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community weblog - [ Environment ]

Plovers find Lakeshore great place to nest

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The largest flock of piping plover, an endangered shorebird, in the Great Lakes region summers at the Lakeshore.

However, plover numbers in the Lakeshore slipped in 2011.

According to Lakeshore biologist Sue Jennings, 18 pairs of plovers established nests in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Fifteen nests were found on the mainland and three were on North Manitou Island.

“The recovery of the Great Lakes population is dependent upon survival and recruitment of the nesting pairs located within the Lakeshore,” Jennings said. “Overall, the Great Lakes population is making a slow recovery. However, the population remains fragile and could easily be lost to a single event, such as significant storm, predation, nest disturbance and/or habitat loss.”  more...



Animals  Environment  Other  

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Federal judge rejects proposed settlement for Saugatuck Dunes

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A federal judge has thrown out a proposed legal settlement between Saugatuck Township and a private developer looking to build near Lake Michigan coastal dunes.

The agreement would have resolved a long-standing land-use case. Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon owns more than 300 acres in the township, including coastal dune land along Lake Michigan. He says Saugatuck Township officials unfairly singled out his company Singapore Dunes LLC when they changed zoning rules that prohibit development on 207 acres of his property without special permits. He sued the township in over the zoning in federal court.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Crews give coho, Chinook a hand to spawn success

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The urge to procreate happens like clockwork and when the water reaches the right temperature, the Root River turns into a salmon singles' bar each fall.

But to have a healthy population of coho and Chinook in Lake Michigan, the fish need a helping hand to hook up. That's why a group of Department of Natural Resources employees dressed in chest waders, rubber boots and gloves worked quickly this week to scoop up coho salmon at the Root River Steelhead Facility, siphon eggs and sperm and mix the two together in plastic buckets destined for a fish hatchery.  more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Zoning Great Lakes water? Officials say no

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Rhode Island has designated ocean waters for certain uses – and a coastal lawyer predicts such zoning is coming to a Great Lake near you.

But several Great Lakes officials disagree.

The Rhode Island program, Ocean Special Area Management Plan, designates zones to protect fragile ecosystems and has rules telling people what they can do in the water.

The zoning program was done, in part, to foster offshore wind energy development.  more...



Environment  Other  Wind  

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Army Corps reduces power on Asian carp barrier

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Power is being reduced on an electric barrier network designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes because it might be interfering with operations on a nearby railroad, federal authorities said Wednesday. more...


Environment  

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Neighbors protest $50 million development planned for Lake Macatawa's shore

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A proposed $50 million development on the edge of Lake Macatawa could endanger the winter roosting area of about a dozen bald eagles.

Amateur birding enthusiast Larry Tibbet told the Park Township Board on Thursday that the hillsides of the property shelter the eagles during winter and offer the birds an ice-free expanse of water for food that would be destroyed by a planned marina. more...


Environment  Other  

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Current efforts to stop Asian carp not sustainable, experts say

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Amid concerns that current efforts to stop the influx of Asian carp in Illinois may not be sustainable, a coalition of Great Lakes states and cities on Thursday proposed a controversial plan to install metal and concrete barriers to separate the Mississippi River from Lake Michigan, effectively re-reversing the flow of the Chicago River.  more...


Environment  

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23-foot wave sets record at Lake Michigan's south buoy

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South Haven lighthouse, south haven, lighthouse, waves, south haven waves, genericHOLLAND -- A 23-foot wave was recorded by Lake Michigan's mid-lake southern buoy today -- the highest since readings began in 1981.

The buoy, about 50 miles west-southwest of Holland, takes readings from March into November each year, and is shut down each winter, National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Dukesherer said.

"That's the highest wave I've seen," Dukesherer said. Winds are subsiding gradually today, so the 23-foot record is likely to stand, Dukesherer said.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Defending Lake Huron's fishery

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While invasive species and other threats continue to disrupt Lake Huron's valuable fishery, local stakeholders work across public and private sectors to defend the resource.  more...


Environment  Fishing  

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River Raisin headed toward removal of Area of Concern

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Detroit— Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, stopped in Wednesday to tout the success of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — including the pending removal of the River Raisin region as an Area of Concern.

Areas of Concern are an international designation for the 26 locations around the Great Lakes region that have histories of environmental contamination. The River Raisin, recipients of contaminants from decades of industrial operations along its banks, was added to the AOC list more than two decades ago.  more...



Environment  

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Human fecal bacteria detected in harbor water samples

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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee scientists sorting through the bacterial soup in Milwaukee's harbor found "chronic pollution" of the waterway with human sewage, the researchers say in a new report.

Fecal bacteria from people, not cattle or other animals, was detected in each water sample collected from the surface of the harbor both in dry weather and on rainy days, said Sandra McLellan, senior scientist and associate professor with the School of Freshwater Sciences at the Great Lakes WATER Institute on the harbor.  more...



Environment  

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Algae in bloom: green scum coating Lake Erie shore

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As the waters of Lake Erie begin to settle following last week's storms, the water off the Lorain area might be a bit green. The algae bloom, which has been described as a vile green substance, has been identified by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management.  more...


Environment  

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Water level proposal environmentally friendly

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The environment will finally receive due consideration in how St. Lawrence Seaway water levels are maintained, according to a proposal from a working group with the International Joint Commission (IJC). more...


Environment  

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Dry September sends Lake Superior down

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An unusually dry early autumn caused the level of Lake Superior to drop two inches in September, a month when the big lake usually remains unchanged, the International Lake Superior Board of Control announced. more...

Environment  Other  

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Fish and wildlife officials battle sea lampreys in Great Lakes

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In this photo taken July 16, 2010, a scientist with the Hammond Bay Biological Station near Huron Beach, Mich., holds a female sea lamprey. The lamprey uses its disk-shaped mouth and sharp teeth to fasten onto fish and suck out their bodily fluids. Proposed cutbacks in federal spending could wipe out years of progress toward controlling sea lampreys in the Great Lakes and restoring fish species devastated by the parasitic invaders, officials say. (AP Photo/John Flesher)

It sounds like a harrowing Halloween story: Underwater, vampire-like creatures bore holes into fish in Lake Erie so they can suck out their life fluids.

It's not fiction -- sea lampreys are a real threat in the Great Lakes.

And there's good news and bad news concerning the federal government's war on sea lampreys, said Jeff Slade, station supervisor in Ludington, Mich., for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  more...



Environment  Other  

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