James Dau

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Photo Friday: Flooding in Michigan

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The heavy flooding that struck Michigan this month is evident in these photos from NASA’s Earth Observatory. The photos, taken from NASA’s Terra satellite, show the Saginaw River on the east side of the state and the Grand River as it flows west from the center of the state toward Lake Michigan on April 5 and April 21. A comparison of the photos shows a much-widened Grand River and major flooding conditions on the Saginaw River near the city of Saginaw, according to the NASA report. The National Weather Service continues to place Saginaw under a flood warning, stating that the river is not expected to fall below flood levels until May 1. The photos combine infrared and visual light imagery to increase the contrast between the water and land, highlighting the expansion of the rivers, according to NASA. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: Re-reversing the Chicago River

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(Photos by Lloyd DeGrane, Alliance for the Great Lakes)

The course of the Chicago River, reversed over a century ago by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent the flow of waste water into Lake Michigan, was re-reversed April 18 to alleviate flooding in the city in the wake of serious storm conditions, according to an Associated Press report. These photos show dark stormwater and untreated waste water flowing into the lighter waters of Lake Michigan, according to the Chicagoist, a popular news blog for the Chicago area. Echo has previously reported on the increasing frequency of urban flooding problems in Chicago and the Midwest. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: The Great Lakes from orbit

The Great Lakes, as seen from the International Space Station. Photo by Chris Hadfield, courtesy of NASA.

The Great Lakes appear through the clouds in this photo taken from the International Space Station by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. He posted it recently on his Twitter account  as part of a social media campaign to promote his team’s mission. Hadfield is the commander of Expedition 35, marking the first time a Canadian astronaut has been in command of the station, according to the Canadian Space Agency. Continue Reading →

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North Manitou and South Manitou islands get trail map treatment

South Manitou Lighthouse overlooks Lake Michigan on the coast of South Manitou Island. National Park Service photo by Kerry Kelly.

The National Park Service and MichiganTrailMaps.com have produced new trail maps of a pair of Lake Michigan islands near Traverse City, Mich. North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, have been added to MichiganTrailMaps.com’s Classic Trails of Michigan map series. Each map illustrates trail grades, primitive roads, maintained trails and unmarked modern and historic pathways. They also mark historic sites, ruins, natural features, elevation changes and hiking amenities found throughout the islands. Each map costs $4.95, and are available at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Centers, MichiganTrailMaps.com, the Manitou Island Transit ferry company and outdoor shops throughout the state. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: Thawing ice on Lake Michigan

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In this photograph from NASA’s Earth Science Photo of the Day, a January thaw caused this ice shelf on the Lake Michigan shoreline to collapse near Winnetka, Ill., according to photographer Neil Libby. As successive winter storms buffet the coast with strong winds and large waves, icy slush builds up on the newly-formed shore ice, creating ice shelves. The ice shelf pictured here stood 8 feet above the water. Continue Reading →

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Great Lakes region has some of best small towns

Former mining town Galena, Ill. was chosen for its many historic buildings, including those along its Main Street. Photo by Chris Light via Wikimedia Commons.

Three Great Lakes locales are listed by Business Insider as among the 10 best small towns in America. Traverse City, Mich., Door County, Wis. and Galena, Ill. are among those recognized March 31 for unique atmospheres, charming shops and restaurants and scenic beauty. “In a time when “authentic” is a travel buzzword, these hamlets are attracting visitors with an often unexpected—and surprisingly sophisticated—array of independent and locally-minded cultural, outdoor, and culinary offerings,” reports Business Insider, a business and technology news website. Continue Reading →

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Youth symposium highlights Great Lakes stewardship, research

Participants in the 2011 symposium in Ashland, Wis. embark on a canoe trip on Lake Superior

For four days in May, the Lake Superior Youth Symposium will bring students, teachers and scientists together to promote better stewardship of the Great Lakes. The symposium starts May 16 in Houghton, Mich. at Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center. The goal of the symposium, now in its 10th year, is to work with middle and high school students and their teachers to improve their understanding of environmental science and encourage the conservation of the Great Lakes. Attendees participate in hands-on workshops, challenge courses and art and music programs that highlight careers aimed at protecting the Great Lakes. Continue Reading →

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