Lake Michigan

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

If you’re new to Michiana, or if you just never learned, lake effect snow is what happens when cold air meets a warmer Lake Michigan.

“Generally we get some really cold air that flows over the open waters that are a lot warmer," said Megan Dodson with the National Weather Service. "It can cause some instability and that can generate some snow bands in the form of lake effect.”

Tyler Lake/WTIU

U.S. Steel has reopened most of the Midwest Plant as of Tuesday, Nov. 5. Spokesperson Amanda Malkowski says the facility’s tin line is still closed, but the closure isn’t related to the spill. ​ 

Last week, U.S. Steel’s northwest Indiana facility had its third spill in as many months into Lake Michigan waterways. In a news release, U.S. Steel says its Midwest Plant in Portage was slightly over its limit for hexavalent chromium. 

Michigan Promises Faster Review Of Erosion Control Permits

Oct 31, 2019
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan environmental regulators are promising faster reviews of applications to protect homes or structures threatened by rising Great Lakes levels.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said Wednesday it will expedite permits for actions such as placing rocks or building seawalls to prevent erosion.

Director Liesl Clark said permit consideration requires a balance between protecting property and safeguarding environmental features such as dunes, shorelines and bluffs.

Tyler Lake/WTIU

The mayor of Portage is calling for several changes to the way ArcelorMittal operates. Last week, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management released an investigative report on the company’s August spill of cyanide and ammonia into a Lake Michigan waterway that killed about 3,000 fish.

Among other things, it showed that ArcelorMittal failed to notify IDEM and the public soon enough about problems at the plant.

Courtesy of IDEM

The state says ArcelorMittal failed to notify the public soon enough about problems that led to a cyanide and ammonia spill in a Lake Michigan tributary. That’s according to an investigative report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

Courtesy of Indiana Dunes Tourism

UPDATE: At the state agriculture and natural resources committee meeting, legislators recommended that the state find the money for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study into solutions to Lake Michigan beach erosion. There’s no telling whether the governor and the state budget committee will act upon that recommendation. 

Municipalities, parks officials, tourism experts, and environmentalists are asking the state for money to help prevent erosion along some Lake Michigan beaches. 

Galina Ovtcharova & Alexei Ovtcharov/Fotki

U.S. Steel had yet another oil leak on Friday. An official with the northwest Indiana company says it found a “light, intermittent oil sheen” near one of its pipes that discharges into Lake Michigan waterways. 

This comes just weeks after another leak from U.S. Steel and a chemical spill from ArcelorMittal that killed 3,000 fish. Residents and environmentalists are hoping this won’t become “the new normal.” 

UPDATE: Park Service Reopens Indiana Beaches After Cyanide Spill

Aug 17, 2019
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

UPDATE: 

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Park Service has reopened beaches in northwestern Indiana, more than a week after a spill of cyanide and ammonia from a steel factory along Lake Michigan.

The agency says three consecutive days of tests have been positive, including two days with no detection of cyanide. The government says samples were taken by Indiana environmental regulators and ArcelorMittal and reviewed by independent labs.

Study: Michigan Has More Sand Dunes Than Previously Known

Aug 12, 2019
John Flesher/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Researchers say Michigan may have more than twice as many sand dune acres as previously known.

Legislators Discuss Money For Beach Erosion Study

Aug 7, 2019
Courtesy of Indiana Dunes Tourism

Municipalities, parks officials, tourism experts, and environmentalists are asking the state for money to help prevent erosion along some Lake Michigan beaches. That was the topic of a summer study committee Wednesday. 

The groups want about $850,000 to go toward a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to come up with long-term solutions. After the study is done, Indiana would be able to ask for federal funding to address beach erosion. The groups also wanted money to temporarily reduce erosion by placing sand on beaches.

http://www.cityofnewbuffalo.org/downloads/pressrelease.pdf

New Buffalo earned a federal grant to improve its beaches for the growing number of tourists that visit each summer. 

The City has $51,000 to create a master plan for New Buffalo beaches.

 

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Planning to go to a Lake Michigan beach Monday? The National Weather Service says bathers should think about another day.

Dangerous swimming conditions are expected at beaches north of South Haven. Separately, swimming is discouraged south of South Haven. Waves could be 3 feet or higher.

NEW:

Update: Identity of Swimmer Recovered in Lake Michigan Released

Indiana Conservation Officers are identifying the individual who passed away during a water-related incident in Lake Michigan on Saturday as 32-year-old Brandon Howard of Constantine, Michigan. The original news release incorrectly stated the victim was 35 years old.

Howard was seen slipping under the surface of the water without resurfacing at around 5:50 p.m. Saturday evening. Howard’s body was recovered at approximately 8:00 p.m. in 10 feet of water.

Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

Almost every Lake Michigan beach that was tested in Indiana last year had at least one day where high bacteria levels could have threatened swimmers’ health. That’s according to a national report on beach water quality by Environment America. 

The report says heavy rains can cause human and animal waste to run off into our waterways and make people sick.

Hundreds Of Balls Found In Lake Michigan From Golf Course

Jul 22, 2019
Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

ARCADIA, Mich. (AP) — An exclusive golf course in northern Michigan has changed its website to no longer encourage players to hit balls into Lake Michigan after a diver hired by a newspaper found hundreds in the water.

State environmental regulators said they're investigating what has occurred at Arcadia Bluffs, where a round of golf on the course overlooking the northeastern shore of the lake costs $215 during the peak summer season. A beverage cart employee said she was fired for discouraging players from hitting balls into the lake.

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