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community weblog - [ Environment ]

Officials ponder harbor project

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The St. Clair City Council will consider during its regular meeting today an $11,000 project for the city’s boat harbor.

Dan Lockwood, a member of the St. Clair Boat Harbor Commission, said the $11,000 plan would include purchasing three personal watercraft docks, floating docks to expand the canoe and kayak launch area, and racks for canoes and kayaks.

Lockwood said the harbor, at 902 S. Second St., was rebuilt in 2008. But it isn’t generating enough money to make its annual bond payment.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Cleveland's West Side marinas continue cleanup efforts from damage caused by Sandy

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Superstorm Sandy leaves local boats bruised and batteredDozens of boat owners could find themselves stranded ashore next summer after their vessels were sunk or extensively damaged by the wind and waves of superstorm Sandy.

Most of the damage appears confined to marinas west of the Cuyahoga River. Hardest hit were Edgewater Marina on Cleveland's near West Side and nearby Whiskey Island Marina, which both provide direct access to Lake Erie. They were battered by waves that reached 20 feet or more, driven by gusts of more than 60 mph. more...



Environment  Sailing  

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Lake levels: can anything be done?

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The Army Corps of Engineers blames Mother Nature for the near record setting low levels of the Great Lakes.

They do not recommend any manmade solutions.

The Corps updated the news media around the Great Lakes by teleconference last Wednesday afternoon. Officials from the Corps' Detroit office answered questions about the low lake levels, particularly for "Lake Michigan-Huron." The Corps considers them one lake because of the connection at the Straits of Mackinaw. They discussed causes, as well the impact of low water.  more...



Environment  

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  • If the Corps would admit their mistake by dredging the river between Lake St Cla...more
    - [Viking45]

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NY releases bloater fish in Lake Ontario

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 New York's Department of Environmental Conservation is partnering with federal and Canadian agencies to restore the "bloater" fish to Lake Ontario.
 
Juvenile bloaters raised in a hatchery were released offshore of Oswego on Thursday, bringing the fish to the lake for the first time in 30 years. Biologists say re-establishing the species will add stability to the lake's ecosystem and sport fisheries.  more...


Environment  

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Cooperation helping to keep water monitoring system operating

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A real-time water monitoring system in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers may not shut down at the end of the year after all, thanks to the efforts of a regional group, local officials and water plant operators, including those in Detroit, who have spent at least half a year working to find ways to keep it running.
 
And it's likely not to cost customers extra, officials said.  more...


Environment  

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Low Great Lakes water levels predicted into 2013

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Lower lakes such as St. Clair should stay safely above their all-time lows but will still measure far below their historical averages.The Lake Michigan/Huron system is at great risk of seeing an all-time low water level in the next six months, according to statistical projections that will be released today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
After a winter with little snow followed by a spring with little rain, each of the Great Lakes endured a 2012 boating season challenged by low waters.
 
The water loss has shortened the recreational boating season for many and forced the shipping industry to reduce the amount of tonnage its vessels can carry. more...


Environment  

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Kids study water levels' impact on St. Lawrence wetlands

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Construction of the giant hydropower dam near Massena in the 1950s forever tamed the once-wild St. Lawrence River. It allowed engineers to harness the river's natural ebb and flow for energy production and to protect homes and ports at the same time. But in the process, it hurt the indigenous plants and animals that depend on those highs and lows to survive.   more...


Environment  Other  

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Enbridge to Increase Oil Flow through Straits of Mackinaw

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The same company responsible for the worst inland oil spill ever wants to increase the amount of oil going through its pipeline under the Straits of Mackinaw.
 
Enbridge Energy says it has increased safety inspections since the disaster at the Kalamazoo River a couple of years ago. And the company says the pipeline that runs underwater west of the Mackinaw Bridge is perfectly safe.
 
But a Great Lakes environmental group isn’t convinced and is trying to stop the plan.  more...


Environment  Other  

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GVSU Lake Michigan wind buoy collecting data for potential offshore wind farm developments

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Lake Michigan wind buoyAs a public controversy and a viable alternative energy source, Lake Michigan offshore wind farms have disappeared from West Michigan radar screens.

But the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center continues to directly study the wind patterns in the middle of Lake Michigan, gathering a tremendous volume of data for future scientists and wind energy developers.

The bottom line of the initial GVSU research data: There is plenty of wind in the middle of Lake Michigan for commercial wind energy production. The steady and consistent winds are closer to the surface of the water than expected.  more...



Environment  Wind  

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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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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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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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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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