WBEZ | shipping http://www.wbez.org/tags/shipping Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Mystery boat: Alone and idle in a waterlogged corner of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/mystery-boat-alone-and-idle-waterlogged-corner-chicago-112735 <p><p>There is something incongruous, maybe even outlandish, about seeing a big rusty ship from a freeway in America&rsquo;s Breadbasket.</p><p>Have you ever seen it? The 620-foot vessel docked up on the Calumet River under the Illinois International Port sign, clearly visible by anyone driving north on the Bishop Ford Expressway.</p><p>Our questioner, Chicagoan Samantha Kruse, saw it while out on her uncle&rsquo;s boat. They&rsquo;d set out for a leisurely cruise on the Calumet River when, there she blew: a giant old hulk of a ship. Seemingly abandoned. Covered in rust.</p><p>She joked with her uncle that it was likely haunted and filled with ghosts. But ultimately, she wondered, &ldquo;What is the deal with that ship?&rdquo;</p><p>So she came to Curious City for help. (As did two other people who asked about this boat).</p><p>An answer, though? This turned out to be a bit of a head scratcher. Initial research brought up very little. And most people we asked had absolutely no clue. Even the security guard who guards the Port&rsquo;s entrance, where the ship is docked, had no idea why the boat was there. He just knew it never moved.</p><p>But we do have an account of the boat&rsquo;s predicament, one that reveals a lot about the fate of a regional industry as well as a waterlogged corner of the city that &mdash; when it&rsquo;s not just passed up entirely &mdash; is probably best known for heavy industry, as well as black clouds of swirling <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/state-city-move-crack-down-petcoke-chicago-109412">petroleum coke pollution</a> or a <a href="http://www.calumetfisheries.com/">colorful shack that produces famous smoked shrimp and sturgeon</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The mystery boat, uncovered</span></p><p>Our research produced a name for the vessel: <a href="http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/ctcno1.htm" target="_blank">the C.T.C No. 1</a>.</p><p>The C.T.C No. 1 &mdash; just the latest in a string of five names given by each new owner &mdash; was built in 1942 and moved iron ore to steel mills throughout the Great Lakes. It was wartime, and the country was hungry for raw materials to produce more ships, tanks and aircraft. The ship continued to ferry bulk materials around the Great Lakes until 1980, when it was converted into a cement storage facility, a job it stopped doing in 2009.</p><p>So, clearly the ship had been useful at one point, but what was it doing now? And why didn&rsquo;t it ever move?</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m13!1m8!1m3!1d3325.873456615632!2d-87.58940332364065!3d41.666989634240146!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m2!1m1!1s0x880e26c7283a4ef7%3A0x614fbf32bcd2ea29!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1440623973334" style="border:0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Even in the Google age, you can&rsquo;t get a succinct account of why the boat&rsquo;s idle. To get a fuller picture, I interviewed people in the ship&rsquo;s neighborhood, a sleepy industrial swath on the city&rsquo;s Southeast Side that&rsquo;s home steel processing facilities, the Ford Motor Co. plant, as well as yacht clubs and tugboat companies.</p><p>I got some of the most useful information from the<a href="http://www.chicagoshipmasters.com/"> International Shipmasters Association</a>, which, lucky for me, was holding its monthly meeting at Georgie&rsquo;s Tavern on 134th Street. Several members said the boat had been a mystery to them, too.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve heard the question many, many, many times,&rdquo; said Marshal Bundren, the chaplain of the shipmasters local. &ldquo;Because there is a great big ship and here we are in the middle of the Midwest on a ten-lane highway driving by. Why is that there?&rdquo;</p><p>But Bob Hansen, the shipmasters secretary, was familiar with the mystery boat and its history.</p><p>&ldquo;[It&rsquo;s the] Bethlehem Steel boat,&rdquo; he said, referring to an earlier owner. &ldquo;It says C.T.C. 1 on it because they use it for storing cement.&rdquo; (The C.T.C comes from its time in service for Cement Transit Co. of Detroit.)</p><p>Hansen went on to say, in rapid-fire succession, what our earlier research had shown: that the ship was built in 1942 and was used to move iron ore throughout the Great Lakes during World War II.