Friday, April 21, 2017

Mercury Rising- Scientists Baffled Over Increasing Mercury Levels In Great Lakes Fish

Authorities recently gave out advisories regarding the high level of toxic mercury in Great Lakes fish. With the advisories came a recommendation to limit certain fish species consumption.Livnfresh is an advocate for keeping Lake Michigan and the Great lakes beautiful and clean for humans as well as the creatures that dwell beneath.

Side effects of Mercury

Mercury, a heavy, silver metal forms as a liquid at room temperature and is deadly to animals, especially to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA discovered that short-term exposure to mercury found in water can result in  health hazards. Kidney damage can happen when exposed to mercury at levels beyond the contaminant level of 0.002 ppm. The toxic substance can also result to brain damage in children and hinder brain development in developing babies. Mercury can also attack the immune system and damage heart function in adults.

Since 1970 the mercury content found in Greta Lakes based fish continued to drop progressively. The reduction of mercury was the result of stricter Midwestern smokestacks regulations and the closure of coal-fired manufacturing plants. Also, technology provides massive benefit for pollution prevention.

 Research scientist at the Environment and Climate Change Canada, Agnes Richards said, “We’ve been monitoring since the 1970s and the (mercury contamination) trends overall have been declining, as have been the emissions of mercury into the atmosphere and deposition into the lakes.”

Richards also added, “We decided to look at recent trends, from 2000 to 2015. What we found is, at some specific sites, trends have reversed.”

 Reversal of the trend

In the past years, the trend started to change. Scientist found mercury level increasing in several Great Lakes fish like walleye and lake trout. Another peculiar case in the toxic mercury reports shows that not all fishes are affected. Researchers are still conducting more studies to find out the reason for the incidence.

Joseph Bohr, the aquatic biologist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division claimed that mercury level in some fish continues to rise. He said (in the same article), “Out of 19 data sets, we see eight where we can see a significant trend.”

 In Lake Michigan, Bohr mentioned that walleye and lake trout in the Grand Traverse bays show an increase of mercury content. Scientists can also see the same trend in Lake Huron in the walleye from Saginaw Bay and the lake trout found in Thunder Bay. Lake Erie also shows mercury level rising. The aquatic biologist said that the average increase of mercury level reaches up to 2% annually.

For the meantime, the increasing level of mercury toxicity remains in isolated areas.

Scientist Hypothesis-are storms to blame?

Ecotoxicologist of Environmental Canada, Shane De Solla believed that the warming of the Great Lakes shows a key factor in the trend. De Solla, the co-author of the research said, “The lakes are slightly warmer, and that increases the production of methyl mercury.”

Richards also mentioned that the region’s regular strong storms in the past years can also affect the Great Lakes. She said, “That results in a lot of flooding, and the re-suspension of sediments, what was buried before can become exposed, and that can increase the conversion of mercury to methylmercury.”

 Meanwhile, Bohr mentioned about the invasive species which “significantly changed the food web.” These invasive species significantly altered the fish diets.

He said that in Saginaw, Thunder bays, and Grand Traverse carp are not showing any increase in mercury levels. Bohr added that in the Detroit River and St. Clair River carp are even seen decreases in mercury. He believed that the findings show important clues because carp being bottom feeders and eat differently from big sports fish.

Bohr said that carp are “low on the food chain” and “mucking around on the bottom eating insects, basically.”

De Solla believed that the mercury level in the Great Lakes will not cause any “catastrophic in the next little while.” However, if it continues to increase then “it could become a problem again.”

Mercury levels found in the fishes remains below the US Environmental Protection thresholds. Nevertheless, researchers want to establish if the reported mercury level is a temporary condition or will cause an environmental concern.

 Billions worth of fish industry possibly effected

The outcome can greatly affect Michigan’s fishing industry.  The data of The Michigan Department of Natural Resources concluded that anglers spent at least $2.4 billion in equipment and trip-related expenditure in 2011.

What Can We As Michigan Residents Do?

