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community weblog - [ Environment ]

Great Lakes Shipyards Look to Busy Season

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The various projects scheduled for the next few months will require investments that range from $500,000 to almost $3 million per vessel.
 
Two vessels have already undergone their scheduled maintenance, but once the locks at Sault St. Marie, Michigan close on January 15 the winter work program will begin in earnest. A number of vessels will have steel renewed in their hulls and cargo holds and several will undergo their out-of-water survey this coming winter.   more...


Environment  Other  

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We must safeguard our state's beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes

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In the waning days of the 112th Congress, the Senate approved a bill I’ve been fighting to pass that protects more than 35,000 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
 
The House of Representatives failed to take up the bill, but Senate passage makes me optimistic we can push this important legislation across the finish line in the incoming Congress.
 
Senate passage was the result of years of effort by concerned citizens and community groups, local officials, the business community and the National Park Service. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and I introduced the bill in the past two Congresses to establish a wilderness area that better protects precious natural habitat while improving access to areas with recreation opportunities or historic resources.  more...


Environment  

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Lake Erie’s hatch numbers below average in 2012

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Lake Erie is a big, wet place. By surface area, it is the 11th largest lake on the planet, stretching some 241 miles by 57 miles.
 
With an average depth of around 60 feet and a maximum depth of 210 feet, Erie is a puddle by Great Lakes standards, but it still contains 116 cubic miles of water. That’s not a phrase we throw around too often — “cubic miles of water.”
 
In that often murky world under the surface of Lake Erie is a lot of fish. Conducting a census of those residents is a fundamentally difficult task, flush with challenges.
 
“Counting fish is just like counting trees — except that they are invisible and keep moving,” John Sheperd of the University of South Hampton in the United Kingdom once said.  more ...


Environment  

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State's lakeshore communities struggle to cope with low water levels

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With Lake Michigan water at the lowest levels since the 1960s, Milwaukee Yacht Club members can find it difficult to get to their boats.

As Lake Michigan plunges toward uncharted low water levels, Wisconsin's lakeshore communities - from Milwaukee to the tip of the Door Peninsula - are scrambling to cope.
 
At the Milwaukee Yacht Club, a dredging crane scooped up tons of sediment in the days before Christmas just so boats could be removed from the harbor before winter set in.
 
At Milwaukee's South Shore Yacht Club, the docks are now closer to catwalks, towering seven feet out of the water.
 
On Washington Island in far northern Door County, crews are scrambling from dawn until dusk to clear a path to an auxiliary dock so an ice-breaking ferry can keep hauling trucks loaded with critical materials like fuel to the island of about 700 permanent residents separated from the mainland by the historically treacherous waters of Death's Door.  more...


Environment  

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Proposed project could improve Lake Michigan shoreline

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Kenosha County could be part of state plans to improve the Lake Michigan shoreline for kayakers, canoeists and other water users.
 
The Lake Michigan Water Trail project includes hopes of adding camping grounds, bathroom facilities and places to launch water vessels along the shoreline, including on land in Kenosha and/or Pleasant Prairie.
 
Other improvements might include signs and maps so visitors know what amenities are available where.
 
Improvements will help draw tourism, said Jeff Prey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources park system senior planner.
 
“Getting more people to the lake is an important activity for the state,” he said.  more...


Environment  Watersports  

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Mercury – It’s in the fish

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Mercury has found its way not only into our households, but also into our aquatic environment, according to this public service announcement from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
“A person’s susceptibility to being harmed by the mercury in fish depends on their age, current health status, genetics, and chemical exposure history,” said Christina Bush, a health department toxicologist. “Given this complex set of factors, it is not known how much mercury it would take to harm any given individual.  more...


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MSU lifts fishing ban for portion of Red Cedar

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Coho and Chinook salmon run up the Red Cedar River in the fall, steelhead in the spring. The portion of the river that meanders through Michigan State University’s campus supports healthy numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills and sunfish and walleye.
 
But, for decades, the riverbanks on campus have been closed to anglers. They are now open, at least in part.
 
The change, approved by the university’s Board of Trustees last week, came after a push by conservation groups and by Tim Nichols, a member of the state’s Natural Resources Commission, who approached Trustee Dianne Byrum over the summer.  more...


