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30-acre island added to Detroit River wildlife refuge

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A 30-acre, uninhabited island is being added to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Officials say Sugar Island is part of conservation area surrounding the southern end of Grosse Ile in the Detroit River. It's located in Wayne County's Grosse Ile Township.

The island once was a destination for picnicking and had other attractions. It's near Boblo Island, which once was home to a well-known amusement park.  more...


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Outside Magazine Awards Boat of the Year to Sterling Kayaks. Wait, who?

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TSterling Kayaks Logohere is a bit of an upset at the Outside Magazine Gear of the Year awards this year. Rather then awarding the best boat category to one of the major players (Confluence, Johnson, etc.) Outside gave the honours to the Sterling Reflection.

Haven’t heard of Steling Kayaks you say? I don’t blame you as not many have. Right now they are a small hidden secret amongst some rough-water paddlers on the West Coast of North America. Think of the Sterling Reflection as the cool hip band that your teenage nephew saw in concert nine months before they became popular.  more...



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Michigan city creek barrier to keep invasive eel out of Lake Michigan

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MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Efforts to keep an invasive species out of Lake Michigan will get a boost from a new barrier set up along a Michigan City creek.

The sea lamprey barrier installed along Trail Creek is a collaboration between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The barrier is designed to keep sea lamprey from moving to spawning areas and will trap those that try to move through, The Times in Munster reported (http://bit.ly/HXr3Rs ).

The sea lamprey is native to the Atlantic but arrived in the Great Lakes more than 75 years ago via seaways. The eel-like fish attaches itself to healthy fish and sucks fluids from them.

One sea lamprey can destroy more than 40 pounds of fish during its lifetime.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Congressman Supports Great Lakes Harbors Dredging (USA)

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Congressman Fred Upton hailed this week’s House passage of legislation that would ensure future funding for vital harbor maintenance, keeping harbors throughout southwest Michigan and the Great Lakes open for business.

The commonsense provision, which was part of the short-term highway bill (H.R. 4348), guarantees that all funding in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) be fully used for its intended purpose of harbor maintenance. These revenues are already collected through the federal Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) that is imposed on commercial shippers for the purpose of maintaining our nation’s harbors.  more...


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  • Upton seemed to forget the 500 or so boats in private marinas that are up river...more
    - [Viking45]

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Blessing the fleet safeguards ships and sailors from danger

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When Commodore Daniel Collins of the Port Huron Yacht Club sets sail, he puts his trust in his seamanship, the integrity of the ship and God.

The 61-year-old Port Huron man said he especially looks to God to see him through unforeseen events on the water.

Collins and members of area maritime organizations gathered Saturday for the annual “Blessing of the Fleet” service at the Great Lakes Maritime Center in Port Huron. They prayed for the safety of the shipping industry and sailors as the St. Clair River flowed swiftly past the center’s windows.  more...


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Children’s play highlights Great Lakes maritime history

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Jeff Duncan wrote short stories for years and they never went anywhere. Until one day, his friend at the Iowa Review told him the dialogue always was great in his stories. That’s when it hit him – he should write plays.

Twenty years later, Duncan just finished his 23rdplay. This one is for the Wild Swan Theater in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the plays are for children, he said.

Shipwrecked! is a play about a family caught in a storm while transporting Christmas trees in 1893, he said.

“They’re a family that owns a boat and does Great Lakes shipping,” he said. “November is a good month to have a wreck and in 1893 there was a bad recession so that’s why they were doing it.”  more...



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Michigan Maritime Museum to host 'War on the Great Lakes' exhibit

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The Michigan Maritime Museum will open its new exhibit "War on the Great Lakes" May 4.

The exhibit is based on the War of 1812 in commemoration of its 200th anniversary.

The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Saturday and admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4.50 for children.  more...


