the dredging of the St. Clair River, global warming, and a slow rebound of the earth’s crust following the surface’s depression during the ice age. The solutions? Too expensive, the study deemed.  more ...


Environment  

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