Great Lakes News Thread


Dec 2, 2000
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From Osprey Media:

ASI watching Great Lakes water levels, length of shipping season
quote:

While Algoma Steel Inc. would welcome proposed U.S. legislation that would authorize the construction of an estimated $340 million sister lock to the Poe Lock in Sault Michigan, two larger issues for the steelmaker now are low water levels and the length of the shipping season.

"Certainly a larger lock would provide a backup in case of any difficulties [at the Poe] and would offer Algoma more opportunities," Brenda Stenta, manager of corporate communications, said Thursday. "The challenge is that in order to bring thousand footers through here the water levels need to be addressed, that and the length of the shipping season are the bigger issues for us."
For the full story, go to This Hotlink

Comment: The drop in the water levels, while annoying now, is potentially a very serious one. The commerce on the Great Lakes involves billions of dollars annually, and anything that effects it has ramifications that effect, quite literally, the whole world. (And hence the reason for this thread.) I'll defer to the expertise of the Great Lakes guys on this forum to add their insights here.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From MLive.com:

Judge dismisses shippers' suit against Michigan ballast law
quote:

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – A federal judge has upheld a Michigan law designed to prevent oceangoing ships from dumping exotic species into the Great Lakes.

U.S. Judge John Feikens rejected a shipping industry suit claiming the law, which took effect this year, is unworkable and unconstitutional.
Full story HERE.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Canada.com/The Gazette:

Greenpeace activists board coal ship
quote:

TORONTO - Greenpeace activists today boarded a ship in Lake Erie carrying 30,000 tonnes of coal to Ontario's Nanticoke Generating Station.

The environmental organization, claims the Nanticoke facility is Canada's largest source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and Ontario's biggest source of smog-causing pollution.
Story at http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=7fa52a23-f5f1-4567-aa06-3a068c4d45e2&k=47503

Comment: Cam headed idiotic stunts like this, in my opinion, do more harm to their cause then any real good.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Edmonton Journal:

Trio taken to brig for boarding ship
quote:

OTTAWA -- Three Greenpeace activists who boarded and chained themselves to a coal carrier in Lake Erie on Thursday morning have been arrested.

Dominique Du Sablon, 20, of Toronto; Charlie Latimer, 25, of Vancouver; and Emily-Elizabeth Storey, 22, of Toronto have each been charged with two counts of mischief, a Greenpeace spokeswoman said.
For the rest, see http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=6760ee73-1db8-4afb-9d96-89dc7463a0b1
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Mischief!? In my book they're nothing less than terrorists deserving the fate of any pirate: slow raising by the neck to the yardarm. These idiots are deliberately trying to cut off electric power to thousands of innocent people, they put the members of the crew at risk, and they are attacking the ability of hundreds of coal miners to earn an honest living.

Mischief? Or terrorism?

-- David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I don't know if I'd call it so much terrorism as I would call it blockheaded stupidity from brain addeled nihilists who are incapable of thinking much beyond a few nebulous goals. Rabid activists like these people are funny that way.

I'll grant that they have some valid concerns but what they need are equally valid alternatives which are workable and which don't use the "All For The Cause" mentality as an excuse for showy idiocy like this.

In other words, if coal is so bad...and that much doesn't seem to be disputed by anybody...then come up with a better idea and make it happen.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Michael, I think a society destroys itself when it fails to confront the issues that threaten it. We have economic terrorists in our midst who hide behind the laudable cause of environmental protection. To even give a nod toward environmentalism as their motivation however is large-scale economic suicide and may even be the same as individuals. They are terrorists even if they do not throw bombs. Don't forget, the electricity they try to shut off is keeping someone alive on a respirator...keeping perhaps millions of older folks alive in the heat with air conditioning...preventing thousands of food poisoning deaths with refrigeration...allowing surgeons to operate miniature cameras to restore the inner workings of their patients. These terrorists who do not have the guts to come out and admit they are trying to bring down the economy should be treated with the same sympathy as we gave pirates and other such subhumans in years past. Our survival both as a society and as individuals depends upon it.

