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community weblog - [ Environment ]

Kenosha discharging untreated wastewater to Lake Michigan

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Untreated wastewater was spilling out of a sanitary sewer into Lake Michigan Thursday, Kenosha Water Utility General Manager Ed St. Peter said.

The overflow began early Thursday morning after heavy rains sent excess flows of water into city sewers, St. Peter said. The overflow pipe is a few blocks from the sewage treatment plant on the lakeshore at 7834 3rd Ave.  more...



Environment  

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Long delayed dredging of Lake Ontario harbours set for 2014

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Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has announced that the long awaited dredging of three Lake Ontario harbours is on track to happen next year.

Collins says the Army Corp of Engineers now has the funding it needs to perform maintenance dredging in Oak Orchard, Olcott and Wilson harbours.

“The dredging of these three local harbours is long overdue,” said Collins. “Local residents and government leaders have been pushing the federal government to prioritize the work in order to maintain and maximize the harbours’ economic and recreational importance. more...



Environment  Other  

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Eating sea lamprey: They're not bad to stomach after you cut the head off

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051208LAMP1mjg.JPG
There’s two sides to sea lampreys, according to Lars Rudstam, director of the Cornell Biological Field Station in Bridgeport.

On the one hand, they attach themselves using their mouths to the sides or bellies of fish and use their raspy tongues to drill a hole and suck out their host’s bodily fluids. State Department of Environmental Conservation officials noted recently these parasitic, prehistoric-looking aquatic creatures are causing big problems for Cayuga Lake’s trout fishery. ...  more



Animals  Environment  

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New Concerns About Plastic Pollution in Great Lakes ‘Garbage Patch’

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Until recently, my concept of a ‘garbage patch’ was of an area of ocean with large pieces of floating debris, the kind of stray fishing gear and trash from ships and shorelines that collect where currents form eddies far from view of most people.

Having seen my share of sea trash in 20,000+ miles of lake and ocean sailing and even untangled sheets of plastic and thick ropes from the propeller and rudder of my 37-foot sailboat, I was shocked to learn that the kind of garbage scientists are most concerned about is invisible to the naked eye. They’re finding tiny bits of plastic known as “micro-plastics” floating near the surface of the water in high concentrations. The particles are so small that a microscope is needed to even see them.  more...



Environment  

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South Milwaukee discharging untreated waste to lake

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South Milwaukee's sewage treatment plant has been discharging untreated wastewater to Lake Michigan since Tuesday, city wastewater officials said Friday.

This week's heavy rains came during a major construction project and the plant is at half capacity, Wastewater Superintendent Andrew Bakalarski said. He expected the sanitary sewer overflow to end late Friday along with the end of this week's rounds of heavy rainstorms.

The wastewater discharged to the lake is a combination of sewage and storm water collected by the sanitary sewers, he said. Leaks of storm water into the sanitary sewers cause excess flows in heavy rains. A city rain gauge measured 4.5 inches for the week, he said.  more...



Environment  

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Great Lakes salmon are the focus of new video series

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Underwater footage of wild-spawned salmon in Michigan streams show the challenges faced by young fish. Participants in MDNR’s Salmon in the Classroom program can use this series as a refresher on the salmon’s life cycle and Great Lakes ecology.  more...


Environment  

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Great Lakes Levels Below Normal Next 6 Months

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istockphotoWater levels across most of the Great Lakes are likely to remain well below average for the next six months, posing continued hardships for commercial vessels and tourist towns that cater to recreational boaters, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The lakes should undergo their usual rise during the warm season, helped by melting of abundant winter snowfall across the region’s northern tier, officials with the Detroit district office said. But it won’t be nearly enough to offset years of declining levels brought on by drought and stepped-up evaporation amid warming temperatures.  more...



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Lake Erie at risk from algae bloom

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By fall in 2011, the scummy algae that started at the west end of Lake Erie, near the mouth of the Maumee River, extended all the way to Cleveland. This was the largest algae bloom in the lake’s recorded history — foul, disruptive and dangerous. On Monday, a group of scientists reported their findings on the reasons for the accelerated and toxic presence of the algae.  more...


Environment  

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Free sand! Muskegon's Beach Street residents again giving away beach accumulated in their yards

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With winter all but over, most Muskegon-area residents are putting away their snow shovels and getting ready to break out their lawn mowers.

For residents near Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon, the end of shoveling snow is just the beginning of their year-round shoveling odyssey. Instead of shoveling snow, they are resuming their never-ending battle against sand -- lots of sand.

“It’s an ongoing problem because the wind blows a lot,” Janet Stohr said as she looked at her sand-covered porch. “We never had a lawn mower but have shoveled sand instead and it keeps us busy throughout the year.”  more...


Environment  

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The Great Carp Invasion

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A voracious, fast-breeding fish threatens Great Lakes fisheries. What can be done to stop them? Two boys stood at the end of a dock off the shore of Grand Island on a hot day last July casting fishing lines into the shallow water, time after time pulling up small rock bass from the edges of the Niagara River. The boys are Parker and Connor Cinelli, two of Chris Cinelli’s sons. They are waiting for their dad to finish preparing his 2025 Lund Pro V, which Chris describes as the Cadillac of fishing boats, before they head out onto the largest freshwater system in the world for an afternoon of angling.  more...


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Great Lakes water levels: A major piece of low water levels explained

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The Great Lakes water levels are like a puzzle with many pieces.

I've been writing about the weather part of the water level puzzle.

The amount of water going into the Great Lakes due to weather factors is a fairly straightforward formula.  more...



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Great Lakes salmon are the focus of new video series

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April is an exciting time of year for salmon and trout anglers.  Big lake trolling and pier fishing starts off in the southern end of Lake Michigan and the steelhead run is in in full swing in west Michigan streams.  Another story unfolds in shoreline eddies, where young wild-spawned Chinook salmon feed on stream insects and put on weight for their journey to Lake Michigan.  more...

Environment  Fishing  

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A Tern for the Better: The Detroit River Comeback

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Few people would get excited about two common tern chicks who hatched on Belle Isle last summer. But Greg Norwood and other environmental scientists working with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge quietly celebrated the return of the bird after 50 years.  more...


Environment  

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Comment period begins on Lake Michigan Carferry-EPA consent decree concerning SS Badger

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The time has arrived to tell the Department of Justice what you think about the proposed consent decree that would allow the SS Badger to sail and discharge coal ash, as it has been allowed to do throughout its 59-year history, for the 2013 and 2014 seasons before ending the discharge. more...


Environment  

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Lake Erie's walleye, yellow perch still slumping, but Ohio daily bag limits remain the same for 2013

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The Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch populations continue to decline, but the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission decided at its annual meeting here on Thursday that there were enough of Ohio's favorite fish to maintain the same bag limits of a year ago.  more...

Environment  Fishing  

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