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Workshop to focus on underwater archaeology

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Before the Lake Erie coastline had cities, it had ships that transported people and goods -- including many vessels that sank to the lake's floor.

Although this portion of Ohio history is of sight for many, Lake Erie's maritime past is still attainable.

The Maritime Archaeological Survey Team, or MAST, is a nonprofit group of volunteers who study and document Lake Erie shipwrecks.

Made up of scuba divers and land-based researchers, the group has a membership of more than 250 who research the ships and preserve the information for others.  more...



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As boating season approaches, some marinas in Michigan report shortage of skilled workers

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There is a shortage of skilled workers in Michigan to make repairs on boats and other watercraft as the state's boating season approaches, according to some marinas and industry observers.

John Ropp, president of Michigan Boating Industry Association, said there is anecdotal evidence that marinas and boat repair shops are having problems filling jobs. Observers say the shortage is due in part to new technology on boats and in engines, The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/HMmZ99 ) reported Tuesday.

"It's something I hear from members from many different parts of the state," Ropp said. "I don't think it's reached a critical stage."  more...



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Badger car ferry gets grant to explore fuel conversion

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LUDINGTON, Mich. — The Wisconsin State Energy Office has awarded a Lake Michigan Carferry a $75,000 grant to begin the engineering work for converting the S.S. Badger car ferry from using coal as its fuel source to liquefied natural gas.

The Badger previously was selected to serve as the model vessel in a Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute federally funded study of the potential use of liquefied natural gas by Great Lakes vessels.  more...



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Stop trying to control Great Lakes levels, panel says

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Dams and gates near the International Bridge control water flows from Lake Superior through the St. Marys River toward Lake Huron. Trying to control water levels would be expensive and damage the environment, a study said.A

U.S.-Canadian advisory panel ended a five-year study Wednesday with a recommendation against large-scale engineering projects to prevent swings in Great Lakes water levels, saying people across the region should adapt to nature's ups and downs.

The $14.6-million investigation concluded that trying to control levels by placing more structures at choke points such as the St. Clair River at the south end of Lake Huron would be too expensive and damage the environment.  more...



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Scientists play down price tag on invasive species in Great Lakes

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A new U.S. report says foreign species carried into the Great Lakes by ships are causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the ecosystem.

However, Canadian experts are questioning the figures, saying you cannot easily put a price on damages caused by invasive species. While they say the problem is real, the lakes are in no danger of dying anytime soon.

The report states that an average of $138 million in annual damages are made to the Great Lakes from ship-borne invaders, but that the figure could reach more than $800 million a year. These foreign species are said to originate from the ballast of ships — water that is taken aboard vessels to stabilize the load. more...



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With gobies on the menu, snake species rebounds

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Masters student Jenny Smith holds a male gobie at the University of Windsor Biology Building on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The university is conducting research into scent male gobies use to attract females. The researchers are hoping to recreate the scent allowing them to trap the females.

Gobies, a despised invasive fish, are helping the endangered Lake Erie water snake make a comeback - by being dinner.

"I think it's kind of ironic," Ronald Brooks, of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, said Wednesday.

"Invasive species are considered to be a major threat to native species diversity but in this case it worked the opposite way."

Last year the snake, which is found only on a bunch of Lake Erie islands, including Pelee Island, and in Ohio, was removed from the U.S. endangered species list. It had been listed as threatened.

In Canada, COSEWIC reviews the status of species every 10 years and the last look at the endangered snake was in 2006.  more...



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Great Lakes shipping season begins in earnest with Soo Locks opening ahead of schedule

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The downbound Mesabi Miner, a 1,004-foot freighter loaded with 57,152 tons of coal, was the first ship through the Soo Locks in 2012, which opened for the season at noon today ahead of normal schedule.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the locks on Saturday 12 hours earlier than originally planned, marking the beginning of the Great Lakes shipping season. Shipping officials are projecting an increase in cargo shipments in 2012.  more...



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Chicago Woman Attempts First-Ever 1500-Mile Solo Row Around Lake Michigan to Support Breast Cancer Recovery Team

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Jenn Gibbons, founder and coach of Recovery on Water (ROW), a rowing team for breast cancer survivors, has announced she will embark on a 1,500-mile perimeter row of Lake Michigan. Departing from Chicago on June 15 and rowing along the shores of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, Gibbons will visit port towns along the lake, bringing awareness to the vital role exercise plays in the fight against breast cancer.

