Clair River News

02 Nov 2016

Motor City Welcomes Navy’s Newest Ship

USS Detroit (LCS 7) conducts acceptance trials. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin-Michael Rote)

USS Detroit (LCS 7) was commissioned in its namesake city of Detroit on October 22. Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, officially placed the vessel in commission. "Today is about service. Cmdr. Michael P. Desmond, who command LCS Crew 108 “Ghost Riders,” assumed command of Detroit. "USS Detroit is truly blessed to have the opportunity to commission in its namesake city. Speakers included Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. "Cmdr.

26 Feb 2016

Icebreakers Go to Work on St. Clair River

Canadian Coast Guard icebreaking vessel Samuel Risley (File photo courtesy of the Canadian Coast Guard)

Icebreaking vessels from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards are scheduled to break ice in the North Channel of the St. Clair River, Friday. Canadian Coast Guard ship Samuel Risley will break ice in the river near Algonac, Mich., and Harsens Island. Due to concentrated ice buildup, the water levels in the area rose between 15 and 20 inches overnight prompting the Clay Township Emergency Operation Center and Champion’s Auto Ferry to request Coast Guard assistance. Throughout the remainder of the winter, U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers will continue to respond in the St.

10 Aug 2015

Great Lakes Shippers Want 'Float Down' to End

Photo: porthuronfloatdown.com

U.S. and Canadian vessel operators on the Great Lakes are urging the public to not participate in the Port Huron Float Down scheduled for August 16, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) and Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) said in a joint press release. The annual event, which fills the seven-mile stretch of the St. Clair River from Port Huron to Marysville with thousands of people in all manner of craft, is unsanctioned and unsafe, needlessly jeopardizing participants and hindering commercial navigation at the height of the shipping season, according to the associations.

27 Mar 2015

USCG Conducting Ice Flushing Operations

 The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay conducts ice-flushing operations in the St. Clair River, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Ice flushing operations help keep brash ice from forming and encourages the flow of ice down river preventing possible flood situations. U.S. Coast Guard video by USCGC Bristol Bay.

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures, and rain has caused plate ice to weaken, creating large and small ice floes through the Great Lakes and its river systems. The Coast Guard posted a video of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay performing ice flushing operations on the St. Clair river. You can see the video here.

21 Mar 2015

U.S. Coast Guard Clears Great Lakes Shipping Channels

USCGC Bristol Bay: The U.S. Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard began to prepare for the upcoming shipping season this week, with ice breaking operations on the Great Lakes, says a report in AP. The U.S. Coast Guard's 140-foot icebreaking cutter Bristol Bay broke up ice that remains on some Great Lakes shipping channels in the St. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay welcomed aboard members of the media Friday to demonstrate icebreaking on the St. Clair River. It's all part of an effort to remove unstable ice, provide flood relief and facilitate commerce. The Bristol Bay was cutting ice well into May last year.

22 Jan 2015

Video: Coastguards Continue Great Lakes Icebreaking

Image: USCG

Continued icebreaking operations from the U.S. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards are jointly continuing Operation Coal Shovel, the seasonal domestic icebreaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River systems, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. As of Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) icebreakers have logged 493 icebreaking hours and assisted 53 vessels since beginning Operation Coal Shovel on January 8. Operation Coal Shovel’s mission…

15 Jan 2015

Great Lakes: US Cargoes Surge on Milder Weather

Photo courtesy: Lake Carriers Association

With the vast ice fields of December 2013 a distant but still troubling memory, U.S.-flag cargo movement on the Great Lakes this past December rebounded significantly. Shipments totaled 9.6 million tons, an increase of nearly 35 percent compared to a year ago. Every commodity – iron ore, coal, limestone, cement, salt, sand and grain, registered increases ranging from 10 to 209 percent. “The increases recorded this past December dramatically illustrate just how badly the early onset of ice in December 2013 slowed Great Lakes shipping,” said James H.I.

21 Apr 2014

Coast Guard Concludes Great Lakes Icebreaking

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Randy Beauchamp

The U.S. Coast Guard concluded icebreaking operations on the lower Great Lakes, Monday, more than four months after it started, Dec. 15, 2013. Operation Coal Shovel is a binational domestic icebreaking effort covering the St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Detroit/St. Clair River System and southern Lake Huron. Crews aboard Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, Hollyhock, Bristol Bay, Neah Bay and Morro Bay were joined by crews from Canadian Coast Guard Ships Samuel Risley, Griffon and Des Groseilliers during this year’s operation.

20 Feb 2014

Great Lakes Icebreaking Time Quadrupled by Coast Guard

Great Lakes icebreaking: Photo courtesy of the Algoway crew/USCG

The US Coast Guard says that its nine Great Lakes icebreakers put in nearly four times as many icebreaking hours the first quarter of this fiscal year as compared to previous years, due to harsh winter weather. Pictured to the right: the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw and the crew of tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort cut through the ice as they escort motor vessel Algoway through the southeast bend in the lower St. Clair River near Harsens Island, Feb. 2, 2014. The crew of Mackinaw is assisting in Operation Coal Shovel one of two ice-breaking operations conducted in the Great Lakes.

20 Jul 2012

Dredge Sunk, Tugboat Capsized, in Lake Huron

There were no injuries reported, but a 500-foot diesel sheen has been reported. The accident, involving the motor vessel Arthur J., a 110-foot dredge, and the 38-foot tugboat Madison,  occurred five nautical miles north-northwest of the entrance to the St. Clair River, one nautical mile from the Michigan shoreline and four nautical from Canadian waters. Both vessels are owned by MCM Marine. Although the dredge can potentially carry 8,000 gallons of diesel, the owner reports that it had between 1,500 and 2,000 gallons of #2 diesel aboard. Containment boom has been deployed around the vessels to minimize further environmental impact. The vessels remain partially submerged in 22 feet of water but are outside the shipping channel, so commercial shipping has not been affected.

09 Feb 2011

Miller Named Great Lakes Legislator of the Year

A commitment to ending the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes has earned Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI) an award as 2011 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year from the largest labor/management coalition representing workers and industries dependent on shipping on America’s Fourth Sea Coast. Rep. Miller, who represents Michigan’s 10th District in the House of Representatives, will formally receive the award from Great Lakes Maritime Task orce (“GLMTF”) in Washington on February 9.

15 Dec 2010

Coast Guard Great Lakes Ice Breaking Ops Begin Early

Photo courtesy of Motor Vessel Presque Isle.

The U.S. Coast Guard commenced Operation Coal Shovel Dec. 15 after colder temperatures caused a rapid development of ice in the eastern Great Lakes. Originally scheduled to begin Dec. 17, Operation Coal Shovel is the ice breaking operation for the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair/Detroit River systems, and lakes Erie and Ontario. As the 2010-2011 Operation Coal Shovel begins, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit and Canadian coast guard partners will continue our proactive attempts to identify declining waterway conditions and potentially hazardous ice conditions early.

14 Sep 2005

U.S., Canada Collaborate on Inland Waterway Security

On September 12th, 2005, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) began a two-week pilot project to enhance inland marine border security. The pilot project, based on the innovative law enforcement concept, known as “Shiprider,” will involve joint marine patrols on the St. Clair River and surrounding waterways in the Windsor/Detroit region. During the project, USCG officers will join RCMP officers on their vessels, and conversely, RCMP officers will join USCG officers on their vessels. The four 25-foot rigid hull boats taking part in the pilot will patrol and travel in American and Canadian waters in the region.

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