Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald: Shipwrecks in the Great Lakes

So many sailors have been lost on the Great Lakes that an

1,850 pound solid marble crucifix was placed 70 feet underwater in

Little Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan, near Petoskey to

commemorate them.  The Dynamic Great Lakes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Water is Life

Remember the story about King Midas? He wished everything he touched would turn to gold. Then he sat down at a banquet and his food turned to gold, his goblet of water turned to gold--he then understood his mistake. Water is life itself.  We can't drink gold.

Like King Midas, we should never sell our water for money. It belongs in the commons. It belongs to the eight states and two provinces--the bottom lands under the waters as well as the shores, tributaries and groundwater that feed the Great Lakes. By selling this water, the Great Lakes will shrink and their species will die.

Only 1% of this water is replenished by rain and snow.

The Dynamic Great Lakes is a primer about the Great Lakes system and its species.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Bruce Peninsula on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Bruce Peninsula on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Bruce Peninsula in Canada is a fascinating place for boating, fishing or hiking. Wind and waves have eroded the sandstone into sentinals such as the one pictured. It is part of the Niagara escarpment. The Door Peninsula in Wisconsin is also.

The Bruce hiking trail is beautiful with many views of Georgian Bay.

There are glass bottomed boats that will reveal to you shipwrecks on the bottom of Georgian Bay.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shore Ice in West Michigan

Wind and waves sculpted the ice and snow into ridges.  With the warm and then cold weather, walking here is unpredictable.  Best not to go too far out.

Read about how ice forms in West Michigan in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alternative Energy: excerpt from The Dynamic Great Lakes

I agree with the concept of alternative energy such as solar and wind power.  I do not agree with going forward with more nuclear power plants.  Here is an excerpt from my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.

There are 37 nuclear power plants in the Great Lakes basin.

Plutonium, the most toxic substance known, is a by-product of

nuclear power plants. It is extremely hazardous because of its high

radioactivity: for half of its quantity to decay, it takes 24,360 years.

Our aging Nuclear Power Plants on the Great Lakes presently have

nowhere to store plutonium except on their property.

On the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant property on the shore of

Lake Michigan near South Haven, eight 100 ton casks stand on a

concrete slab only 150 feet from the waters of Lake Michigan.

The 16½ foot high casks are eleven feet in diameter and weigh

100 tons. They consist of a steel basket encased in 29 inches of

concrete and stand on a concrete slab. Palisades may eventually have

25 casks. Plutonium is so toxic that it could mean an end to life as

we know it in the Great Lakes region. Low-level radionuclides like

tritium escape into the ecosystem from these plants and like other

toxins, radioactivity magnifies through food chains. The nuclear

power plants are aging and must be phased out. Their radioactive

wastes pose an urgent problem that will have to be solved soon. No

one has solved the problem of how to store plutonium safely.

Uranium mining on the Canadian shore of the Lake Huron Basin

also poses hazardous waste problems.

The other nuclear power plants on the shores of the Great Lakes

also lack a sensible solution. Nuclear waste should be stored in a

permanent place where there is little or no chance of reaching water.

Former Attorney General of Michigan, Frank Kelly, stated the

storage of nuclear waste “the greatest threat to the Great Lakes in the

history of mankind.”

The Great Lakes’ value can’t be measured in dollars and cents

only, for who can measure the loss of health or put a price on the

beauty of a place?