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Climb a Michigan dune and see it all

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When you dig your hands and feet into the sand of one of Michigan’s towering dunes, you’re participating in thousands of years of history.These enormous sand formations along the state’s Lake Michigan coast were formed, like the Great Lakes themselves, by glaciers dominating the land of 16,000 years ago. When those glaciers retreated and melted, they left behind the rocks and clay that eventually, through erosion, became the dunes.  more...


Environment  

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Making waves

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A couple of scientists looking to learn all they can about Lake Ontario visited the beach near the Oak Orchard Creek Lighthouse on Saturday morning. Before they left, they had gathered data using an AUV — autonomous underwater vehicle.

Russ Miler of the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) operated the AUV. He said he helped plan the route the torpedo-like unit took Friday night and early Saturday based off previous data collected at other spots along the lake near Oswego and Sodus Bay.   more...





Heavy rains carry more phosphorous into Lake Erie

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Another one of those uh-oh moments related to Lake Erie, its fish and its fishermen was reported in The Dispatch last week.

Heavy rains this spring have washed an estimated 210 tons of phosphorous from farm fields inside the Maumee River watershed, Jeffrey Reutter, director of the Ohio Sea Grant Program, told an Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee last week. Depending on future rainstorms, even more phosphorous could be heading toward Lake Erie.  more...



Environment  

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Federal Legislation Would Help With Great Lakes Dredging

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 A $200 million backlog in Great Lakes harbor and channel dredging would end with a bill that just passed the U.S. Senate.

There is a lot at stake economically when ships have to load light: carry less cargo, or risk running aground in the Great Lakes. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) says this bill will allow the Great Lakes to catch up on digging projects over the next six to seven years, putting the Great Lakes in better position to compete with the ocean ports. more...



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Boardwalk opens as part of Lake St. Clair Metropark restoration project

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A $1.27 million United States EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant has helped clean up and restore precious marshlands in Lake St. Clair Metropark, and a brand-new boardwalk that cuts right through the area will help the public enjoy it.

“This brings a much-needed spotlight to our site,” said Thomas Knuth, park manager of the metropark. “It draws attention to how unique and unusual this park is. It’s a gem of Macomb County.” more...



Other  

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Rising Lake Superior temperatures affecting fish species

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A new study shows that climate change could mean better conditions for some Lake Superior fish species, but worse for others.

Surface water temperatures on Lake Superior increased by about 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1979 and 2006. That's one of the fastest rates of any lake on earth. The study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin shows that warming has created more suitable habitat in the lake for some fish, like Chinook salmon, walleye, and lean lake trout, but less favorable conditions for siscowet lake trout, a fatty fish that thrives in cold water. more...



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Kites draw eyes to the sky at Great Lakes Kite Festival in Grand Haven

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Kite enthusiasts and curious onlookers stopped by Grand Haven State Park on Saturday for the second day of the 25th Annual Great Lakes Kite Festival.

All eyes were on the sky, where kites of various shapes and sizes flew over the festival grounds.

Some zigged, zagged and zipped as flyers from around the country held demonstrations at the beach. The larger kites, some as long as school buses, impressed attendees with their size, while the ones at the open flying field swayed serenely in the breeze.  more...



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Work done at ex-brownfield site on Detroit River

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Major environmental restoration work has been completed on a former industrial site along the Detroit River, officials announced Saturday.

Wayne County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others have been working for nearly a decade on the restoration of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway in Trenton.  more...



Environment  

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Great Lakes water levels: How did April's rain raise Lake Michigan and Huron, and what is the forecast?

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The heavy rainfall in April did have a dramatic effect on the water level of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that the average level of Lake Michigan-Huron rose 5.16 inches from March to April.

That five inch rise is greater than the entire seasonal rise last year. Last year Lake Michigan-Huron only rose four inches from March to July.  more...



Environment  

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U.S. Senate could free up money for Great Lakes dredging

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The U.S. Senate may be closing in on legislation that could increase funding for dredging at harbors across the Great Lakes and the nation by freeing up more money from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

As the Free Press reported in March, the fund, which is paid for by taxes on the value of imported cargo, has built up a surplus of about $6 billion, even though the Army Corps of Engineers has a growing backlog of dredging projects.

That’s especially true along the Great Lakes, where there’s a backlog of about $200 million in dredging projects spread across 60 federally maintained harbors and channels, almost half of which are in Michigan.  more...



Environment  

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Muskegon's Andrie Inc. barge crew in Cleveland helping development of Great Lakes' first wind farm (video)

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Through work with the Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, Muskegon-based Andrie Inc. has made inroads into the wind energy industry.

 Those connections to Great Lakes wind farm developers have landed Andrie’s Specialized Division a unique opportunity in Lake Erie off the coast of Cleveland, Ohio. The Andrie tugboat Meredith Ashton and the company’s 90-by-50-foot jack-up barge made their way to Cleveland, Ohio, to assist in lake bottom sediment testing last week.  more...


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Interlake Steamship to Convert Lakers to LNG

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File Interlake

Interlake Steamship moves toward upgrading its fleet to energy efficient, more environmentally friendly LNG fuel.

The company has announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Shell to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG)  to support Interlake’s conversion of its vessels to LNG as the main propulsion fuel.  When converted, these ships are expected to be the first LNG-powered ships on the Great Lakes and among the first in the U.S.  more...

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Cootes Paradise and other marshes benefit from Great Lakes low water levels

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Cootes Paradise hasn't had a massive regeneration since the '50s, the RBG's Tys Thysmeyer said.Low water levels in the Great Lakes are good news for marsh and wetlands like Hamilton's Cootes Paradise.

“It's a very good thing,” said Tys Thysmeyer, head of conservation at the Royal Botanical Gardens. “The wetlands around the shores do major regeneration of their reeds, things like cattails, when the water is low so they can generate from seed.”  more...



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Chad Coberly is victorious at the 2013 Macatawa Bay Melges 17 Spring Invitational

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The 2013 Macatawa Bay Melges 17 Spring Invitational was a weekend enjoyed by all on and off the water. Macatawa Bay Yacht Club hosted nine extremely close and highly competitive races with only one point separating the winner and the runner up.

Congratulations to Chad Coberly, 2012 Brownwater Regatta champion, sailing USA 3 who took the win with four bullets for the weekend! Coberly was highly contested the entire regatta. Steve Sission on Elevation Racing finished one back for the series despite winning five races this weekend. Third place finisher Casey Call had a great weekend on the water sailing USA 71. Call finished up day two with a 3-2-3 punch that solidified his spot on the podium separating himself from the rest of the fleet.  more...



Sailing  

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2013 Cowtown Classic MC Regatta May 4-5 Lake Hoover - Columbus, Ohio

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Spring has sprung for sure and spring brought some big unstable windy conditions this year to Lake Hoover just outside Columbus, Ohio. Thirty-one MC teams made it to this annual fun event on one long, skinny lake. This lake is a couple of miles long running north and south but only a couple of hundred yards wide. Like most spots in the upper Midwest normal winds usually consist of southwest winds or southeast winds in the spring and summer but not for these two days.  more...


Sailing  

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