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Great Lakes: Great Inspiration

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The Great Lakes inspire people to do great things.

Or at least very quirky things.

Whether it’s raising awareness for a cause or just being near the water, people use the lakes as backdrops for adventure.

Echo recently featured Jenn Gibbons, rowing the perimeter of Lake Michigan to raise money for a rowing team of breast cancer survivors.

And in April, we covered two Minnesota bicyclists circling the perimeter of the Great Lakes. They’ve now reached Michigan and are traveling up Lake Huron’s western coast.

They aren’t the only ones whom beach-goers should look out for this summer:  more...



Watersports  

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40 Years of Deliverance and Canoe Tripping hasn’t been the Same Since

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Deliverance movie poster

July 30th will be the 40th anniversary of that film that made everybody terrified to canoe down rivers, Deliverance.

Staring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty, Deliverance is the story of four friends who decide to canoe down the (fake) Cahulawassee River in Georgia before the valley is flooded by the construction of a dam. Scariness ensues over the next hour and a half.  more...



Watersports  

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Detroit River refuge plans dock, fishing pier

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A new dock for use by school groups and a public fishing pier are envisioned as part of a hub for environmental education and outdoor recreation at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, organizers announced today.

The dock and pier are part of a $2.8 million project at the Refuge Gateway, which is located next to the refuge's 410-acre Humbug Marsh unit. Canadian railroad operator CN is contributing $200,000 for construction of the dock and pier at the former industrial site in the Detroit suburb of Trenton. more...



Other  

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New law removes grooming permits

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Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law a measure allowing beach-front property owners on the Great Lakes to uproot or mow plants, cut paths and smooth sand with hand tools or machines without a state permit. Supporters say it's time to ease up, although few permit applications have been rejected.

Property owners still will need approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  more...


Environment  

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Laser Radial Youth Worlds Bronze for USA's Mitchell Kiss

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US Sailing Development Team member Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) won a bronze medal at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championship held June 29 – July 4, in Brisbane, Australia. Racing was hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and sailed on Moreton Bay.

Kiss recorded top-10 scores throughout the seven-race series, except for an 11th, which he used as his discard result. He finished with 27 points, only three points behind the first and second place sailors, who tied on points: Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) and Andrew Mckenzie (NZL), respectively. more...


Sailing  

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What's Going to Happen to Boaters Over the July 4th Holiday?

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For recreational boaters, being on the water for the July 4th holiday is akin to driving to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Waterways are jammed, launch ramps are mayhem, and getting home after the fireworks end can feel like a California freeway at rush hour — except there are no breakdown lanes. The folks at Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) have seen it all before, and have these three tips on how to overcome the challenges of boating’s busiest day of the year:   more...

Other  

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19 classic wood boats compete in regatta on Lake St. Clair

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The smaller boats including the 6 meters go downwind on the western side of Lake St. Clair near the mouth of the Detroit River during the first annual Detroit Classic Boat Regatta 2022.  The race was sponsored by the Detroit Yacht Club on Saturday, June 16, 2012.

It could have been a scene from a half century ago Saturday on Lake St. Clair, as the first Detroit Classic Boat Regatta brought 19 mostly wooden beauties skimming across the lake.

The boats -- dating from 1921 to 1974, with one boat, Wayward Wind, a reproduction built in 2006 in the classic style -- came from Lake St Clair and Lake Huron for the race, the only local sailboat racing venue devoted to classic boats.

They were an on-the-water illustration of the evolution of sailboat design, their wood framing a little gentler and their curves a little softer than modern boats.  more...



Sailing  

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International Regatta good tune-up for Mackinac

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Tyson Connolly believes the Mackinac race is won at night.

So what better way to prepare for it than sailing an overnight race?

The Port Huron Yacht Club will hold its Lake Huron International Regatta Saturday. The race begins at 5 p.m. about 2 miles north of the Blue Water Bridge and will finish at Vantage Point sometime Sunday morning.

