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Politicians flounder while Asian carp spawn a threat

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Should the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins be separated, even if the work costs as much as $9.5 billion? You bet.

Will it happen? Probably not.

A new engineering analysis shows that such a massive task could be completed for the price of some big-city road and tunnel projects. Yet it remains doubtful the Obama Administration and the President's home state of Illinois have the political will to get behind such a plan.

The study was done to light a fire under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps has given itself until 2015 to develop options for the Chicago Area Waterway System. more...



Environment  

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Lake St. Clair levels high now, but won't last, official says

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There will be higher water levels than last year around Lake St. Clair this spring, but boaters and other water lovers shouldn't think that will last.

The lakes will be about the same depth as last year by summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts.

Boaters and anglers who might be expecting low lake levels because of the lack of snowfall will be pleasantly surprised in early spring to find the lake higher than last year.

Those higher-than-last-year levels in lakes St. Clair and Erie in spring are more of a false positive than a real promise of deeper water, said Keith Kompoltowicz, a Corps of Engineers meteorologist. more...



Environment  Other  

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Falling overboard

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Boating in cold weather can be the beginning of tragedy — if you are not prepared. I learned this the hard way on an Ozark river several winters ago. We were “roughing it” by fishing the cold water and camping on sandbars at night.

The second morning of the trip promised to be a beautiful one with a light coating of new snow and ice on cliffs that bordered the scenic river. I was clicking pictures of a beautiful ice formation when the canoe just in front of us had an accident. The man in front of the ill-fated canoe ducked under over-hanging limbs heavy with ice. He made it, but the second man panicked and grabbed the branch.

A combination of him holding the limb and the river current made the canoe go sideways and tip. River water came over the side, quickly filling and sinking the canoe. Both men helplessly floated down the river current with only their life jackets to thank for keeping them floating. We paddled quickly to catch them, but suddenly one of the men drifted into a huge brush pile and his head tipped under the surface. He was an older man and too weak to pull himself up. more...


Watersports  

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Rescued sailor, 84, unsure of another trip

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Using a map in his home in Port Clinton, Tom Corogin, 84, points Jan. 24 to an area where he was rescued in the southern Pacific Ocean.

PORT CLINTON -- Stranded on a sailboat with broken rigging and a swaying mast in the Pacific Ocean, 84-year-old Tom Corogin realized his dream of completing a solo voyage around the tip of South America was over, again.

It was his sixth attempt and one of the most difficult trips yet.

Corogin suffered an infected puncture wound to his leg and required hospital treatment in Ecuador. He sailed through a terrible storm south of Mexico and was forced to activate his emergency beacon for the first time, in remote waters about 500 miles south of Easter Island.

In the end, Corogin was rescued Jan. 3 by a Japanese cargo ship and the Chilean navy but was forced to leave his boat behind.

Corogin, a lawyer who still practices part-time, arrived back at his home along Lake Erie almost three weeks ago. He had set sail Dec. 27 from Easter Island on the last leg of his Cape Horn adventure when his rigging snapped, leaving him stranded in desolate waters.  more...


Sailing  

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BoatUS Asks: If Not Ethanol, Why Not Butanol?

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 6, 2012 -- With its ability to attract moisture and clog fuel filters, it's no wonder America's boaters have not been thrilled with ethanol in gasoline, which today is most commonly found as a 10% blend and known as E10 at the gas pump. America's desire for renewable fuels is growing, but recent Department of Energy tests on boat engines showed that increasing the amount of ethanol to 15% doesn't work for boats. While higher ethanol content has been approved by the EPA for 2001 and newer cars and light trucks, E15 is not legal to use in boats and other gas-powered equipment. more

Environment  Other  



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Chicago water sampling shows high levels of lead

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In a new round of water testing by the Environmental Protection Agency, half of the 29 Chicago homes visited yielded at least one sample containing more than 15 parts per billion of lead, a level that can trigger regulatory action if detected during routine screening.

Agency officials said the results will help regulators evaluate whether the 20-year-old procedures used nationwide to test homes' tap water for lead should be updated.  more...



Environment  

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GREAT LAKES: Anglers best to stick to protected areas

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Warm daytime temperatures have eroded ice this week on an already unstable Green Bay system, and anglers are urged to stick to protected bays and harbors or stop at bayside bait and tackle shops for the latest updates on offshore areas to avoid.On Tuesday, fishermen were reporting 5 to 10 inches of ice in many areas, including along the east shore and on up to southern Door County. However, there is a large section of open water, some very thin areas that recently froze over and numerous cracks to be aware of.  more...


