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community weblog - [ Environment ]

Boat Association: Marine Fuel Costs On the Rise - Five Wintertime Tasks To Save

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 5, 2012 – With fuel costs on the rise, the nation’s largest boat owners’ group has five fuel saving tasks that can put a dent in your summer fuel bills. All of these tips from Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) are time tested to reduce fuel consumption, and boaters can accomplish most of them now while their boats are in winter layup - before the boating season begins.

 
Lighten the load: It’s one of easiest no-cost things to save on gas, and applies to just about every boat type on the water - power, sail or fishing. With the boat on jack stands or in the garage, jump aboard and take a good look at what you really need and clear out all of that junk under the floorboards, in lockers, or in less-used storage areas. And, if she’s already in in the slip, remember that water weighs over eight pounds per gallon. Carrying more than necessary in freshwater and waste tanks is almost as bad as flushing money down the head.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Great Lakes ice down dramatically over 40 years

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Winter ice cover on the Great Lakes has dropped dramatically over the past four decades, according to a new report. Peak ice has dropped by 71 percent on average, with Lake Michigan ice decreasing by even more.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compared satellite photos going back to 1973. Jia Wang, an ice climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the changes are stark. In a year like 1979, ice covered about 94 percent of the lakes in the dead of winter. more...



Environment  Other  

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DNR: Expect large numbers of bald eagles

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Bald eagles are migrating back to Minnesota and may be seen in large numbers across parts of the state over the next few weeks, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s definitely time for folks to keep their eyes out,” according to Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist. “Usually we see these bigger pulses of migrating eagles a little later in March, but it appears that timing may be early for a lot of natural events this year due to the mild winter.”

Only two states, Florida and Alaska, have greater nesting populations of bald eagles than Minnesota. In 2005, researchers estimated there to be more than 1,300 active nests in the state.  more...



Animals  Environment  

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Concerns Heighten With Rising Lake Level

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As the Supervisor of this Niagara County town which hugs the Lake Ontario shoreline, Joseph Jastrzemski, has heard the concerns of his constituents.

As a lake shore resident himself, he's experienced them first hand.

"We're losing our property all along the lakeshore," Jastrzemski told WGRZ-TV.

It's not a new problem. In fact, the garage at Jastrzemski's Lake Road home used to be a boathouse until a few decades ago, when a previous property owner moved it inland to keep it from being swallowed by rising lake waters.

"It was probably about 20 feet out from where the shore is now," said Jastrzemski, while standing next to a deck overlooking the lake which is currently in his yard, but which he predicts will also succumb to the water.  more...



Environment  

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Save the Dunes asks for Great Lakes protection

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MICHIGAN CITY — Save the Dunes sent three delegates to the “Healing Our Waters Coalition, Great Lakes Day” last week in Washington, D.C., and Jeanette Neagu, president of the board of Save the Dunes, came home understanding the urgent nature of issues affecting Lake Michigan and the other four Great Lakes.

“The Great Lakes provide 20 percent of the fresh water on the planet,” Neagu said. “The planet.”

Ryan Strode, another board member and Nicole Barker, executive director of Save the Dunes, also made the trip to Washington D.C.


They visited with staff members in offices of Republican Indiana Senators Dan Coats and Richard Lugar, with the staff of Democratic Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly and with other members of Congress.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Advisory group to hear update on health of Presque Isle Bay

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Presque Isle Bay was a dump.

The sediment had contaminants. The brown bullhead catfish had tumors. Many residents wanted their bay declared an "Area of Concern," a move they believed would help get it cleaned up.

Presque Isle Bay received the designation in 1991. Conditions had improved enough by 2002 for it to be upgraded to an "Area of Concern in the Recovery Stage." Now, officials are taking steps toward having the bay removed from the concern list altogether.

"That's our goal," said Lori Boughton, head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Office of the Great Lakes.

The DEP will present information today to the Presque Isle Bay Public Advisory Committee. Boughton said that's the first step toward getting the bay delisted and acknowledging that while the fish still have some lumps and bumps, the ecosystem has improved.  more...



Environment  

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Underwater guns set toward invaders

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LANSING -- A new federal and state partnership seeks to bolster the Grand Traverse Bay's native fish populations. Officials will use traps and seismic guns to clear rusty crayfish and round gobies from spawning reefs, where they hang out and eat fish eggs.

"We are trying to give the native species a helping hand," said Lindsay Chadderton, the Great Lakes aquatic species director for the Nature Conservancy. Chadderton is based at the biology department at the University of Notre Dame.  more...