“Any boat that’s competing in the Bells Bayview Port Huron-to-Mackinac, you definitely want to get your crew out there in an overnight situation where you’re kind of re-learning the boat at night,” said Connolly, vice chairman of the International Regatta and a crewmember on Val Saph’s Rowdy. “It’s my opinion that Mackinac is won at night. You really have to maintain your focus and keep your decision-making proper.  more...


Sailing  

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Sea Kayak Georgian Bay - This Film Will Make You Want to Quit Your Job and Go Paddling Today

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You need to check out this absolutely gorgeous sea kayaking short film that was put together from the gang at Kaspi Arial Media. The film follows Christine Utas, one of the instructors from the White Squall Paddling Centre as she paddles through the fog at Killbear Provincial Park. I don’t think I have ever seen Georgian Bay looking so good.  more...


Watersports  

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  • No Windrider---ing. Look for the website and you-tube
    - [James Landon]

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High E. Coli levels at Saugatuck Dunes beach on Lake Michigan prompt health advisory

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saugatuck 1.jpgForget swimming today at Saugatuck Dunes State Park beach on Lake Michigan.

After a water sample finding of 640.33 E. coli per 100 ml of water -- more than double the maximum of 300 E. coli per 100 ml recommended for safe total body contact contact-- the Allegan County Health Department is advising the public to avoid swimming at the beach.  more...



Environment  

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Ohio beaches still second worst in country among coastline states

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beach-bacteria.JPGOhio beaches remain the second most polluted in the country and Cuyahoga County overtook Lorain County for the most polluted beach water among Ohio counties alongside Lake Erie, according to an environmental advocacy group.

The Natural Resources Defense Council report released Wednesday analyzed more than 3,000 beaches last year from the 30 states with coastlines. It found Ohio's beaches are the most polluted along the Great Lakes.

more...



Environment  

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Flood Water Contamination

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The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reminding folks to avoid contact with flood water, but that warning does not apply to lake superior beaches outside the Duluth harbor area.

State and local public health officials say to avoid unnecessary contact with flood water.  Flood water may be contaminated with sewage, disease-causing germs and other potential contaminates, according to Amy Westbrook, Duluth District Epidemiologist for MDH. more...



Environment  Other  

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Boating tips to keep you from becoming a statistic

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Boating season is here, and whether you plan on leisurely Lake Erie jaunts or heart-pounding regattas, you should always keep safety foremost in your mind, especially given the growing number of boating accidents each year.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s recently released report, boating deaths jumped 12.8 percent in 2011 and are the highest they’ve been since 1998.

Last year, 758 people died and 3,081 were injured in 4,588 boating accidents reported to the Coast Guard. Of these deaths, 70 percent drowned and 84 percent of those who drowned weren’t wearing a life jacket.  more...



Other  

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Boating: The art of docking

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Have you ever gone to a waterfront restaurant by boat? Do you know that in a recent survey of non-boaters, they really, really envy people who arrive by boat at the restaurants? Many people have entered the sport of boating just so they can be among those who are envied.

Despite surveys pointing to boaters being happier, more content and better lovers, non-boaters slough off all that and concentrate on their desire to simply stepping off a boat onto a restaurant's dock as the main reason they might one day get into boating.

In effect, you as boaters have a responsibility to boat to more restaurants. Not just for the great food or the enjoyment of being on the water with friends but to preserve the boating lifestyle. A skillful landing is often more difficult than it seems to non-boaters. Observers often break into animated discussions about a less a skillful landing when the skipper misjudged wind or tide or the speed needed to make the smooth landing.  more...



Other  

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Blanchard/Burdick on Silverhawk Win A Scow Nationals In Strong Fashion - 1-4-1-1-1

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Seventeen A Scows descended on Pewaukee for a light air regatta. PRO Hank Stuart worked hard with his crew to successfully provide five races over the three-day event. With no sailing on Saturday, the event was a display of skill for the I-28 Silverhawk team. Owner Terry Blanchard, skipper Andy Burdick and crew Peter Keck, Joe Kutschenreuter, Jim Petersen, Ben Porter and Molly Forbes seemed untouchable and a smidge lucky on one finish. Funny how skill often translates into luck. more...


Sailing  

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