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Great Lakes BeachCast

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As part of GLIN, BeachCast offers a regional, public gateway to information on Great Lakes beach advisories, current lake conditions, weather, monitoring techniques and human health risks. Updated links are now available along with the beach zip code search and more!   more...


 



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Lake Michigan drowning likely result of exhaustion

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MICHIGAN CITY -- A man who drowned and a man who was in critical condition after going under water likely fell victim to exhaustion and inexperience with Lake Michigan, authorities said.

Witnesses of the separate Sunday accidents told authorities the men were not dragged out into the deep water by rip currents, LaPorte County Deputy Coroner Mark Huffman said. They instead appeared to have gone into the deep water beyond a sandbar.

Huffman said the men probably stepped off the sandbar and the water was too deep. Waves likely caught them, they panicked and got tired, Huffman said.  more...

 



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Miss DYC drinks from Cup

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We wuz robbed!

That's what Miss Budweiser owner Joe Little said Sunday after his boat crossed the finish first in the 100th anniversary running of the Chrysler Jeep Superstores Gold Cup unlimited hydroplane race on the Detroit River, only to see his bright red boat disqualified and the trophy awarded to second finisher Nate Brown in Miss Detroit Yacht Club.

Little and Miss Bud driver Dave Villwock were holding a celebratory news conference nearly an hour after their boat got the checkered flag when people outside started cheering.   more...

 



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PLAN TO CONTROL MUTE SWANS

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Mute swans are federally protected, but the non-native bird could be harming the comeback of their larger, native cousins – the Trumpeter swan. Wildlife officials are supporting a bill that would allow mute swans to be killed.

Mute swans are large, elegant white birds with bright orange beaks. People brought them here from Europe and Asia to adorn public parks and private ponds. Now living in the wild, they're competing with native birds, like the trumpeter swan.

Tami Ryan is a wildlife biologist in Wisconsin, where the trumpeter is endangered. She says the mute swan could be impeding work done to bring back the trumpeter population.   more...

 



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Lake Michigan can be deadly

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MICHIGAN CITY -- "It's not a swimming pool."

Those words of warning should be foremost in each Lake Michigan beachgoer's mind when heading out for a day at the shore, Michigan City's parks superintendent said in the wake of a weekend drowning and another near-drowning near Washington Park beach.

Superintendent Darrell Garbacik on Monday called the lake a living body of water with an ever-changing mix of waves and currents that can threaten -- and, under certain circumstances, kill -- swimmers.

On Sunday, dangerous water conditions claimed the life of one Elkhart man and left another hospitalized in critical condition.   more...


 



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Great Lakes restoration spurs fight for funds

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CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) - An electrical barrier on a Chicago-area canal, designed to stop voracious Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, was lauded at its recent groundbreaking as a big step toward safeguarding existing fish populations.

The barrier also drew attention to the debate over who should pay to protect and restore the Great Lakes, which face other environmental ills such as erosion and pollution.

Billions of dollars are sorely needed, but the United States, Canada, two Canadian provinces and eight U.S. states must first agree on priorities in order to start the money flowing.   more...

 



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Saginaw River considered for power plant

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The gateway to Bay City may sport the stack of a new coal-fired power plant.

Tondu Corp. of Houston is looking at a 78-acre site along the Saginaw River in Zilwaukee Township, just north of the Zilwaukee Bridge.

Plans for the company's Northern Lights plant have been rejected by officials in Manistee and other towns, and likely would need the blessing of government leaders in Zilwaukee Township.

A new plant would include a stack rising 400 feet into the air, about 275 feet above the bridge, based on the company's previously announced plans for Manistee.   more...

 



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Great Lakes plan buoys boaters

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A Great Lakes protection plan being developed by 10 U.S. and Canadian governments, including Ontario, has made a local splash with more than just environmentalists. The proposed Great Lakes Charter Annex -- which would regulate any large-scale water diversions from the five lakes -- has buoyed those who use the lakes for recreation.   more...

 



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Vessel of history

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After more than five years of motoring in slow circles around Lake Superior, a team of shipwreck hunters found a reason to cut its engines.

In more than 300 feet of water about 13 miles south-southeast of Two Harbors, the five-member search team's sonar detected something on the bottom.