</p><p>&ldquo;She&rsquo;s empty and there is no place for her to go. She has no home,&rdquo; Hansen said. He went on to explain that the walls of the ship contain asbestos, <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#asbestos">a highly carcinogenic mineral fiber once commonly used for insulation and fireproofing</a>. Scrapping the boat, he added, would likely require expensive safety procedures.</p><p>And with the shipping industry as it is, struggling, it was too expensive to justify the rehab.</p><p>&ldquo;So for the moment it&rsquo;s sitting,&rdquo; he said of the vessel.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="410" id="iframe" scrolling="no" src="//flickrit.com/slideshowholder.php?height=400&amp;width=620&amp;size=medium&amp;speed=stop&amp;setId=72157657382651669&amp;click=true&amp;caption=on&amp;credit=2&amp;trans=1&amp;theme=1&amp;thumbnails=0&amp;transition=0&amp;layoutType=fixed&amp;sort=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Why it doesn&rsquo;t shove off</span></p><p>Scott Bravener, the president of Grand River Navigation, who owns the C.T.C. No. 1, assured me that the asbestos is well contained, though its future is unknown. He said it would cost the company roughly $30 million to rehabilitate the ship and integrate it back into the company&rsquo;s fleet as a working barge. (The boat no longer has an engine.) The company already owns three of its sister ships. And with the C.T.C.&rsquo;s hull still in relatively good condition, the ship acts almost like an insurance policy if something goes wrong with one of the other vessels.</p><p>It&rsquo;s also pretty inexpensive to keep it where it is. According to the Port, Grand River pays $600 per month to keep the C.T.C. No.1 docked there.</p><p>But, according to Bravener, the ultimate reason the ship sits idle is because there isn&rsquo;t enough demand to justify putting it into service, a view corroborated by William Strauss, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago specializing in manufacturing and shipping on the Great Lakes.</p><p>Strauss said softness in the shipping industry is due to sluggish global growth and a lack of investment in the country&rsquo;s infrastructure for shipping.</p><p>&ldquo;Low commodity prices [and] some struggle with regard to growth of different markets for commodities, has really left a challenge to justify the expenditure,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Overall, the shipping industry is still relatively active, but the Port of Chicago is not the economic engine it once was. According to a 2011 report, the most recent data available, the Port generates nearly 2,700 jobs, 25 percent less than it did nearly a decade prior. And the jobs the Port creates indirectly have dropped by 22 percent over the same period. Industry-wide, shipping on the Great Lakes faces headwinds, due to the phasing out of coal and a steel industry that has yet to return to its pre-Recession peak. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s an industry that will never die. But it will never get better,&rdquo; Hansen said. &ldquo;It just gets smaller and smaller and smaller. As we lose our steel. As we lose our cement. As we lose our coal.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, marine transport is the most economic way to get cargo from one place to another &mdash; <a href="http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11134.pdf">far cheaper than trucking and even rail</a>.</p><p>But a struggling manufacturing sector mixed with low commodity prices, means ships like the C.T.C. No. 1 are left waiting in the wings, stuck in a kind of limbo where they&rsquo;re too valuable to ditch, but not useful enough to repair.</p><p>However, there is one thing working in the favor of Great Lakes shipping. Despite the rusty look of the ship, Strauss said the fresh water of the Great Lakes is forgiving on vessels, nearly tripling their lifespan compared to their ocean-going counterparts. Boats like C.T.C. No. 1 have the possibility of being reintroduced to fleet, even after years spent idle.</p><p>When I told our questioner, Samantha Kruse, that her mystery ship was not abandoned, but just empty and unused, she wasn&rsquo;t all that surprised. &ldquo;I think that is where I thought it was heading,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>What&rsquo;s more, she said she&rsquo;s glad to be reminded that the Calumet River isn&rsquo;t just for recreational boating. That in fact, there is an active shipping industry still there.</p><p>&ldquo;There are all these people working on barges. It&rsquo;s not something I think about everyday,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>One thing she is a little bummed about, she said: &ldquo;That I probably can&rsquo;t make the boat into an awesome haunted house one day.