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What’s Eating the Local Food Movement?

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EVENT Tuesday, December 4. The Northern Michigan Culinary Arts Community invites the public to a talk by Patty Cantrell, “Local Food: A Prescription for National Healing.” With free, locally sourced appetizers made by SEEDS kids and some of our area’s most talented chefs. 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Frankfort Rec Center, across from the Frankfort Laundromat.   more...


Events  Other  

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As Great Lakes plummet, towns try to save harbors

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For more than a century, easy access to Lake Michigan has made Onekama a popular place for summer visitors and a refuge for boaters fleeing dangerous storms. Now the community itself needs a rescue, from slumping lake levels that threaten its precious link to open water.

The Great Lakes, the world's biggest freshwater system, are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures, a trend that accelerated with this year's almost snowless winter and scorching summer. Water levels have fallen to near-record lows on Lakes Michigan and Huron, while Erie, Ontario and Superior are below their historical averages. The decline is causing heavy economic losses, with cargo freighters forced to lighten their loads, marinas too shallow for pleasure boats and weeds sprouting on exposed bottomlands, chasing away swimmers and sunbathers.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Environmental scientist uses art to communicate Great Lakes issues

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A University of Michigan ecosystem scientist uses art to communicate environmental issues to the wider public.

Sara Adlerstein González, 60, studies aquatic ecology at the university’s School of Natural Resources. She is displaying some of her work at an art show called Water Blues through the end of December.

The show has a double meaning, according to Adlerstein. The shades of blue utilized in the art represent the beauty of the Great Lakes but also the love, melancholy and sadness of blues music and environmental degradation.

It is free and available for public viewing at the “Art and Environment Gallery” of the Dana Building in Ann Arbor, Mich.  more...



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Officials ponder harbor project

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The St. Clair City Council will consider during its regular meeting today an $11,000 project for the city’s boat harbor.

Dan Lockwood, a member of the St. Clair Boat Harbor Commission, said the $11,000 plan would include purchasing three personal watercraft docks, floating docks to expand the canoe and kayak launch area, and racks for canoes and kayaks.

Lockwood said the harbor, at 902 S. Second St., was rebuilt in 2008. But it isn’t generating enough money to make its annual bond payment.  more...


Environment  Other  

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Lake Erie’s guardians

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Disputes are brew­ing over Ohio’s new per­mit sys­tem to gov­ern wa­ter with­draw­als from Lake Erie un­der the Great Lakes re­gional com­pact.

A new ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee will de­fine “ad­verse im­pact” to Lake Erie and its trib­u­tar­ies. State law­mak­ers will make nom­i­na­tions to the panel to the Ohio Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

Ohio DNR Dep­uty Direc­tor Karl Geb­hardt said his de­part­ment ex­pects con­tro­versy over the ap­point­ments, as it at­tempts to bal­ance en­vi­ron­men­tal needs against the de­mands of man­u­fac­tur­ers, agri­bus­i­ness, and other ma­jor in­dus­tries.  more...



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Planners to work on vision for Lake Michigan trail

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Government planners from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin are among those meeting next week to work on plans for a proposed 1,640-mile trail network around Lake Michigan.

MLive.com reports  the biking, hiking and kayaking route in the four states along the shoreline of Lake Michigan is the topic of the Nov. 8-9 Lake Michigan Trail Conference at Saugatuck Center for the Arts in southwestern Michigan. More than 150 people, including planners, are expected to attend.  more...



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Winds from Sandy make for good Chicago surfing

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Hundreds of miles from its turbulent center, superstorm Sandy's outer bands were violent enough to rip up near-record high waves Tuesday on Lake Michigan, sending a community of avid surfers in Chicago into the cold, churning waters despite warnings from city officials.

Wave heights out in the middle of the lake reached 20 feet, short of the 23-foot record set last year by a strong storm pushing down from Canada. The difference this time is the winds are from the edges of what had been a tropical storm, one vast enough to reach hundreds of miles inland.  more...



Other  Watersports  

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Great Lakes Shipwrecks exhibit at Public Museum tells stories of 13 ships

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MM&N1i.jpg“The ship is making water fast,” the note began. “We have turned around and are headed for Milwaukee.”

The 1929 handwritten note, found locked away in a message box amid the wreckage of the SS Milwaukee, is just one of the artifacts on display at “Great Lakes Shipwrecks, Storms and Stories,” a new exhibit opening at Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, Nov. 10. more...


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Waterbird die-off hits Lake Michigan

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In a dramatic scene along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Schoolcraft County, researchers have recently discovered the carcasses of nearly 700 dead waterbirds, thought to be the victims of Type-E botulism.

Similar large Lake Michigan bird die-offs were recorded in the Upper Peninsula in October 2007 and downstate near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 2006.  more...



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Michigan cities may soon receive windfall from Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to operate parks and rec

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Southern Michigan cities struggling to operate parks and recreational facilities may soon receive a windfall from an unlikely source: the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The fund was established in 1976 to buy land for natural resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding comes from royalties paid by companies that drill for oil and gas on state land.  more...



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Erie Canal transformed New York

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On Oct. 26, 1825, the Erie Canal opened for traffic. It was the first direct link between the eastern United States and the interior of the United States, and it made New York City the country’s primary port.

The 363-mile canal directly connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean using a system of 83 locks to manage the 568-foot elevation change between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. The 4-foot-deep, 40-foot-wide canal also used 18 aqueducts to cross ravines and rivers. The canal reduced the cost of shipping by as much as 95 percent; opened up western New York for rapid development; and made settlements near the Great Lakes more accessible for settlers and businesses.  more...



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Sign Of Fall: NYPA Removes Docks, Buoys From St. Lawrence

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Despite mild weather, the New York Power Authority has started preparing for winter by removing docks and buoys along the St. Lawrence River.
 
Boaters and anglers typically don't like it when the docks are removed early. They're hoping to squeeze in as much time on the water as possible before bad weather sets in.
 
Charter fishing boat operators say removing the docks when weather conditions are still good makes it tough to book customers . more...


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Kids study water levels' impact on St. Lawrence wetlands

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Construction of the giant hydropower dam near Massena in the 1950s forever tamed the once-wild St. Lawrence River. It allowed engineers to harness the river's natural ebb and flow for energy production and to protect homes and ports at the same time. But in the process, it hurt the indigenous plants and animals that depend on those highs and lows to survive.   more...


Environment  Other  

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Future of buoy could be sunk without funding

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Thunder rolled in the distance over Lake Michigan. Drops of rain cracked the glass-like surface of Lake Macatawa as Ed Verhamme and Brandon Ellefson eased their boat into the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, a $50,000 weather buoy trailing behind. If the floating data center was still anchored in Lake Michigan, 2 miles off Tunnel Park, they could have been reading live reports about wind speed and direction, wave height and air and water temperatures as the storm approached.  more...


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Seaway bridge statuses hit smartphones

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So much for blaming getting stuck at a lift bridge when you're late for work.
 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation figures it has put that old Niagara canard to bed by releasing its bridge statuses to the public. Motorists will now be able to check the status of the bridges over the Welland Canal via smartphone.  more...


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