-- David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>To even give a nod toward environmentalism as their motivation however is large-scale economic suicide and may even be the same as individuals.<<

Well, I didn't say it was their motivation. I'd treat it as more like an excuse then anything else. That said, that doesn't mean that the issues they pay lip service to are null and void in and of themselves. It does mean that at the very least, these people are intellectually bankrupt in that they want to tear down "The System" but have no earthly idea what to replace it with.

At worst, they are the very sort of terrorists you describe.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Toledo Blade:

The Port of Toledo striving to diversify its freight business
quote:

One need only look through the chain-link fence at the Port of Toledo general-cargo dock to see the fruit of efforts by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and its stevedore to diversify the local waterborne freight business.

Row upon row of steel pipe, imported from Germany for construction of a natural-gas pipeline across the central United States, is stacked around much of the dock's south end.

Inventory surges when a ship comes in with a fresh 20,000-ton load - about 1,000 pipe sections - then dwindles as the sections are loaded onto railcars in lots of nine or 11 for shipment out of Toledo.
For the rest of the story, go to http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070908/NEWS11/709080379
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From MSNBC:

The Coast Guard makes sure it's ready for Great Lakes oil spill
quote:

DULUTH, Minn. -- It's a spooky morning on Lake Superior. About two miles off Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge, the Coast Guard Cutter Alder is socked in by fog.

Superior is dead quiet and smooth as a swimming pool. These are perfect conditions for mopping up an oil spill.

Jeremy Mitchell directed a dozen guardsmen on deck. They're pulling a three-armed metal pump and folded orange fabric from pickup truck-sized aluminum crates.
Full story at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20657490/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Maritime Global Net:

ST LAWRENCE SEAWAY TRAFFIC DOWN
quote:

CARGO volumes and the number of transits through the St Lawrence Seaway up to the end of August are up by 14%, to 23.6m tonnes, and 9%, to 2,443, respectively.
Story at http://www.mgn.com/news/dailystorydetails.cfm?storyid=8083&type=2

Comment: Huh? How can it be down when it's up you wonder? You just have to see the rest for the full context.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Examiner.com, North Carolina:

No ballast exchange in Isle Royale waters, superintendent orders
quote:

LANSING, Mich. (Map, News) - Boaters and commercial shippers will be prohibited from emptying ballast tanks near Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior unless their contents have been treated to kill invasive species, officials said Monday.

Superintendent Phyllis Green said her emergency order was designed to prevent water contaminated with a fish-killing virus from being dumped near the island, home to 12 types of trout including the rare coaster brook trout.

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, is among many exotic species that scientists believe have been scooped into ships' ballast tanks in foreign ports, then discharged into the Great Lakes.

"The entire lake fishery is threatened by this virus," Green said. "We need to do everything we possibly can to stop it."
For the rest of the story, go to http://www.examiner.com/a-940209~No_ballast_exchange_in_Isle_Royale_waters__superintendent_orders.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From BYM Maritime:

US Coast Guard rescues sailor from Lake Ontario
quote:

The Coast Guard rescued a man on Lake Ontario at approximately 11:58 a.m. today.
Gary Leary, 61, of Rochester was pulled from the water by Coast Guard Station Rochester's 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew.

Leary was sailing with a friend when the boom of his sailing vessel swung and knocked him from his boat. Leary was not wearing a life jacket and his friend did not know how to operate the sailing vessel.
Story at http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=15670

Comment: Another aspirant for the "coveted" Darwin Award here?​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Toledo Blade:

Power outage shuts King bridge, delays ship
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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge was closed to traffic for nearly 2 1/2 hours yesterday evening by a power failure, while a freighter was delayed for about 4 hours.

