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How to Keep Working Waterfronts at Work National Symposium March 25-28

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Waterfronts are getting squeezed. Traditional activities once considered vital to coastal communities – boat building, fishing, recreational boating and other water-dependent businesses – must now compete for limited space on the shoreline. Residential development, zoning changes, shifting populations and energy production are just some of the pressures against a robust working waterfront. There’s also a new factor - more frequent, massive storm events – that is inflicting massive change, begging the question: “How should devastated areas be redeveloped?” And if so, what are the best uses for waterfront land?  more...


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Photos: Great Lakes surfing, Superior style

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SurferIt seems impossible, but on Lake Superior there's a thriving scene of about 50 surfers who brave the frigid water for waves they swear can compare to some of the best surfing in Hawaii or California. With nearly 10 mm of wetsuit between him and the cold, Eric Wilkie of Webster, Wis. grabs his surfboard from the top of his truck Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at Stony Point in Duluth, Minn. "I'll be out there for an hour, hour and a half, or if I ride three big waves or have three big wipeouts. Whichever comes first," Wilkie said of his Monday surfing plans.  more...


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Big ships dock at Port of Milwaukee for maintenance in winter

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Ice has thickened in the harbor, but the work hasn't slowed much at the Port of Milwaukee, where some of the biggest ships on the Great Lakes are moored for a winter overhaul.

Six of the vessels are here until the start of the 2013 shipping season in late March.

Winter is the only time of year you can get a close-up look at 1,000-foot ships in Milwaukee because, other than being docked here for winter repairs, the biggest ships on the Great Lakes don't stop at the port on Jones Island during their regular sailing season.

If one of the big ships were stood on its end, it would be taller than the U.S. Bank building.  more...



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What if Everyone Jumped in a Lake?

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Let’s give a slightly refined version of the question.

If everyone on Earth went for a swim at the same time in Lake Michigan, how high would the water level rise?

I have two primary assumptions to start with. First, I will assume that during this time the volume of water in Lake Michigan will be constant. So if the people make the water level rise, the water level will indeed rise instead of pushing water into the other Great Lakes. Second, I will assume that all of the humans in the lake are floating. If they aren’t “swimming” or touching the bottom, then it will be easier to calculate the rise in the water level.  more...



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Fox 8 Explores Salt Mine Below Lake Erie

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Have you ever wondered where all the rock salt that melts all the ice and snow on our highways and roads comes from?

Most of the salt is from a mine under Lake Erie just off of downtown Cleveland.

For half a century, Cargill Deicing Technology has been mining salt from underneath Lake Erie. The mine is part of the Great Eastern Salt Basin, one of the world’s largest salt beds, with tunnels that are 20 feet high and 45 feet wide. 

The salt mine is different than most salt mines because it’s located right in downtown Cleveland.  more...



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Chicago River Flowing Backwards Would Be Least of Region's Concerns

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The headlines were alarming: "Drought Could Reverse Flow of Chicago River," hailed the website of WLS-TV, the local ABC News affiliate. "Ongoing Drought Could Send the Chicago River Flowing in Reverse," read Smithsonian magazine's normally sedate web pages. 

It turns out, a backwards flow may be the least of the river’s concerns.  more...



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Detroit Boat Show Feb. 16-24 at Cobo Center

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The "biggest and best boat show in Michigan," the Detroit Boat Show is coming to Cobo Center Feb. 16-24 and is BACK TO TWO HALLS for the first time in four years! Hundreds of exhibitors will fill the exposition space for the premier showing of new boats for the model year 2013 and new, non-current boats for 2010 - 2012.  more...


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Walleye, Yellow Perch hatches below average in Lake Erie Western Basin

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Walleye and Yellow Perch hatches in Lake Erie's Western Basin were below average in 2012. That is the word from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The numbers come from the ODNR's yearly survey which is done in August every year.

In that survey, DNR trawlers drag nets through targeted waters to collect and count the fish species in a designated area. In 2012, only about two young-of-the-year walleyes were collected per hectare of water. A hectare measures out roughly to 2.5 acres of water.