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Lake Erie virtually ice-free this year,

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LakeErieIceFeb13_11_20120216212240_JPG

CLEVELAND - The Walleye are biting out in Lake Erie, but don't grab the ice fishing gear. Leave that at home. I know -- it's mid-February.

Die-hard Lake Erie anglers would normally venture out on a thick coating of ice to reel in their favorite fish. But this year, there is no ice. And Lake Erie is not alone in this ice-free zone. Temperatures around all five Great Lakes are averaging a good 5 degrees F above normal since November. Great Lakes ice cover stands at only 5 percent as of February 15.  more...



Environment  

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Great Lakes foster different type of comeback

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Call Michigan the comeback state.

We have the fastest job growth anywhere, and native lake trout are filling up the Great Lakes.

But there's another native making a big comeback, and it's not going to be pretty.

In the 1960s and '70s, we had huge problems with a kind of slimy green algae called Cladophora. It would grow in thick mats on the bottom of shallow lakes and near the shores of deeper waters.  more...



Environment  Other  

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In winter, a park on Lake Erie is the gateway to a sci-fi moonscape.

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Don't climb the ice dunes, warn the rangers and the signs. Yet danger seemed remote amid the serene frosted landscape near the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, a 7-mile spit of land arching into Lake Erie from Pennsylvania's far northwest corner.

Nevertheless, locals share tales of daredevils who have attempted ice dune ascents only to crash through and break an arm or a leg, or succumb to hypothermia, or risk drowning in a frosted tomb. Then there was the woman stuck on a dune that broke free and drifted away from the shore.

For those who aspire only to plant their eyes, not their feet, on the dunes, the rewards come with lesser risks, such as fingers numb from clutching cameras.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Grand Valley researchers work on projects to restore lake

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Two Grand Valley State University researchers are working to restore habitat in the Muskegon Lake area, and assist in getting Muskegon Lake de-listed as an area of concern in the Great Lakes.

Al Steinman and Rick Rediske are co-principal investigators on a pair of projects in Muskegon Lake and adjacent Bear Lake.

The planned improvements include a new design and engineering project to restore habitat in Muskegon Lake, which is connected to Lake Michigan, and a wetland restoration project upstream from Bear Lake.

Even though restoration efforts in the area have been underway for several years, some challenges remain. Fish and wildlife habitats are still recovering, and fish and wildlife that live in the area are considered degraded.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Scary invaders threaten Great Lakes, environmentalists warn

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Beware the Northern snakehead. Beware the inland silverside. And beware a host of other invasive species prompting a recent report recommending spending billions to separate the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes.

The Asian carp is the media darling that gets all the attention.  But according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there are 39 other “high-risk invasive species” that might migrate through Chicago waterways and have the potential to wreak ruin on native ecosystems.

Of these species, 10 could potentially cause huge environmental damage, the agency said. more...



Environment  

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Superior Researchers Studying Invasives, Ballast Water

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Determining how clean a ship's ballast water must be to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species is the goal of the latest research partnership between the Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Lake Superior Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Using $415,000 recently awarded by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, LSRI Associate Researcher Matt TenEyck will direct controlled experiments to measure the effect of treated ballast water on Twin Ports harbor water. His work will be part of a broader project led by Allegra Cangelosi, president of the Northeast-Midwest Institute. Together, their research will generate the first direct scientific ballast water data relevant to the Great Lakes region.  more...



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Islanders rhythm upset without Lake Superior ice road

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A warm winter is keeping the ferry running between Madeline Island and Bayfield ... much to the chagrin of islanders.

The ice road is all people talk about these days at the Beach Club on Madeline Island. Leslie Mack knows. She goes there during happy hour.

"You know, it's 'What have you heard? What have you heard? Is there any chance we might get an ice road? Who went through the ice?' We've had one snowmobile go through already," she says. More...



Environment  SNOW  

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Chemical levels in Saginaw Bay fish depend on where they hang out

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Male walleye in the Saginaw Bay really need to start taking a cue from their female counterparts and hang out in a better neighborhood.

A study about to be published by the Journal of Great Lakes Research found male walleye contain three times more flame retardant chemicals than females. The chemicals, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE’s), have been used in plastics, foams and fabrics as flame-retardants since the 1970’s. Animal tests suggest they could damage the liver, thyroid and brain, according to the EPA.

The reason: The males are hanging out in the wrong places.  more...




Environment  

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