Thursday, December 22, 2011
The U.S. Coast Guard has begun ice breaking operations in response to colder temperatures and ice growth in the western Great Lakes region. The Coast Guard said Wednesday that Operation Taconite is being coordinated out of the Coast Guard's Sault Ste. Marie sector and covers lakes Superior and Michigan as well as the St. Mary's River, the Straits of Mackinac and northern Lake Huron.A second ice breaking operation will begin later this winter. Operation Coal Shovel will cover the eastern Great Lakes region, including lakes Erie and Ontario, the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, Lake St. Clair and southern Lake Huron. The U.S. Coast Guard says it works closely with the Canadian Coast Guard and maritime industry representatives to ensure critical shipping paths are open when needed.