Monday, April 20, 2009

CBP to Deactivate Older NEXUS Frequent Traveler Cards

WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced it will cancel old NEXUS cards for current NEXUS members on May 1.

CBP has been mailing new NEXUS cards to all members since November. The new cards have enhanced security features and allow U.S. and Canadian citizen cardholders to comply with the documentary requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

All members must activate their new cards within 30 days, verify and update their U.S. mailing address by going to

NEXUS members should destroy their old cards after activating their new ones. If members have not received their new cards, they should go to their local enrollment center to either pick up their new card or to apply to have a new card issued. Old cards will be deactivated May 1.

NEXUS is a joint CBP-Canada Border Services Agency program that both governments implemented to enhance border security while simplifying the entry process for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. It was established in 2002 and approximately 280,000 members participate in the program.

A similar program called Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) serves citizens of the U.S. on the southern border.

Port of Green Bay's shipping season off to slow start

The Port of Green Bay had an economic impact of about $75 million on the area last year, despite a slowing economy that saw a dramatic falloff of waterborne commerce late in the year.

The 2009 season is expected to be slower than in previous years throughout the Great Lakes.

The first ship of the season, the Alpena, was in Green Bay Saturday, which marked one of the latest first-arrivals in recent years.

read more

Spring is heating up interest in Lake Erie boating, tourism

plain dealer - apr 20

Sweet Success has crashed on rough economic seas.

The 45-foot yacht that once plied the waters of Lake Erie now sits in a downtown Cleveland dry dock. A repo company is selling the extravagant symbol of better times at auction. Minimum bid: $198,000.

read more

Canadians to help Twin Ports marshes

businessnorth - apr 18

A Wisconsin and a U.S./Canadian program have teamed up to improve the marshes through out the Twin Ports. Amy Swanoski reports they’re looking to train volunteers to help monitoring efforts.

The Wisconsin Citizen-Based Water Monitoring Network and Bird Studies Canada’s Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program have partnered to expand wetlands monitoring in the Duluth/Superior area.

read more

Rainbow trout reappear in Milwaukee River

jsonline - apr 18

There's a bright flash against the jumbled brown landscape, a silvery flutter of life.

Standing along the Milwaukee River, it's abundantly clear: The spring migrants are in.

Though warblers may well be flitting through the woods that line the shore, the travelers in question are taking a different path.

read more

Oswego public hears about Harbor expansion - apr 20

Port of Oswego authority Executive Director Jonathan Daniels discussed the Oswego harbor expansion project for the first time with the public Saturday.

With the project in the early planning stages, Daniels says communicating with the public is essential to its development.

"People want to know what's going to be the impact of the environment if any, what's it going to look like in my backyard. We want to make sure that we evaluate those now and make amendments and adjustments to the plan as necessary,” said Jonathan Daniels, Port of Oswego Authority Executive Director.

read more

Ohio waters offer stellar steelhead action - apr 19

I've often seen salmon stacked like cordwood in Michigan streams, with dozens flitting about in a pool and hundreds more in sight up and down the river.

The southern shore of Lake Erie is the only place outside of Alaska where you'll see steelhead in similar numbers.

"Ohio steelhead fishing is incredible. But you won't have a 50-fish day every time, no matter what friends tell you," said Jim Chamberlin, a steelhead guide from Monroe who fishes Ohio and Pennsylvania during the spring and fall steelhead runs.

read more

Lights along Lake Huron


My "spring break" -- a drive north along the Lake Huron coast of Michigan -- was more like a break from spring.

The farther north I went, the more ice littered the stark beaches and filled the empty harbors of the tiny coastal towns.

Despite the weather, the majestic lighthouses and scenic overlooks along the way provided a refreshing -- perhaps I should say bracing -- excuse for a journey.

read more

Freighter shipping environment, employment friendly in Michigan

Great Lakes shipping supports 240,000 U.S. jobs around the Great Lakes.

The cargo that freighters haul to the port of Bay Aggregates, Inc. in Bay City, is the lifeblood of industry throughout mid-Michigan. Mount Pleasant-area companies - mostly in construction industries - are some of the jobs that directly benefit from Great Lakes shipping.

"Our facility in Bay City is not only for concrete," said Fisher Transportation President Doug Moore. "But it is a port for all types of different applications."

read more

Congressional Debate Determines Future of Michigan's Waterways

Public News Service - apr 20

Restoration of the Great Lakes is in the hands of Congress, which is considering the Clean Water Restoration Act to secure safeguards for wetlands, lakes and streams. The legislation restores protections that had been placed in doubt by Supreme Court rulings; environmentalists claim those rulings left the waterways vulnerable to pollution and destruction.

Gildo Tori, director of public policy for the conservation group Ducks Unlimited, says the nation's wetlands play an important role in keeping our wawter clean.

read more

"Poisoned Waters" - Tuesday PBS Frontline

For years, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith has reported from the corridors of power in Washington, on Wall Street, and overseas. But these days, he's worried about something that he's found much closer to home -- something mysterious that's appeared in waters that he knows well: frogs with six legs, male amphibians with ovaries, "dead zones" where nothing can live or grow.

What's causing the trouble? Smith suspects the answers might lie close to home as well.

This Tuesday night, in a special two-hour FRONTLINE broadcast --"Poisoned Waters"-- Smith takes a hard look at a new wave of pollution that's imperiling the nation's waterways, focusing on two of our most iconic: the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. He also examines three decades of environmental regulation that are failing to meet this new threat, and have yet to clean up the ongoing mess of PCBs, the staggering waste from factory farms, and the fall-out from unchecked suburban sprawl.

"The environment has slipped off our radar screen because it's not a hot crisis like the financial meltdown, war, or terrorism," Smith says. "But pollution is a ticking time bomb. It's a chronic cancer that is slowly eating away the natural resources that are vital to our very lives."

Among the most worrisome of the new contaminants are "endocrine disruptors," chemical compounds found in common household products that mimic hormones in the human body and cause freakish mutations in frogs and amphibians.

"There are five million people being exposed to endocrine disruptors just in the Mid-Atlantic region," a doctor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health tells Smith. "And yet we don't know precisely how many of them are going to develop premature breast cancer, going to have problems with reproduction, going to have all kinds of congenital anomalies of the male genitalia that are happening at a broad low level so that they don't raise the alarm in the general public."

Can new models of "smart growth" and regulation reverse decades of damage? Are the most real and lasting changes likely to come from the top down, given an already overstretched Obama administration? Or will the greatest reasons for hope come from the bottom up, through the action of a growing number of grassroots groups trying to effect environmental change?

Join us for the broadcast this Tuesday night. Online, you can watch "Poisoned Waters" again, find out how safe your drinking water is, and learn how you can get involved.

"Poisoned Waters" (120 minutes),
April 21st at 9pm on PBS (Check local listings)