Line 5 and the Great Lakes

Mackinaw-City-and-Mackinac-Bridge

Mackinaw City and Mackinac Bridge, photo by Sandy Hansen Photography 

“There is a pipeline that‘s sitting at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac. It was designed for a 50 year life and it’s been down there for 63 years. There’s a risk involved in this.”
-Mark Shriberg, National Wildlife Federation

In Line 5 puts Great Lakes at risk on Absolute Michigan via the University of Michigan (video below):

Up to 152 miles (245 km) of coastline in lakes Huron and Michigan could be fouled by a single oil spill at the straits, according to the simulations. When all 840 simulated spills are plotted on a map, a total of 720 miles (1,162 km) of shoreline in the U.S. and Canada are considered potentially vulnerable to spills that would require cleanup. Seven hundred twenty miles is roughly the distance from Detroit to Atlanta.

Areas at highest risk include Mackinac and Bois Blanc islands, as well as locations directly east and west of Mackinaw City. Communities also at risk include Beaver Island, Cross Village, Harbor Springs, Cheboygan and other places along the lakes Huron-Michigan shoreline.

…”Until now, no one knew exactly how much shoreline was vulnerable to spills in the Straits of Mackinac,” said Schwab, a research scientist at the U-M Water Center. “These findings show that under the right conditions, a spill in the Straits of Mackinac could affect a significant amount of shoreline and open-water areas in either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron, or both, very quickly.”

View Sandy’s photo bigger, see more in her aerial slideshow, and follow her on at Sandy Hansen Photography on Facebook.

 

Whipped Up Waves for the Weekend!

Whipped Up

Whipped Up, photo by Terry Clark

mLive reports that big waves are expected for parts of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan this weekend:

High winds and an arctic air mass are set to hit Michigan this weekend, and gales are in the forecast for the Great Lakes as a result.

A gale warning for much of Lake Huron’s offshore waters, issued by the National Weather Service, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday, April 2 to 5 a.m. Sunday, April 3.

Winds are expected to reach up to 41 mph from the northwest with gusts up to 53 mph. According to the warning, waves will build up to 13 feet tall with the potential for an occasional 19-footer. The largest waves in an area 5 nautical miles off shore and out are expected around 1 a.m. Sunday on Lake Huron.

If you want to tune in, check out NOAA’s Great Lakes Coast Watch and the Great Lakes Webcam page.

View Terry’s photo background big and see more in his Wintry Scenes slideshow.

More waves and more wild weather on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Winter Solstice: Ten seconds at Tahquamenon edition

winter-solstice-at-tahquamenon-falls

winter solstice, upper tahquamenon falls, michigan, photo by twurdemann

I wrote that the actual moment of the solstice was 11:48 PM last night, but it’s actually TONIGHT!  Anyway, here’s a simply gorgeous photo from the 2013 winter solstice at Tahquamenon Falls to kick off the shortest day of the year. I hope you can fit everything in and get a great start to your week!

View twurdemann’s incredible ten-second exposure bigger and see more including some more shots of the dramatically different scene at the Falls in 2013 in his winter slideshow.

Lots more Tahquamenon Falls and more about the winter solstice on Michigan in Pictures!

Michigan Rock(s)

Michigan Rock

Michigan Rock, photo by Seasons Photography

A few weeks ago I featured a great shot of kayaking to Turnip Rock from Seasons Photography. Here’s another shot from that trip!

View the photo bigger, see more in their Michigan slideshow and visit the Seasons Photography website.

Michigan’s Blue Economy

Where Two Waters Meet

Where Two Waters Meet, photo by Robby Ryke

Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, the three universities that make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC), have released a report titled “Innovating for the Blue Economy“. The report cites nearly $300 million in awards for water-related research and outreach from 2009 to 2013 that have led to innovations from dealing with invasive species and monitoring water quality to finding ways to optimize water use in agriculture. Their news release on the report prepared by the Anderson Economic Group (AEG) says in part:

AEG’s analysis showed that Michigan ranked fourth in the nation in the percentage of jobs associated with industries related to water, at 718,700.

“One in five Michigan jobs is tied to having good and plentiful water,” said AEG founder and CEO Patrick Anderson. “It is an important economic driver in Michigan, and extends to Great Lakes shipping, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and fishing, and over 80 other industry subsectors where Michigan workers are employed today.”

While most of Michigan’s water-related jobs are in water-enabled industries such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing, about 138,000 are in core water products and services producing water treatment facilities and solving water quality and quantity issues.

“Water isn’t just Michigan’s defining characteristic but the foundation of life on earth,” said Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Our three universities make significant commitments to support water-related research and programs. These not only support Michigan’s economy and quality of life, but position the state as a knowledge wellspring for the world’s most precious natural resource.”

Read on and read the full report right here. The report is chock full of interesting facts including that those 718,700 jobs represent 21.3% of Michigan’s total employment (4th in the nation) and details many of the accomplishments of Michigan’s investment in our “Big Three” university research programs. Also note that “downstream” industries like tourism that rely on healthy water resources aren’t included in the numbers.

Robby writes that Otter Creek Beach has to be the reason why Sleeping Bear Dunes was Voted “Most Beautiful Place in America” by Good Morning America. View his photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Michigan in Pictures has over 40 pages of water-related photos – drink deep!

Spring in a drop of water

Untitled

Untitled, photo by ~Abby

I feel certain that spring is about to break over us in a warm & refreshing way … I just wish I hadn’t felt this way for 3 weeks.

Check it out on black and see more in Abby’s Water slideshow.

More spring on Michigan in Pictures!