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/samanthastudio.jpg" style="height: 420px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="Questioner Samantha Kruse at the WBEZ studios. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /><span style="font-size:24px;">More about our questioner</span></p><p>Samantha Kruse grew up in the South suburb of Lansing, Illinois. The 27-year-old program adviser at the University of Illinois at Chicago said she noticed the ship &mdash; never moving, always there &mdash; for years. But it wasn&rsquo;t until she saw the mammoth ship from the waterside that her curiosity peaked.\</p><p>She tried the usual Googling spree, but couldn&rsquo;t find much of anything. Only one article that referred to it as simply, &ldquo;a rusted boat.&rdquo; Clearly, she knew that already.</p><p>&ldquo;I was so fascinated that this whole other part of Chicago existed that I never really thought about,&rdquo; Kruse says, referring to the shipping industry on the Great Lakes. &ldquo;Then we came close to that rusted boat and I was like what&rsquo;s the deal with that boat.&rdquo;</p><p>Her family has always been big boaters, but even they didn&rsquo;t know anything about the ship. &ldquo;It was accepted. It was just there,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>Kruse lives in Logan Square with her rescue dog. She says she&rsquo;s glad to know the ship had a past, though she&rsquo;s not all that surprised it&rsquo;s idle and empty.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s good to know she had a name and where she was from &hellip; and people cared about her,&rdquo; she says.</p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/mystery-boat-alone-and-idle-waterlogged-corner-chicago-112735 Chicago shippers breathe a sigh of relief as rock removal begins in the Mississippi River http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-shippers-breathe-sigh-relief-rock-removal-begins-mississippi-river-104488 <p><p>The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started breaking up plates of rock in the Mississippi River Wednesday, bringing relief to Chicago-area businesses concerned about a possible shipping shutdown this winter.</p><p>A rocky curve in the river near Thebes, Ill. became almost impassable in mid-December.</p><p>&ldquo;The barges can&rsquo;t get through there, they&rsquo;ll just tear their bottoms right out,&rdquo; said Chicago tugboat owner John Kindra. His boats tow barges carrying steel, petroleum and grains up and down the Calumet River, and many of those barges pass through the Mississippi.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F71889857&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The water was already unusually low in November when a separate Army Corps district announced it would reduce the flow from a northern reservoir. The goal was to preserve that district&rsquo;s water despite the continued drought conditions.</p><p>With less water coming in from the Missouri River around St. Louis, it seemed possible that a 180-mile stretch of the Mississippi River just south of St. Louis would be impossible to navigate by mid-December.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6846_023-scr.JPG" style="height: 210px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="John Kindra of Kindra Lake Towing (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p>Kindra was among many who thought the situation was nearing an emergency. Barges have already reduced the weight they can carry due to the extremely low water levels south of St. Louis. If the &nbsp;Mississippi River had become impassable for shipping, that would have meant relying on trains and trucks to transport the same freight.</p><p>After a power struggle that drew in congressmen and governors from interested states, the Army Corps agreed to expedite a project excavating rock formations around Thebes.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They did take some emergency steps and fast-track this, and this is a very good thing,&rdquo; said Kindra.</p><p>As of Wednesday the excavation involved breaking up the rock with a giant jackhammer and shifting it to deeper parts of the river. Later, it could involve drilling through the rock and blasting it out with explosives. Rock removal is expected to be completed by the end of January.</p></p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-shippers-breathe-sigh-relief-rock-removal-begins-mississippi-river-104488 Low water in Lake Michigan could cause problems for the shipping industry http://www.wbez.org/news/low-water-lake-michigan-could-cause-problems-shipping-industry-104121 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS3818_The Cuyahoga River Today7.