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community weblog - [ July 16, 2012 ]

Voyage studying plastic in Great Lakes sets sail

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Until now, scientists could only guess at the amount of plastic waste in the Great Lakes.

This week, a team of researchers sets sail to conduct the first-ever survey of plastic pollution in the world’s largest fresh water system.

“You really have to start with, ‘Is this even an issue in the Great Lakes?  [With] 35 million people living around the Great Lakes, all the plastic you see blowing around, common sense is that it’s out there,” says Sherri “Sam” Mason, professor within SUNY Fredonia’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Drowning latest reminder of lake’s deceptive ferocity

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I just happened to be walking along the beach near that popular public-access site after watching the tail end of the Gary South Shore Air Show. As the F-16 fighter jets exited the friendly skies, I was surprised to see swimmers bobbing in the unfriendly waters, well off the shore.

Further down the shoreline, near West Beach, two lifeguards told swimmers to get out of the water after rip current warnings were put into effect. But there are no lifeguards at the Riverwalk and most other beaches.

For 15 years, I’ve written too many columns on Lake Michigan drownings, most caused by rip currents, the vacuum-like force in the surf zone of our deceiving Great Lake.  more...



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Unsafe waters? Pollution problems plague area beaches

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Woodlawn Beach State Park is one of the worst beaches in the country for continuing poor water quality, according  to a national environmental group.

The beach is one of 19 in the country that the Natural Resources Defense Council labels as “repeat offenders,” with more than 25 percent of the water samples at the beach exceeding federal standards during the past five years.

Despite the reputation, the beach has been packed this summer as hundreds come each day seeking a respite from the hot, dry weather. It was hard to find a parking spot at the beach Thursday afternoon. An estimated 800 to 1,000 people came to cool off in the Lake Erie waters and breeze. more...



Environment  

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Ancient 'New York City' of Canada Discovered

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Today New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast but new research reveals that 500 years ago, at a time when Europeans were just beginning to visit the New World, a settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in Canada, was the biggest, most complex, cosmopolitan place in the region.  more...


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How to Identify Bighead, Silver, Grass and Common Carps

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Created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest Region, this video will teach you how to identify bighead and silver carps using grass carp and common carp as points of comparison. more...


Environment  

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Take Two

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After reading a draft of Mike Ingham’s latest article on mast bend for our September issue, I had the good fortune to hitch a ride with him and fellow Quantum sailmaker Tim Healy for some two-boat J/24 tuning on a beautiful afternoon in Newport, R.I. With about 10 knots of breeze and minimal chop, we set off with the end goal of the J/24 Worlds in Rochester, N.Y., in mind. Here’s how a couple of our experts made the most of their practice session:  more...


Sailing  

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