Environment  

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Huge Asian carp from Humboldt Park Lagoon take up residence at the Shedd Aquarium

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Three Asian carp caught in the Humboldt Park Lagoon have joined the display of invasive species at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
 
The carp are huge, old and beady-eyed to boot. So how did they show up in an enclosed lagoon in the middle of Chicago?
 
“Nobody can say for sure,” said John Rogner of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Fishermen and boats could have accidentally brought carp into the lagoon by introducing even small amounts of organic matter from another waterway.  more ...


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Asian carp seizure at Ambassador Bridge sees U.S. company fined $30,000

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A US company fined $30,000 for importing live Asian carp into Ontario. (The Windsor Star-Ministry of Natural Resources Handout)

An Indiana company pleaded guilty Thursday in Windsor of possessing live invasive Asian carp and has been fined $30,000.

The fish importing company Phoenix Fish Farms LLC  also had to forfeit to the Crown 1,179 kilograms of seized bighead and grass carp.

“If they ever purposefully or accidentally got released the consequences would be severe and we don’t want to get there,” Kevin Sprague, a Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer with the Lake Erie enforcement unit, said Thursday.  more...



Environment  

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NY agency stocks herring into Lake Ontario

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State wildlife biologists are stocking native herring in Lake Ontario near Rochester this week to provide nutritious prey for trout and salmon.

New York Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says re-establishing spawning populations of lake herring will diversify the prey fish community and add stability to the lake's ecosystem.

The state agency recently stocked another native prey fish, the bloater, into Lake Ontario. more...



Environment  Fishing  

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MSU lifts fishing ban for portion of Red Cedar

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Coho and Chinook salmon run up the Red Cedar River in the fall, steelhead in the spring. The portion of the river that meanders through Michigan State University’s campus supports healthy numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills and sunfish and walleye.

But, for decades, the riverbanks on campus have been closed to anglers. They are now open, at least in part.

The change, approved by the university’s Board of Trustees last week, came after a push by conservation groups and by Tim Nichols, a member of the state’s Natural Resources Commission, who approached Trustee Dianne Byrum over the summer.  more...


Environment  

discussion

  • Note MSU is still partially controlled by the anti-fishing clique to keep the sp...more
    - [Tom Hamilton]

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Liquid assets: We begin a series on the water that sustains us all

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Regional water wonderland

Though it is often taken for granted, Southeast Michigan is a Great Lakes metropolis. It is time to rethink our defining assets and rebrand ourselves as a freshwater capital.
 
Our region is situated in the heart of a water system that accounts for 84 percent of the surface fresh water found in North America and 21 percent of the world’s freshwater supply. Detroit's geography gives it a competitive edge over other major metropolitan areas and economic development potential of which few can dream. A new movement to protect, restore, and capitalize on our fresh water uniqueness is emerging, though it has yet to be named.   more...


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Milwaukee aldermen urge separation of Chicago River, Mississippi basin

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The Milwaukee Common Council has had enough of the Chicago River and the threat it poses to all of the Great Lakes. The council passed a unanimous resolution Tuesday that calls for separating the Chicago River system from the Asian carp-infested Mississippi River basin, and the leader of a group representing the region's mayors said he expects other Great Lakes cities to follow suit. more...


Environment  

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  • Milwaukee? The city whose river is an open sewer that empties into Lake Michigan...more
    - [Shannara]

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Small grants available to clean Michigan rivers

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Local governments can apply for small grants to help clean up Michigan's rivers, streams and creeks.
 
The Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Commission said Tuesday they will divide $25,000 into smaller amounts for cleanup projects.
 
Participating local governments can team up with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups to do the work. They are required to match 25 percent of the grant they receive.  more...


Environment  

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Low Water Levels Reveal Sunken Ships in the Great Lakes

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 Remains of a sunken ship near Door County - UW Sea Grant InstituteWater levels are low enough in the Great Lakes that parts of sunken ships have become visible.
 
John Karl, science communicator for the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, says Wisconsin actually leads the nation in the number of shipwrecks listed on the national register of historic places. He estimates there are more than 700 sunken ships near Wisconsin, and some are well preserved because of the Great Lakes' cold, deep, fresh water.
 
Karl says most went down in the 19th century, when they were becoming a major vehicle for commerce.  more...


Environment  Other  

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