Get involved. Organizations like Health Great Lakes can always use support. **Also the image was from the movie starring Bruce Willis “Mercury Rising” in case you missed the tie in.



from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/scientist-baffled-over-high-level-of-mercury-found-in-great-lakes-fish/

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Friday, April 14, 2017

4 Unforgettable Shipwrecks in Lake Michigan

  • Lady Elgin

5 Ship Wrecks You Need To Remember In Michigan
Lady Elgin remains as the worst open water disaster in the history of the Great Lakes. The incident happened on September 8, 1860, claimed the lives of more than 300 people.  A smaller vessel named Augusta, a 129-foot schooner rammed the 252-foot wooden steamship, Lady Elgin at a speed of 11 knots.

Witnesses account say that the second mate of Augusta spotted Lady Elgin 30 minutes before the collision. However, the schooner did change its course until it was too late. The smaller vessel managed to correct its course 10 minutes before the collision.

When Augusta collided with Lady Elgin, there was music in the forward cabin. The captain of Augusta sailed away thinking that their vessel sustained more damage than the larger vessel. But Augusta torn a big part of the Lady Elgin, the crew lowered a lifeboat but was not secured. The lifeboat just floated away before passengers could go onboard.

  • SS Carl D. Bradley

5 Unfortettable Shipwrecks in Michigan Card Bradley


SS Carl D. Bradley was the largest ship that sails the Great Lakes between the years 1927 and 1949. The 639-foot “Queen of the Lakes was an engineering spectacle as it serves as the largest and longest self-unloading freighter of its days.


The vessel used to tow limestone to the deep water ports of Lake Michigan from Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Before it sank, the Carl Bradley collided with another ship, MV White Rose along St. Clair River. The damage may have contributed to the disaster the following year.

A massive gale-force storm hit Carl Bradley on November 18 after a haul delivery in Gary, Indiana. The vessel was on its way heading north in the upper part of Lake Michigan., The freighter began cracking in to around 5:30 pm when the storm’s wind reaching 65 miles per hour and waves began to soar up to 20 feet tall.

The crew made three radio calls of Mayday but rescuers reached the freighter too late, only two survived from the 35 crewmen on board the Carl Bradley.

  • Niagara

Niagra Ship Sun in lake michigan

Records show that Niagara was the finest steamers of its era. The side-wheeled vessel was built in 1846 in Buffalo New York and serves a main transportation for both passengers and good in the Great Lakes.

However, on a tragic day of September 24, 1856, the steamship caught fire around 6:00 pm. The fire started in the engine room but the cause of the fire remains a mystery until today. One theory surfaces about the incident is that some flammable cargo may have cause the fire.

Most of the crew and passengers were able to jump from Niagara. Nearby ships later rescued the stranded people. However, 60 out of the 300 passengers died on that day and the entire ship was lost in the water.

  • L.R. DOTY

One of the most memorable shipwrecks in Lake Michigan was L.R. Dotty. The vessel was one of the last wooden steamships to set sail on the Great Lakes in 1893. Steel become the standards for newer models. The 291-foot steamer had reinforced steels and very much sturdy according to the standards.

L.R. Dotty also has a powerful and huge engine but did not have any electricity of any up to date communication apparatus.  The vessel was no match for the vicious storm on October 25, 1898. On that same day, several vessels on the lake perished including Chicago boardwalk and Milwaukee break wall. The storm claimed all the lives and cargo onboard of L.R. Dotty.  The ship was later discovered after 112 years since it sank in the bottom of Lake Michigan.

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Images:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PS_Lady_Elgin.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Card_D_Bradley_Pilot_house_door.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olive_Jeanette.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Niagara_%281813%29



from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/4-unforgettable-shipwrecks-lake-michigan/

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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Best Beaches in Traverse City MI 2017[Local Friday Features]

Traverse City, (my favorite city in the world) lies on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bays and is the largest city in the 21-county of Northern Michigan. If you are heading “Up North” and want to “explore some of Northern Michigan’s Best Beaches“, then make sure to read our article.

TC is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States reportedly, however rumors swirl about the Cherry Festival bringing in cherries from Washington for the National Cherry Festival…. The festival attracts at least 500,000 tourists for a full week in July. Talk about “fudgy central”. If you dont know what the term “fudgy” means, it means you’re not a local. People visiting always seem to stop at some of the fudge shops that are scattered across TC.

History

French voyagers named the city after the Grand Traverse Bay as “La Grande Traverse.” It means the long crossing across the mouth of the bay. In 1839, Rev Peter Doughtery started the first permanent settlement in Traverse City.

