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Buoy camera catches waves and sunsets on Lake Michigan

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Want to catch a sunset in Lake Michigan with no land in sight? Or feel what it’s like to bob in the waves during a storm?

A weather buoy that got its start thanks to Holland area businesses and groups is now broadcasting video at regular intervals three miles offshore of Port Sheldon in about 85 feet of water.

“This webcam is the first of its kind in the Great Lakes and is capable of transmitting high-resolution images and video clips over the Internet on a regular basis,” said Ed Verhamme, project engineer of LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor environmental engineering company.  more...



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Wisconsin comes up short in revitalizing waterfronts

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In 2005, dozens of Wisconsin officials gathered at a new resort on Lake Michigan. Sheboygan’s Blue Harbor Resort was a case study for revitalizing Wisconsin’s waterfronts, representing millions of dollars in private investment and the promise of jobs and tourism dollars.

Eight years later, Wisconsin hasn’t come up with a blueprint for making that happen.That lack of success continues to symbolize a lost opportunity for many Wisconsin communities with empty or abandoned waterfront land, including former sites of heavy manufacturing or industry.  more...


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New Great Lakes Seaway Trail Magazine Includes Local Tips

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The 2013 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Travel Magazine is out and publishers say packed with ideas for exploring the 518-mile National Scenic Byway that hugs the freshwater shoreline of New York and Pennsylvania.

The leisure driving and boating route spans five distinct areas along the coastline: the Erie Bayfront and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania, the Western NY Lake Erie metropolitan hub of Buffalo-Niagara Falls, the expansive Lake Ontario shoreline and its centerpiece at Rochester, the recreation-rich Eastern Lake Ontario waterfront, and the international 1000 Islands-St. Lawrence Seaway. more...


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State turns over lakefront parks to Cleveland

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The state of Ohio is officially turning over a string of Lake Erie parks to the city of Cleveland.

Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) is joining Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and other officials Thursday to sign documents that will seal the transfer of the waterfront recreational areas.  more...



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This summer, travel on La Route bleue

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Short Hops: This summer, travel on La Route bleueIt’s a fact of life in Quebec that you can’t venture out very far from home without having to cross a bridge or take a car ferry.

As Montrealers, we know about the bridges; there are 28 bridges and tunnels leading out from the island of Montreal. But downstream from Montreal, as the St. Lawrence River gets progressively wider, car ferries are the critical transport links for area residents. For tourists, they offer an opportunity for inexpensive and interesting boat travel. more...



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June 2-8 – Proclaimed – Beach Safety Awareness Week

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A Day at the Beach - by Hornbaker Chelsi, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceMackinac Island, Michigan—The Great Lakes Governors and the Premiers of Ontario and Québec today proclaimed June 2-8 “Beach Safety Awareness Week.”

Dangerous currents and other water hazards pose a significant danger to swimmers, boaters and others enjoying the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.  Lifeguards and others must save people from dangerous currents each year.  Tragically, many lives are lost despite these rescue efforts.  more...



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Expert, Coast Guard urge caution after trees, other debris spotted near Lake Michigan

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boat-grand-haven-file.JPGWe're back with Vol. 2, Ep. 2 of our weekly summer Boat Talk column, and this week, we beg our lake-faring readers to be on the lookout for potentially hull-piercing debris reportedly showing up in West Michigan waterways.

Historic flooding in April led to troublesome buildup in the Holland and Grand Haven channels that feed Lake Michigan, with picnic tables, Dumpsters and even whole trees floating through like it was nobody's business.  more...



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Fednav adding six new ships to fleet

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Fednav Ltd., Canada’s leading international maritime bulk carrier, is adding six new 34,000-tonne vessels to its fleet. They will operate in the St. Lawrence Seaway region and be equipped for ice navigation.

The six vessels will be built in Japan by the Oshima Shipyard and will have much improved environmental performance over six other Oshima-built vessels delivered to Fednav a decade ago. They will consume 28 per cent less fuel and produce 28 per cent fewer emissions. The engines will emit 33 per cent less nitrogen oxide.   more...



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Climb a Michigan dune and see it all

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When you dig your hands and feet into the sand of one of Michigan’s towering dunes, you’re participating in thousands of years of history.These enormous sand formations along the state’s Lake Michigan coast were formed, like the Great Lakes themselves, by glaciers dominating the land of 16,000 years ago. When those glaciers retreated and melted, they left behind the rocks and clay that eventually, through erosion, became the dunes.  more...


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Restoring an ancient Great Lakes fish

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Sturgeon have lived in the Great Lakes longer than humans have walked the earth. But the ancient fish now need our help to stay here. A joint project by the federal and state officials with a Native American tribe is trying to do that by rebuilding habitat for lake sturgeon in the Kalamazoo River. WMUK’s Brian Petersen went along to find out how it’s done.  more...


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“Sunken Treasure”: Documentary explores Great Lakes shipwrecks, promotes respectful diving

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A diver explores the wreck of the Eliza H. Strong vessel. Photo: Michael Lynch.With hundreds of shipwrecks scattered across the bottom of the Great Lakes, divers have access to an unrivaled underwater playground. The freshwater environment lends itself to preserving shipwrecks so well, some ships look ready to board.

Divers tempted to swipe an artifact for their mantle or crank a wheel and pretend to sail away could be fined or even imprisoned. A recent documentary aims to educate those with misguided intentions before it gets that far.

“Sunken Treasure: Preserving Michigan’s Shipwrecks” was recently released by the Michigan Underwater Preserve Council to foster respect of Great Lakes shipwrecks and preserve the fragile ecosystems that surround them.

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Lake levels won’t fix themselves

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An international group recently looked at the issue of low water levels and what could be done to try and amend the situation.

The Joint International Commission called for a study to explore the impact of placing inflatable gates or other devices in the St. Clair River at the southern end of Lake Huron as a way to stop outflow from the lake.

Officials say dredging, mining and other human activities eroded the river bottom in the last century, accelerating the outflow from Lake Huron toward Lake Erie. Lake Michigan is also drained via its connection to the other Great Lakes.  more...



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Sugar Island beach on Detroit River opens Saturday

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A beach on the Detroit River’s Sugar Island is opening to the public Saturday.

The island’s west beach will be accessible for activities including picnicking, sunbathing, wildlife observation, photography and volleyball. Upland areas will be off-limits to protect wildlife. Officials say the area designated for public use will be clearly marked. Some activities will be prohibited, such as setting fires, drinking alcohol and setting off fireworks.  more...



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Boardwalk opens as part of Lake St. Clair Metropark restoration project

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A $1.27 million United States EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant has helped clean up and restore precious marshlands in Lake St. Clair Metropark, and a brand-new boardwalk that cuts right through the area will help the public enjoy it.

“This brings a much-needed spotlight to our site,” said Thomas Knuth, park manager of the metropark. “It draws attention to how unique and unusual this park is. It’s a gem of Macomb County.” more...



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Kites draw eyes to the sky at Great Lakes Kite Festival in Grand Haven

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Kite enthusiasts and curious onlookers stopped by Grand Haven State Park on Saturday for the second day of the 25th Annual Great Lakes Kite Festival.

All eyes were on the sky, where kites of various shapes and sizes flew over the festival grounds.

Some zigged, zagged and zipped as flyers from around the country held demonstrations at the beach. The larger kites, some as long as school buses, impressed attendees with their size, while the ones at the open flying field swayed serenely in the breeze.  more...



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