Normally, nine young-of-the-year walleyes are found per hectare.  more...



Environment  Fishing  Other  

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Snyder plans 'emergency' action on Great Lakes harbors

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Gov. Rick Snyder said Friday his administration is developing plans to take "emergency" action to deal with Great Lakes harbors plagued by record-low water levels.

Speaking to newspaper editors and publishers attending the annual Michigan Press Association conference, Snyder said he will unveil the plans Feb. 7 when he presents his 2013-14 fiscal year budget to the Legislature.

In December, the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan system was a mean of 576.15 feet above sea level for the month, just beneath the all-time low mean of 576.2 feet for December set in 1964. Lake St. Clair was at 572.63 feet, just above the record low of 571.1 feet set in 1964. more...



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Great Lakes pizzas raise $6,000 for litter reduction, Belle Isle restoration

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Going strictly by pizza preference, it appears to be Huron and Michigan. They were marginally the most-ordered pizzas in a promotion that raised $6,000 for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

“They were all pretty close,” said Wesley Pikula, vice president of operations at Buddy’s. “They were within about twenty pies of each other.”

Last year, Echo reported that the popular Michigan pizza chain Buddy’s Pizza launched its Great Lakes Pizza Collection with a pledge.  more...



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Menomonee River overhaul will improve fish access

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Removing 1,100 feet of concrete later this year from the bed of the Menomonee River upstream of the Wisconsin Ave. bridge comes with the promise of fishing for salmon, steelhead and walleye - or just watching their spawning runs - at Hart Park in Wauwatosa and all the way to Menomonee Falls, a state fisheries biologist said Wednesday.

The river's concrete floor from Wisconsin Ave. north to the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge forms a steep chute with fast-flowing and shallow water that is impassable for all but a few Lake Michigan fish, said Will Wawrzyn, a biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Milwaukee.  more...



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Ohio solar project hit with setback while Ontario boosts renewable power

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U.S., the Canadian province of Ontario announced that it will shut down its last coal-fired power plants by the end of 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

The two events are a stark contrast in how bordering nations pursue an advanced energy economy as the debate about climate change continues following record-setting extreme weather in 2012.

In Ontario, a transition to renewables is being funded with a tariff charge to ratepayers. But in Ohio, under the state’s renewable energy standards, boosting renewable power is a gradual mandate with a cost cap for passed-on charges.  more...



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Hunting, fishing boost Michigan economy

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Fishing Lake St. ClairDespite drought conditions, low water levels and a rash of disease in the white-tailed deer population, fishing and hunting remained a boon to the Michigan economy in 2012.

With more than 1.19 million fishing licenses and more than 2.39 million hunting licenses purchased from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) between last March 1 and Jan. 17, 2013, the state surpassed its total revenue from the previous year by more than $375,000.  more...



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Lighthouse restoration stalls over location spat

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Efforts to restore a historic Port Clinton lighthouse that once guided boaters into the entrance of the Portage River have stalled because the city and the lighthouse’s owners can’t agree on where the structure should be relocated.
 
The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy, which is spearheading the project, wants the wooden lighthouse placed at Waterworks Park, just off the Lake Erie shore near the river's mouth once restoration is completed. The city wants it farther from the waterfront.
 
After a 13-month stalemate, the conservancy is taking its case to the public. The group will hold a community meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Ida Rupp Public Library. more...


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Museum prepares for centennial of 1913 Great Lakes storm that left more than 250 dead

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The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 claimed more than 250 lives from Nov. 7 through Nov. 10, 1913. A century later, the Port Huron Museum has plans to commemorate the storm’s centennial on an international scale.
 
The Port Huron Museum will observe the 100th anniversary this fall with memorials, re-enactments and a special exhibit dedicated to the storm’s impact on the Blue Water Area.
 
“Its maybe the biggest undertaking we’ve had in a very long time at the museum,” Susan Bennett, museum executive director, said.  more...


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