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State opportunity slipping away

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The idea: Transform Michigan into the Midwest’s premier inland port and transportation hub, uniquely linking air, sea, rail and road capabilities. Create a new industry, a Great Lakes Global Gateway, forged from our existing manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

The vision: Take advantage of our geography and infrastructure to become the lowest cost transportation center for freight originating in or destined for the industrial heartland of America.
Creating such a gateway would offer the largest single economic development opportunity in Michigan. It has the potential to create tens of thousands of good jobs within a decade, while reducing supply chain cost by as much as 20 percent.  more...



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Speaker to urge stronger water protections

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A prominent environmental lawyer who urges greater protection for our lakes and rivers will be keynote speaker Thursday evening at the local Sierra Club’s 14th annual environmental forum.Jim Olson, who practices law in northern Michigan, believes that threats to the Great Lakes and other waterways necessitate new state laws to protect them from commercial exploitation and pollution.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Shipwreck researchers share how technology aided unexpected discovery of schooner in Lake Michigan

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Shipwreck researchersWhen staff of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates came across a two-masted schooner last June miles off the coast of Grand Haven, the discovery was a surprise.

They hadn’t been looking for what is now thought to be the 1868-built St. Peter, but another, much larger ship named the Andaste.

Valerie van Heest, an MSRA director, recalled the June discovery and the moment an image of the smaller schooner appeared on the ship's side-scan sonar.  more...



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Effort at Lake Superior beach aims to help Wisconsin's rarest bird

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If you build it, or at least keep dogs and gulls away, they will come.

That’s the hope along a swath of Lake Superior shoreline in Douglas County this summer under a federally funded program to restore piping plovers, Wisconsin’s rarest bird.

The St. Louis River Alliance is organizing the effort under a five-year, $250,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The diminutive shorebird is seen on occasion passing through the Twin Ports, but no confirmed plover nesting has occurred here in more than 25 years.  more...



Animals  Environment  Other  

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Water levels expected to rise in Georgian Bay

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PARRY SOUND – The International Joint Commission (IJC) now has a report on the future management of the Great Lakes water levels to consider.
The commission’s study board presented its final report of a five-year study looking at management of the outflow of water from Lake Superior and the water levels in the Great Lakes.
The proposal the board made is to replace the a 1977A plan with a new Lake Superior Regulation Plan 2012 that changes how power dams and gates, in both the U.S. and Canada, are managed to control water levels in the Great Lakes.  more...


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U.S. Brig Niagara returns to Erie after monthlong dry-docking in Cleveland

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The U.S. Brig Niagara returned to Erie late Tuesday after a monthlong dry-docking at Cleveland's Great Lakes Towing Co. to repair rotted wooden framing.

"It was very smooth, calm and perfect,'' Niagara Capt. Wesley Heerssen said of the vessel's nearly 11-hour sail from Cleveland.The ship, with Heerssen and a crew of 22, departed Cleveland on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The Niagara pulled into its berth behind the Erie Maritime Museum on Tuesday just before midnight.

"I don't anticipate any unforeseen problems for a few years,'' Heerssen said.

Repairs at the Cleveland shipyard involved replacing three 10- to 12-foot-long frames.  more...



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Michigan, Ohio officials to tackle Lake Erie algae threat to fish, tourism

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TRAVERSE CITY -- Officials in Michigan and Ohio agreed last week to cooperate more closely to find solutions to massive algae blooms in Lake Erie, a deadly threat to fish and a turn-off for tourists.

Delegations from both states, including their top environmental protection officials, said Wednesday that they will push harder for reductions in phosphorus discharges from farms, waste-treatment plants and other sources while sharing ideas and supporting research. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pledged technical and financial assistance.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Minnesota's eagle population making a comeback

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ELK RIVER, Minn. (AP) — The National Park Service said bald eagles continue to make a modest comeback in Minnesota, aided by a warm winter and a thriving food supply.

Last month, an unofficial aerial count along the Mississippi River by wildlife officials revealed at least 36 active nests in the 72-mile stretch from Elk River to Hastings. That compares to 28 last year and 30 in 2010, said Bill Route, an eagle project manager for the Park Service.

"The eagle population is increasing and highly productive" in the area, said Route, who cautioned that aerial counting isn't an exact science. more...



Animals  Other  

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