Monday, May 23, 2011

Coal-Burning Steamship Company Expands Efforts To Keep Lake Michigan Ship Afloat

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,

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.


clyde winter said...

I have always admired and supported your writing and your environmental awareness and protection, but here I differ with you, James.

The last of an era, and now the only coal fired steamship operating on the Great Lakes should not be given the bums rush off the pond. There are more worthy and far more significant causes for you to be championing. Hands off the S.S. Badger - and may she grandly and quietly steam forever.

Lynn Broaddus said...

I'm all for nostalgia, but I'm having a hard time with feeling nostalgic about dumping in my beloved Lake MI.

Tim Andrews said...

A few decades ago, there were hundreds of coal burning ships plying the lakes, and many more on-shore smokestacks darkening the skies. The Badger, this one tie to the past, is a small contributor in comparison. Let's concentrate instead on the bigger issues: sewage from Indiana and Illinois shores, increasing lake salinity from road salt, foreign invaders in the bilges of salt-water visitors, and glycol runoff from airports! Let the Badger steam on.