"A trip like Row4ROW has never been done before," said Gibbons. "By rowing Lake Michigan, I aim to bring awareness to the positive benefits of exercise for cancer survivors. Research shows that exercise reduces cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors by fifty percent, and women who have no history of the disease can reduce their risk with exercise by thirty percent." The funds Gibbons raises will provide scholarships and equipment for the ROW team so that more survivors can get fit, fight back, and have fun. Donate to Gibbons or sponsor her trip at row4row.org.  more...



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City wise to pursue harbour purchase

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Ship at Sarnia HarbourSARNIA - Although venturing into unchartered waters, Sarnia council was prudent Monday in voting unanimously to continue negotiations with Transport Canada to acquire Sarnia Harbour.

Yes, there are outstanding questions about the deal that the city must have answered before council makes a final decision of Friday. But preliminary investigation into the transaction that would see Transport Canada sell the harbour to the city for $2, looks like it would be a good investment for the city. And it comes at a time when Sarnia has been smacked with the impending closure of Hiawatha Slots and the NCO call centre. Passing on the ownership of such an important economic cog could prove to haunt the city for years to come.  more...



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Galati Yacht Sales expands Great Lakes presence with new Harrison Township, Mich. office

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Holland, Mich., March 16, 2012 - Galati Yacht Sales announced today that they are expanding their efforts in the Great Lakes region with the addition of an office at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, MI.  In addition, Doug Glendening of Glendening Yacht Sales, currently located at MacRay Harbor, will be joining forces with Galati Yacht Sales at that location.  Rob McCarthy, formerly of Lakeside Marine, will now be working out of the MacRay office as well. more

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10 Tips to Get Repairs Done Right

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 14, 2012 -- Many boaters and anglers work on their own boats, but there are times when professional help may be needed. With 30 years of experience dealing with marine service industry, the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau knows that most marine professionals do the job right. Every year, however, a handful of boat owners wind up coming to the Bureau’s Dispute Mediation program for help because of faulty repairs or disagreements with bills. Here are ten tips gleaned from mediating hundreds of cases over the years that will help ensure the job goes smoothly: more

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  • Learn how to do them your self so you can make sure that those who are doing the...more
    - [James Landon]

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Coleman Introduces a Propane Camping Oven to keep your Waistline Nice and Plump on Trip

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Coleman Camping Oven

I don’t care what camping traditionalists or lightweight campers have to say; I feel that Coleman’s new propane powered camping oven is one of the greatest inventions in the last 10 minutes.

The $250 cooking tool (clearly stolen from the camping god’s home in the mountains) comes with two gas burners for cooking bacon while the stove below it has been scientifically designed for cooking a perfect 12” pizza or a pan of cinnamon buns. I’m sure you can cook other things in the oven but really, wouldn’t that be just a waste of gas? more...



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Summer in March: more all-time March temperature records in U.S., Canada

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Summer in March continued for the eighth day yesterday, toppling dozens of records for hottest March day in both the U.S. and Canada. Nearly every major airport in Michigan's Lower Peninsula tied or set records for their hottest March temperature, including Detroit (82°), Flint (84°F), Saginaw (83°F), Grand Rapids (83°), Muskegon (82°), Lansing (83°), Alpena (84°), Gaylord (80°), Pellston (84°), Traverse City (86°), and Houghton Lake (81°).  more...


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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore generated $17 million in 2010, study says

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The 21-island Apostle Islands National Lakeshore often is called the jewel in the crown of the National Park Service. Now, a new study says it’s a valuable gem for the surrounding area as well.

A National Park Service study says the Apostle Islands generated $17 million in 2010, and that was an off-year for the park. About 157,000 people visited that year, compared with the usual number of 180,000. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumanaker said the Lake Superior archipelago attracts people who spend about $166 a day in the area.  more...



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Low water levels threaten fish migration

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A conservation group has worries about low water levels in rivers flowing into Lake Superior this spring.

Tom Whalley, president of the North Shore Steelhead Association, said the Ministry of Natural Resources has told him precipitation levels are just over half what they should have been the last 12 months.

Whalley said that could affect fish trying to swim upstream.

"So when they can't migrate into the headwater streams, that means they can't spawn in the headwaters,” Whalley said. “[That] means, in subsequent years, there's less productivity or fewer young fish are produced to replace them."  more...



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