The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired ferry plying the Great Lakes - - and the Manitowoc, WI-to-Ludington, MI round trip leads to coal ash flying out of the smokestack (thanks to a special Wisconsin exemption legislatively-approved many years ago) and a coal-ash slurry being dumped into the water on a daily basis.
The US Environmental Protection Agency is trying to get the ship's owners to convert it to diesel, but politicking and PR have stalled that effort.
I have been writing about these issues for some time. Samples, here and here - - and now the company has opened a new front - - a charity auction and "grassroots" plan to raise funds and "awareness" about the ship.
The effort is being led primarily from the Michigan side of the lake, where the ship company has its offices.
From the company news release:
Contact: Brandy Henderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grassroots Effort to Build Awareness of S.S. Badger Future
May 23, 2011, LUDINGTON, Mich. – In an effort to build awareness and support of the continued operation of the S.S. Badger beyond the 2012 EPA deadline, 6 members of community have joined together to begin a grassroots effort- Save Our Ship!
Mayor John Henderson, Dr. Bill Anderson, Barry Neal, Brad Reed, Todd Reed and Heather Venzke have come together to spread the message that the Ludington Area needs the S.S. Badger to continue operations beyond 2012 in order to remain a competitive player in the region’s tourism and manufacturing industries.