Fishing  SNOW  Watersports  

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Coast Guard icebreaker to visit downtown Windsor

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The Samuel Risley — a 229-foot icebreaker with the Canadian Coast Guard — will be stopping by Windsor on Friday.

The vessel is expected to arrive at Dieppe Park via the Detroit River around 2 p.m.

The Canadian Coast Guard calls the ship “the most powerful icebreaker that the Central and Arctic region has,” with four engines allowing it to crush through ice more than two feet thick.



Other  

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Ice boaters in Loveland seek adrenaline, speed, thrills

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On a day that wind speeds reached nearly 30 mph, biting gusts roared like a lion across Boedecker Lake, announcing a coming storm.

The conditions turned the lake into an isolated ice desert. They also prompted Loveland resident Rick Hypes to rush there with a smile -- a big smile -- and a specially designed ice boat.

"It's exactly like sailing on the ice," Hypes said. "But it's colder and faster ... I describe it as a four- or five-senses sport."

The appeal of sitting on a small craft outfitted with three large blades and a sail, steering with your feet and zipping across the ice without brakes, powered only by wind gusts, is difficult to explain without experiencing it. But Hypes chooses a few words: adrenaline, speed, thrill.

"It's the allure of being powered by nature," added fellow ice boater Dan Kellogg, also a Loveland resident.

Ice boating can be traced back thousands of years as a form of transportation in Scandinavia, and it spread to the United States with immigrants in the 1800s.  more...



Sailing  SNOW  

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Smooth sailing on the ice

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Mark Simon of Athens rigs up his iceboat before taking it out Tuesday on frozen Goguac Lake.The boat, which can hit speeds of up to 60 mph, was built out of wood paneling by Simon’s father in 1959.  more...


Sailing  SNOW  

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Eight Races Made For Successful 2012 Melges 32 Gosford Regatta

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The next few months are booked out with regatta racing for the highly competitive Australian Melges 32 fleet.

Kicking off the racing was last weekends inaugural Gosford Regatta, hosted by Gosford Sailing Club. The Melges 32s competed in eight races over the two days in light and variable breeze on beautiful Brisbane Waters. Another close series for the fleet, and on completion of day one, Kim Williams' Rock and Roll was two points ahead leading the regatta.  more...



Sailing  

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No aquarium for Windsor

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Aquariums in Cleveland, where this sand shark lives, Toledo and Chicago prove to be too much competition for Windsor. An aquarium is not viable in Windsor.

That's the conclusion of a committee looking into such a project.

City officials and the University of Windsor's Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research had been studying the idea.

A member of the group, Mario Sonego, who is the city engineer, said there are aquariums relatively nearby. There is a new one in Cleveland, a small one in Toledo and one in Chicago, he noted. Toronto is to build an aquarium at the base of the CN Tower:  more...



Other  

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Be A Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper!

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great lakes
If you're ever had thoughts of living the dream of a more romantic era as a lighthouse keeper, perhaps your dreams can come true.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for people who want to work a couple of weeks as the lighthouse keeper for the Tawas Point Lighthouse this year.

This opportunity is on a volunteer basis.

Actually, you would have to pay $250 each week to use the living quarters, which includes 2 bedrooms and an updated kitchen and bath. But, you would have the chance to take care of the lighthouse, the museum gift shop and give tours.   more...


Other  

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Through The Blue

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Sara and Jeff / Lake Michigan

In August of 2012 (around the 15th – 17th, depending on weather conditions), we’ll be crossing Lake Michigan at its midpoint. Straight across, this is a 50 mile swim… an ultra-marathon swim. With current and wind and the ever-changing, unpredictable weather on the lake, the likelihood is we’ll swim between 55 and 60 miles when we step on the beach in Ludington, Michigan.

We’ll get in the water before the sunrises in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and start our approximately 30-35 hour journey. A support boat (or two) will lead the way with a captain, first mate and several other crew members. These crew members will be our lifeline. They will feed us and keep us motivated and guide us through the trip. Crew members will rotate shifts in a small boat that will trail the main boat. Feeding is easier from the smaller boat due to the height of the main boat and the safety of being far from the motors and shifting nature of the larger vessel.

  more...


Events  Watersports  

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Through The Blue

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ERyan and Ericarica Karmeisool is a life-long resident of Michigan, currently living in Ludington. Her family introduced her to sailing at a young age, which has equipped her with an immense respect for the great lakes through years of sailboat racing and deliveries. While attending Michigan State University, she played rugby and studied graphic design and sculpture, earning her BFA in 2002. Since then, Erica has worked as a project manger at the intersection of social and artistic problem solving. She will be working on a new maritime project and training for her next triathlon while assisting Team Tow this summer.   more...


Events  Watersports  

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