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community weblog - [ Environment ]

THE GREAT LAKES' NINE MOST WANTED

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We hear all the time about invasive species in the Great Lakes region. But many people have no idea what Eurasian ruffe, Round Goby, or European frogbit look like and even less of an idea about what to do about the problem. But environmental education groups are trying to change that. Doug Jensen runs the Aquatic Invasive Species Information Center for the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program. He's created a series of nine cards to help people identify exotic species that are causing problems in the lakes.   more...

 



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Wanted: an island park off Cleveland

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Cleveland lakefront planners want the city to build an island in Lake Erie just north of downtown.

Their idea is simple: Take dredge material already being removed from the Cuyahoga River and nearby marinas and use it to create an island along the Cleveland Harbor breakwater, which is about a half-mile off shore.  more...

 



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The joys of boating season

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This boat labeled S.S. Minnow is fairly well-known and shows that the owner made a mistake by wintering his vessel in a shallow canal. Notice the high water marks on the seawall to the left. The boat is now gone, but we do wonder how they removed it without damage.     

Getting ready for the boating season is pleasure in itself.

Some earlybirds are already in the water and enjoying the brisk breeze that comes off the cold water. Even though the warmer air temperatures now prevail, they don't care, spring is here.   more...

 

 

 



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Waterwalkers were here

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Violet Caibaiosai of Sagamok First Nation and Mario Wassaykeesic of Poplar Hill, Ontario, carry a pail of water and an eagle staff on the First Annual Women’s Water Walk around Lake Superior. The pair, along with other walkers and a support vehicle, set out from Bad River, Wis. on April 18 to raise awareness about the importance of keeping our water clean.   more...

 



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Know the outdoors

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A dwindling population in the past 20 years has made the wood turtle a rare sight in Michigan -- so rare that the state Department of Natural Resources lists the reptile as a species of special concern.

Populations of three other Michigan turtles also have fallen. The Eastern box turtle and Blanding's turtle are species of special concern, and the spotted turtle is listed as threatened, one step from endangered. Spotted turtles once were abundant along the shores of Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River as late as the mid-1970s.   more...

 



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Boating season thrives despite low lake levels

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ImageDespite water levels on Lake St. Clair that are a foot-and-a-half below average, Macomb County marinas from Harrison Township to St. Clair Shores are doing booming business.

That's because experienced boaters are shrugging off the difficulties they're facing in trying to get to open water.  more...

 

 

 



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Fight over bottling water in court

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GRAND RAPIDS -- A trial set to begin today will determine whether the nation's No. 1 bottled water company's desire to withdraw more from an area aquifer is reasonable or a violation of Michigan law.

In response to a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, Mecosta County Circuit Judge Lawrence Root already has ruled that Ice Mountain can capture and bottle groundwater at its Stanwood plant, about 45 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Ice Mountain has produced an average of 130 gallons a minute since production began last year. But it eventually wants to boost withdrawals to at least 400 gallons per minute, depending on demand.   more...

 



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Coast Guard to toot its own horn

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 There's a mystery on Duluth's waterfront.

It has sparked an informal investigation by the Coast Guard. The city of Duluth vows it is ready to resolve the root cause, yet is concerned that it may be violating a federal permit. The key figure who knows the most about it didn't return phone calls Thursday.

Only one thing is clear: Earplug sales will be down this summer.

It seems that Duluth's love-hate relationship with a bellowing foghorn is over.  more...

 



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Report osprey sightings

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Ospreys, which are big hawks that live near water, have gotten attention lately after one died from being struck by a baseball in Florida. The birds also live in Michigan. The DNR has asked residents in the southern part of the state to report osprey sightings, especially at Kensington Metropark near Milford and around the Maple River north of St. Johns.

In the past five years, the state has reintroduced ospreys to southern Michigan by moving chicks from the northern Lower Peninsula. Residents are asked to report an osprey's location, activity, markings, whether it's banded and when it was seen. Sightings may be reported by calling 248-328-8113, 800-477-2757, Lori Sargent at 517-373-1263 or by e-mail to SargenL2@michigan.gov.



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State makes move to protect rivers

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The new chief of the state Department of Environmental Quality supports a plan to designate parts of the Pine and Upper Manistee rivers as Michigan Natural Rivers, which would limit development on them.

The endorsement by director Steve Chester is a great sign, a clear indication that Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to end the selling-out of the state's natural resources, which was the policy of former Gov. John Engler.  more...

 



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Lighthouses get attention

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Steve Belko, manager of the the Michigan Lighthouse Project with Brian Conway, State Historic Preservation Officer, are standing up for Michigan lighthouses.

And Teresa Goforth, heading up the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program, has set the date for its second organizational meeting on May 6 in Lansing to help simplify the lighthouse transfer process.  more...

 



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Tugboat sinking delayed pending permit approval

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A former Chicago Fire Department tug boat moored in Algoma at the Pier 42 Marina won't become an underwater dive site in Lake Michigan anytime soon.

That's because the state Department of Natural Resources' permit process to allow the project to proceed hasn't been completed. DNR water management specialist Mike Hanaway, who has been reviewing the proposal, said he is awaiting more information from Neptune's Nimrods Dive Club, which is behind the sinking project.   more...

 



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Study concentrates on Great Lakes ducks

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As a three-year, $1.4 million study heads into its final spring, scientists are beginning to uncover the mysteries of Great Lakes-area waterfowl.

Although several past studies have looked at the duck populations of the Canadian prairies and northern American plains, little is known about Michigan's ducks.   more...

 

 



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Water tunnel workers labor beneath Lake Michigan

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GARY, Ind. -- Dark. Damp. And you can almost always count on the thermometer reading 55 degrees. That's the working environment day after day in a tunnel that runs hundreds of feet beneath Lake Michigan's blue waters.

In the shadow of the 94-year-old water tower on Madison Street in Gary, a pit bores down to the tunnel's entrance.

When the tunnel and new pumping station are finished this summer, hundreds of thousands of Northwest Indiana residents will begin drinking water that has passed through the tunnel. more...

 



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A past worth unearthing

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The Erie Canal Harbor project - a 12-acre site on the downtown waterfront behind Memorial Auditorium - is moving forward again with a re-imagined, history-based theme.

The project has been bolstered by newfound discoveries of cobblestone streets, slabs of canal stones, building foundations and railroad infrastructure for re-creating the waterfront's hallowed past. It is expected to be completed in October 2007.  more...

 



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