U.S. Coast Guard

GREGORY VARNUM

The Line 5 oil pipelines in the straits of Mackinac were struck by an anchor last April. Then at a hearing held by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in August, Enbridge Energy Vice President David Bryson pledged to release information on the strike.

Taylor Wizner

This week on Points North, a community prepares to be stranded on an island in the middle of winter. Plus, a furrier transforms animal pelts into expensive clothes. 


Taylor Wizner

 

Last winter freezing temperatures hit some people harder than others. On Neebish Island, 20 miles south of Sault Ste. Marie, thick ice formed on the St. Mary’s River.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City/Facebook

Two weeks into the government shutdown, some Michigan communities are coming together to support federal employees working without pay. One of the groups affected is the U.S. Coast Guard. Workers got their December paycheck on Monday, but they’re not sure when they’ll get their next one. 

The U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard will open a new facility to prepare for a potential oil spill in the Great Lakes.

 

As part of the Coast Guard reauthorization bill signed into law by President Trump Tuesday, they will open a National Center of Expertise in the Great Lakes.

 

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D), who sponsored the provision, says the facility will research clean up and response methods to an oil spill in freshwater.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental groups say the U.S. Coast Guard is not ready for an oil spill in the Great Lakes.

 

The Coast Guard is required by law to have a plan for a spill.

 

However, Margareta Kearney, an attorney at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, says they don’t.

 

 

“There was testimony that clearly stated the Coast Guard is not at the ready to respond to an oil spill in the Great Lakes,” Kearney said.

 

 

The U.S. Coast Guard has a message for us: knock it off with the prank calls. 

The Coast Guard is seeing a big jump in phony distress calls: more than 160 made across the Great Lakes so far this year.

There are many Michiganders feeling uneasy about the idea of those 62-year-old twin oil pipelines running along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

The aging Line 5 can carry 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids each day.

Enbridge has made promises to keep the pipeline maintained and said it’s got an emergency response team in place, but there’s a complicating factor that no one can control: big, turbulent waves.

Police and the U.S. Coast Guard are urging people not to swim in Grand Traverse Bay or other frigid bodies of water.

A social media challenge has many teenagers and some adults heading to the beach for a quick dip and challenging their friends to do the same.