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The Great Lakes are often referred to as the "fourth seacoast."  U.S. and Canadian lake fleets annually haul upwards of 125 million tons of cargo, including iron ore, limestone and coal.

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'Cork in a bottle': Ship jammed in icy Seaway

Jan 5, 2018
Michelle Laffin

Prolonged arctic cold is wreaking havoc on the maritime industry across the Great Lakes. The latest problem: A commercial freighter is stuck in ice in a lock near Massena, N.Y., and it's preventing the St. Lawrence Seaway from closing for the winter.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. said in a news release that the Federal Biscay is “immobilized due to the heavy ice build-up on the lock wall as well as on the vessel’s hull,” but there is no damage.

Matthew Richmond/ideastream

Over the past two winters, there wasn’t much ice cover on the Great Lakes. That changed with this month’s deep freeze.


U.S Coast Guard

The Christmas spirit is popping up along the waters of the Great Lakes region.

In Port Huron, Mich., Santa Claus rode to shore on the Huron Spirit, a boat operated by the Lakes Pilots Association. In Toledo, Ohio, the tug Josephine brought him to the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

But the most poignant event of the holiday season was in Chicago, where the sinking of  "The Christmas Tree Ship" was remembered recently.

For the anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald's final voyage, mlive has put together an interactive graphic about the doomed freighter. It provides some of the radio chatter that surrounded the freighter as it was pummeled by a powerful storm on Lake Superior.

U.S. Geological Survey

There's some good news from Illinois, where an Asian Carp was recently caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan.

In two weeks of intensive, follow-up monitoring, no bighead or silver Asian carp were found, a regional monitoring group says.  

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