Power to the drawbridge's two operating lift motors failed when the motor vessel Mississagi requested an opening to head downriver with a load of grain at about 4:15 p.m., said Kristin Cousino, a senior engineer with the city division of Streets, Bridges, and Harbor.
More at http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071013/NEWS11/710130426
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The New York Times:

Inch by Inch, Great Lakes Shrink, and Cargo Carriers Face Losses
quote:

OSWEGO, N.Y. – From his office at the port here, Jonathan Daniels stared at a watermark etched on the rocks that hug one of the commercial piers – a thick dark line several inches above the surface of Lake Ontario – and wondered how much lower the water would dip.

“What we need is some rain,” said Mr. Daniels, director of the Port of Oswego Authority, one of a dozen public port agencies on the United States side of the Great Lakes. “The more we lose water, the less cargo the ships that travel in the Great Lakes can carry, and each time that happens, shipping companies lose money,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s people like you and I who are going to pay the price.”

Water levels in the Great Lakes are falling; Lake Ontario, for example, is about seven inches below where it was a year ago. And for every inch of water that the lakes lose, the ships that ferry bulk materials across them must lighten their loads by 270 tons – or 540,000 pounds – or risk running aground, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group for United States-flag cargo companies.
Full two page story starts at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/nyregion/22oswego.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Note: A subscription may be required to view this article but it's free and well worth signing up for. While the difference in depth is a matter of inches, given the sheer size of the lakes, that is a lot of water!​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Maritime Global Net:

ST LAWRENCE TRAFFIC STILL LAGGING
quote:

TRAFFIC and cargo volumes on the St Lawrence Seaway are still well down on last year. Latest figures confirm that the number of ships and the quantities of most types of cargo are well down on the same time last year. Total cargo volume to 30 September was 28.1m tonnes, against 32.4m in the same period last year. Transits totalled 2,929 against 3,147 in to 30 September 2006.
For the rest, see http://www.mgn.com/news/dailystorydetails.cfm?storyid=8197&type=2

Comment: Yep, low water levels are a factor here.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Freep.com (Nope, I'm not making this up!):

Michigan leaders push U.S. for fix in St. Clair River
quote:

With no natural relief -- like more rain and snow -- on the horizon, three powerful Michigan politicians are prodding federal bureaucrats to dust off decades-old ideas about doing something unnatural to help restore water levels now at near-historic lows on Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, a Macomb County Republican, have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider a quick fix at the head of the St. Clair River to stymie the flow out of Lake Huron and help shippers, boaters and wildlife suffering from low water levels.

They want the corps to consider placing a flow inhibitor -- such as concrete speed bumps -- even before the completion of a new study that's examining whether dredging exacerbated low water levels by creating a larger drain hole. Any man-made fix would be hugely controversial, potentially expensive and certain to encounter a minefield of regulatory hurdles on both sides of the border.
For the rest of this rather lengthy story, see http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071028/NEWS05/710280611/1007/NEWS

Comment: I don't know what these people expect can be done. One could alter the waterways for slower drainage as proposed, but you can only do so much when there isn't enough snow and rain to replenish the lakes in the first place. A desire to act quickly is understandable, but the fix could well cause more problems then it solves.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Star Tribune:

Scientists: Shore development may be greatest threat to Lake Superior
quote:

DULUTH – Development along the shores of Lake Superior could be the greatest threat to the lake, scientists said during a conference in Duluth.
The panel of scientists who spoke Monday agreed that pollution, rising temperatures and invasive species also threaten the world's largest freshwater lake and its cold, sensitive ecosystem.
For the rest, go to http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1517855.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From BYM Maritime:

US Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan begins Operation Fall Retrieve
quote:

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan has begun its annual retrieval of seasonal aids to navigation throughout Lake Michigan.

This mission is part of the largest domestic buoy recovery operation in the U.S.

Coast Guard units based in Muskegon, MI, Green Bay, WI, and Kenosha, WI commenced removing 128 buoys and 32 fog signals located within harbors throughout Lake Michigan.
See http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=17529 for the rest.​
 

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