The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Breaking News

March 29, 2013

Low levels in Great Lakes is bad news for shippers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Water levels on the Great Lakes are so low that shippers are being forced to leave as much as 15 percent of their cargo behind, said industry experts who are working to find ways to alleviate the problem.

Lakes Michigan and Huron are about 26 inches below their long-term monthly averages, and Lake Superior is about 13 inches lower, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has said. Even though the lakes are expected to rise 2 to 4 inches in the next month, that's small consolation for shippers who are finding the waterways difficult to navigate.

So officials gathered this week in Green Bay to discuss the issue and consider solutions, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported (http://gbpg.net/14txLxB).

"One of things we're looking at is: What are all these economic impacts and what are the costs of low water?" said Ray Johnston, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. "And are there any viable engineering solutions or infrastructure investments that can be made?"

Concerns about low water levels have been growing for years among commercial and recreational lake users. Commercial users are especially concerned because heavily laden ships need a minimum volume of water. Without enough water, loads must be reduced.

Dean Haen, the director of Brown County Port and Solid Waste, said each inch of lost water translates to about 100 tons of cargo being left behind.

"If we're operating vessels 10 to 15 percent below capacity, that's an additional cost for those commodities on board," which translates into additional costs for consumers, he said.

Haen said continued dredging is helping to keep the port open.

"All we can do is advocate for whatever dredging dollars we need to keep the port open and viable," he said. "You have to operate within the conditions as they are."

Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think the community places a high enough value on education?

Yes
Somewhat
No
Not sure
     View Results