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Five Inflatable Life Jacket Myths: Do You Know the Truth?

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ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 20, 2012 - Inflatable Life Jackets - which automatically or manually inflate with the tug of a pull cord - have been around over 25 years, but there are still quite a few misperceptions about how these life saving devices work. The BoatUS Foundation set out to debunk some of the myths:

1. Inflatable life jackets are zero maintenance - Let's face it, pretty much nothing on a boat is zero maintenance. Before you head out for the day, simply check to ensure the CO2 cylinder is screwed firmly in and you can see the green indicator tab. Once a year, take it out and blow it up with your mouth, wait overnight, inspect for wear and check for leaks. more

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Stop all the trickery toward stopping assault of Asian carp

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A clear and present danger looms larger by the day in the Great Lakes region that threatens the economic and environmental livelihood of 35 million residents.

To many in our region, that danger remains invisible. To all in our region, that danger poses significant risks that must be tackled pronto.

That danger is the deadly Asian carp, a breed of fish that can grow as large as 4 feet long and can weigh as much as 100 pounds. These underwater enemies eat like hogs, breed like bunnies and rip asunder any ecosystem in their path.

The Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative call the carp the greatest damaging invasive species that has entered the Great Lakes in the last century.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Deal would settle suit over Lake Michigan resort

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Saugutuck Township— Officials in southwestern Michigan have approved a proposed agreement to settle a lawsuit over a businessman's plans to build a resort along Lake Michigan.

The Township Board in Allegan County's Saugatuck Township voted 4-0 Wednesday night to approve the settlement that would resolve the lawsuit by Aubrey McClendon's development company Singapore Dunes LLC. The vote came following many objections raised by those in attendance.  more...



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Vanished shipwreck’s secret revealed

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CLEVELAND — Twice during its 122-year history, the C.B. Lockwood has been swallowed up by Lake Erie.

On course from Duluth, Minn., to Buffalo and battling the fury of an October storm, the 285-foot wooden steamer first sank in 1902, crashing more than 70 feet below the waves just east of Cleveland.

The location of the Lockwood was not a mystery. With one look at historical data, its exact location — 13½ miles north by northwest off Fairport Harbor — easily can be found. But despite being armed with a figurative “X marks the spot,” shipwreck hunters have for decades been stumped by the empty expanse of Lake Erie muck where the Lockwood should be.  more...



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Chinese Fish for Meaning in U.S. Carp Rampage

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Sometimes, Chinese netizens pay more attention to a U.S. news story than Americans do. President Barack Obama’s Feb. 23 decision to allocate $51.5 million to eradicate an invasive species known as the Asian carp is a prime example.

Outside of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, news of this carp-control strategy barely registered with the U.S. public. But on March 6, it hit China and, like a jazz trio riffing for an hour on just a few notes, microbloggers took to the minor news topic with gusto, using it to explore issues ranging from corrupt civil servants to U.S. sovereign debt. Soon it even had its own hash tag, roughly translated as #Asian Carp on an American Rampage#more...



Environment  Other  

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Prompted by recent violations, Coast Guard urges boaters to take advantage of free safety checks

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Following a weekend during which Coast Guard boarding officers issued notices of violation to six Great Lakes boaters and sent them back to the docks early for lacking required safety equipment, the Coast Guard is urging mariners Monday to take advantage of the many boater education courses and free vessel safety checks offered throughout the Great Lakes region.  more...


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Feasibility study for proposed Clipper

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MUSKEGON COUNTY – Muskegon County commissioners, who are still considering a proposal to move the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper to Heritage Landing, agreed to a staff recommendation Thursday to have engineers complete a feasibility study.

The proposed docking of the historic Great Lakes passenger ferry along the east side of the county-owned park’s peninsula has generated a debate of competing arguments, some trumpeting the tourism potential and others criticizing the potential loss of Muskegon Lake views and access.  more...



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Study seeks origins of carp DNA in Chicago waters

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Federal scientists are studying whether genetic material from Asian carp found in waterways near Chicago suggests the presence of live fish.

DNA from bighead and silver carp has turned up in dozens of water samples taken beyond an electric barrier that's supposed to prevent the invasive plankton eaters from reaching Lake Michigan.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Michigan’s Boating Industry on track for continued growth

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As Michigan’s boating trade association prepares to move in its second boat show of 2012, the optimism from show management and exhibitors continues to rise.  The Spring Boating Expo is scheduled for March 15 -18 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich.  Space sales for this show are up more than 25% from 2011.  Space sales, attendance and boat sales were all up at the Detroit Boat Show in February which mirrored what most other first quarter shows experienced across the country.  more...


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Sleeping Bear Dunes: A Legend Come to Life

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Sleeping Bear Dunes: A Legend Come to Life

True statement: I’m a sucker for a good Native American legend. Maybe I’ve been smoking on the wrong peace pipe, but there’s something about the mix of Americana and mythology really gets my brain juice flowing. It could also be because I grew up in Michigan, a state in which almost every stream, hill, or valley has a Native American myth to explain its presence. My favorite of them all is the story of Sleeping Bear Dunes, and it doesn’t hurt that the dunes themselves are a must-see destination for nature travelers.  more...


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Traverse City Utility Lights Way to new Home for Tall Ship's Schooner Manitou

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After 25 years of tall ship sailing in Traverse City, it looked like the end of the line for Traverse Tall Ship Company and the schooner Manitou, yet another victim of the wave of foreclosures plaguing the nation. As tenants of the dock and property owned by failed developer Westbay Partners, LLC, the Tall Ship Co. – along with two other commercial tenants – was served with an eviction notice in July 2011. With very limited berthing options for Manitou, the situation looked bleak for one of Northern Michigan’s most popular destination attractions.  more...


Other  Sailing  

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Signs of a great time on the Great Lakes: New markers show way along water trails

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The water trails along Michigan's Thumb provide breathtaking views, such as this rock formation 2 miles east of Port Austin.Nobody will ever mistake Lake Huron for a pond.

Paddlers have known that for the last 8,000 years.

"You need to keep a weather eye, because it can change in a hurry," said Dana Cornett, owner of Kayak Corral in Saline, who knows the lake and its moods.

To help paddlers along, the Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail now is fully marked for 122 miles of Lake Huron shoreline spanning Sanilac, Huron and Tuscola counties.   more...



Other  Watersports  

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I Want Your Outdoor Job: Michael Pardy, Kayak Instructor, Guide, Renaissance Man

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Michael Pardy in a navigation lesson. Photo credit: Bryan Debou

Michael Pardy has been active in the paddling industry for the past 24 years. Based our of Victoria, BC he is a sea kayak instructor, guide, author as well as co-owner of SKILS, a guiding and paddling skills development school that operates across Canada. Michael is also very active in the politics of paddling serving on the Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Program Development Committee as well as the past-president of the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.  more...


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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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Lake Michigan town fears losing historic ferry

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On many a summer evening, Jim Fay joins dozens of onlookers on this tourist town's waterfront, exchanging friendly waves with passengers and crew members as the S.S. Badger chugs into the harbor after a 60-mile voyage across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc, Wis.

It's a cherished ritual in Ludington, and its days may be numbered.

The Badger, the nation's last working coal-fired steamship, is under orders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop dumping waste ash into the lake. Coal ash contains low concentrations of arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals, although it's not classified as hazardous. The ferry discharges more than 500 tons during a typical season from May to October, and operators say there's no quick fix.  more...


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