The remains of the bulk freighter Robert Wallace, which took on water and sank more than a century ago, became the first shipwreck to be found in Lake Superior in three years.

The wreck was first detected by sonar June 5. Three subsequent weekend trips to the site returned photos of the lost and now silt-covered vessel, a rare find, said shipwreck and Great Lakes experts.   more...

 



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Tennessee police officer dies during recreational dive

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A Tennessee police officer died during a recreational dive in Lake Michigan.

Scott David Baswell, 38, of Hermitage, Tenn., apparently drowned just before 8 p.m. Wednesday in Grand Traverse Bay, off Old Mission Peninsula.

"He was a young guy, very fit, who just loved northern Michigan. It's still quite a shock," said Brandon Baswell, a Lansing resident and brother of Scott Baswell.

Scott Baswell was with a group of people who were diving in pairs in about 50 feet of water, said Nathan Alger, the Grand Traverse County undersheriff.   more...

 



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Authorities prepare for next disaster on Lake Michigan

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WEST MICHIGAN -- Sgt. Cory Hunt figures it is only a matter of time before West Michigan sees another boating accident like the collision between two cabin cruisers off Saugatuck four years ago.

When the 58-foot SeaRay collided with a 42-foot Wellcraft, nine people were injured, two seriously. The Wellcraft sank in 45 feet of water.

Hunt wants to be ready for the next major incident off the Lake Michigan coast, so he helped organize a joint training drill Thursday featuring a mock boat explosion about two miles off the shoreline, between Saugatuck and Holland.

Marine patrols with the Ottawa and Allegan county sheriff departments, the Coast Guard and Saugatuck Township Fire Department took part.   more...

 



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Environmental group offering free well water testing

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The West Michigan Environmental Action Council will offer free well water testing for nitrates, nitrites and atrazine-type pesticides on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Because about half of the state's residents rely on well water, the Michigan Department of Agriculture conducts an annual drinking water well screening to assess groundwater contamination from fertilizers and pesticides and to educate the public on groundwater risks.

To ensure accurate test results, collect samples from a tap where the water isn't filtered or softened, such as an outdoor spigot. Run the water cold for 10 to 15 minutes, then completely fill a small, clean, well-rinsed jar that holds four ounces or more. Be sure not to touch the inside of the cap.   more...

 



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Watercraft officers to increase enforcement

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State watercraft officers are planning tougher enforcement of boater education laws and rules on age restrictions for operating personal watercraft as part of an effort to reduce accidents involving Jet Ski and WaveRunner-type watercraft.

"Boat accident reports show three of every four operators of jet-propelled personal watercraft, the Jet Ski-types that have become so popular, admit they have never taken a boating education course," said Ken Alvey, chief of the Division of Watercraft at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.   more...

 



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Daley tells homeowners it's their job to save water

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Chicagoans will be encouraged to do the little things to conserve Lake Michigan water -- like turning off the faucet while shaving and brushing teeth -- in a massive education campaign expected to be a prelude to the installation of water meters.

"As we look at this great body of water, don't misuse it. Don't think it's going to be there forever," Mayor Daley said. "The environmental movement starts in your home."

"This is an education campaign to say that, 'You have a responsibility -- not just government.' Take that word 'responsibility' and do something for the environment," he said.   more...

 



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Race lets Port Huron shine

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Artwork lining the walls of one vacant downtown Port Huron building is a small sign an ambitious experiment is gaining speed.

That excites Port Huron artist Jamie Churchill, as cornerstone events of the area's Cool Cities effort take place this weekend in conjunction with Boat Week.

"I think it's fabulous," she said. "I've been here seven years, and this is the first time I've seen so much excitement."

Cool Cities planners have an art show planned at the former Arden's building, 208 Huron Ave., and multiple musical acts on tap through Saturday.

"On both sides, whether it's art or music, we've got it covered," said Randy Maiers, chairman of Port Huron's Cool Cities committee.

Cool Cities is Gov. Jennifer Granholm's initiative to make Michigan more attractive to young college graduates by developing vibrant downtowns. Port Huron was one of 17 cities among 151 applicants chosen for a nearly $100,000 grant to promote the initiative.    more...

 



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