The Best Beaches in Traverse City

Traverse City draws tourist because of its many spectacular beaches, crystal clear waters, amazing hotels and world class restaurants. To make your next vacation easier, we compiled a list of the city’s best beaches.


Traverse City State Park

Photo via Facebook

The beach is located just two miles west of downtown TC. It stretches a quarter mile of beautiful sandy beach on Grand Traverse Bay. This place also offers a great camping site with at least 300 camping wooded setting spots.It also happens to run adjacent to the Pinestead Reef resort which is one of my favorite places.

To get there, just cross a bridge across US-31, to reach the camping ground.

Bryant Park

best beaches in traverse city, bryant park.

Photo via Facebook

Ok, maybe I’m a little biased on this one. I grew up right across the street from this beach, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Located within a few minutes’ away from downtown, Bryant Park sits on the West Grand Traverse Bay.  The beach faces west, so it is always great to catch the sunsets here. Situated at the base of Old Mission Peninsula, it is also a great place for kids to play under the pine trees.

Bryant Park is super close to, Bardon’s Wonder Freeze, a mid-century shop that was my favorite place growing up to get ice cream after a baseball game at the Civic’s Center.

Clinch Park

Clinch Park Traverse City, Best Beaches In Traverse City Michigan 2017

Photo via Facebook

Popular because it’s gorgeous after just having a major facelift a few years ago, Clinch Park is a “fudgy” and local favorite.

Since its right downtown, you can head there after that shopping spree, or after indulging in some beverages or food.You can burn those calories (from dining in downtown TC’s cafes) in several activities on the beach. Clink Park offers kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), and canoes rentals.

Although parking is not easily accessible, except for some spots scattered across the marina,you can park along Cass Street and cross the underpass to get to Clink Park. Cass Street is located on the north side of West Grandview Parkway.

East Bay Park

East Bay Park Best Beaches in Traverse City Michigan 49685

Photo Via Facebook

East Bay Park is great to bring along your toddlers along because the beach is shallow than most of the beach in TC. Perfect for those little kids to splash and enjoy the warm water and lifeguards watch the beach during the summer.  It is located on the bottom of the East Grand Traverse. The beach also has a playground and restrooms.

West End Beach

If you want to party in TC, then the West End Beach sure top the list. It’s hard to really differentiate what is Clinch Park beach and West End Beach, because they are essentially the same spot. But the maria is what separates West End Beach from Clinch Park.

If you see people drinking beer and sporting backwards ball caps, then you are probably at West End Beach. This place offers several sand volleyball courts, an open space for Frisbees or to play catch. The beach is also buzzing with people lying along its mile-ling sweet sandy beach. The Volley ball section of the beach is populated with teens and young adults. Boaters often park their boats and “Red Neck Yacht Club” it up for days.

West End beach is literally across the street from restaurants, cafes, and shops. So, you could just grab a bite and go back to swim in no time. The beach is located west of Division Street and on the north side of Grandview Parkway.

 Power Island

Power Island Best Beaches in Traverse City Michigan To Visit

Photo Via Facebook

Now, if boating is your life, then head on to Power Island. This place offers almost everything for the adventurer. Power Island has great wooded hikes, old-school camping sites, and sandy beaches.

Also, it’s great to spend time some quality time with your loved ones since the scenic island is secluded from the busy noise of the city. The island is located 3.5 miles from Bowers Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula.

Haserot Beach

Haserot Beach Old Mission Peninsula

Photo Via Facebook

Haserot Beach is a place also known for toned down ambiance. This place will give you a quieter beach time since people rarely go here. Haserot Beach is located on Old Mission Harbor and features a playground, picnic area, boat launch and restrooms.

You need to drive a little farther from downtown TC to visit, but trust me it’s worth the drive. Kite boarders love this spot. It is located north of Traverse City about 18 miles via M-37.

North Bar Lake

North Bar Lake Beach

Photo Via Facebook

If you want to go in an off beaten path to have a pristine quiet time on the beach, then North Bar Lake is a perfect destination for you. It’s a 40-minute drive from downtown TC but the Sleeping Bear Dunes is one exceptional place to visit.

To get there you can drive via M-72 about 30 miles from downtown Traverse City. You also need a park permit to enter the beach but you can also pay once you get there.

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