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Local ports could run into problems if water levels in Lake Michigan keep going down. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake is 28 inches below the long term average &ndash; and still falling.</p><p>For each inch the lake decreases, cargo ships are forced to lighten their loads. The tonnage left behind ranges between 50 and 300 tons per inch, depending on the type of freight.</p><p>&ldquo;Hopefully we&rsquo;ll see them rise before they go down much lower. Each drop is a concern to everyone in the industry,&rdquo; said Tony Ianello, Executive Director of the Illinois Port District. He said lake levels are always fluctuating, but even normal fluctuations affect shipping costs. Ianello said suppliers pay in extra trips to amount to the same total shipping numbers; down the chain, the price tag could hit consumers. Most shipping in and out of Chicago&#39;s ports is for commodities like grains, many of which are directly linked to the cost of food.</p><p>Precipitation in the Michigan-Huron region in November was nearly 70 percent below the monthly average, and the Army Corps projects Lake Michigan could fall to record lows in the coming months.</p><p>&ldquo;Long term loss of water levels is no good for coastal habitats, but it&rsquo;s also no good for people who like to recreate, swim, and use our Great Lakes shorelines,&rdquo; said Joel Brammeier, President of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. But Brammeier said no one knows for sure whether the lakes are undergoing a long term loss, or a fluctuation.</p><p>A <a href="http://cdm15025.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p267501ccp2/id/3405/rec/8" target="_blank">2009 study</a> of the loss of water in the Great Lakes links the long term decline to human manipulation of the St. Clair River, and to changes in climatic factors including temperature and precipitation. The St. Clair River, which connects Lake Huron with Lake St. Clair near Detroit, has been <a href="http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/pubs/fulltext/1985/19850006.pdf" target="_blank">dredged periodically since the mid-1800s</a>; some researchers say this accounts for over a foot of permanent loss in Lakes Michigan and Huron.</p><p>The two lakes hit their record low in 1964, and peaked again in 1986. Even following 2012&rsquo;s scorching summer, the lake hasn&rsquo;t gone below1964 levels. But the Army Corps projects that by December 30, the water will go down another three inches.</p><p>Meanwhile, the Mississippi River could be facing a complete shutdown of cargo shipping through the passage between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois. Last week the Army Corps&rsquo; Missouri River Basin division began limiting the flow of water through a dam in South Dakota in order to preserve water in that northern region; the Missouri is a key tributary to the Mississippi at St. Louis. Because water levels were already low, the reduced input means 180 miles of the Mississippi could become impassable for barges by mid-December. Immediate solutions to the impending crisis for the river shipping industry are not clear.</p><p>The short-term solution for Lake Michigan is precipitation. If the region has another warm, dry winter, the great lake could keep disappearing before our eyes.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/low-water-lake-michigan-could-cause-problems-shipping-industry-104121 Drought threatens to close Mississippi to barges http://www.wbez.org/news/drought-threatens-close-mississippi-barges-104099 <p><p>ST. LOUIS &mdash; After months of drought, companies that ship grain and other goods down the Mississippi River are being haunted by a potential nightmare: If water levels fall too low, the nation&#39;s main inland waterway could become impassable to barges just as the harvest heads to market.</p><p>Any closure of the river would upend the transport system that has carried American grain since before steamboats and Mark Twain. So shipping companies are scrambling to find alternative ways to move tons of corn, wheat and other crops to the Gulf Coast for shipment overseas.</p><p>&quot;You can&#39;t just wait until it shuts down and suddenly say, &#39;There&#39;s a problem,&#39;&quot; said Rick Calhoun, head of marine operations for Chicago-based Cargill Inc. &quot;We&#39;re always looking at Plan B.&quot;</p><p>The mighty Mississippi is approaching the point where it may become too shallow for barges that carry food, fuel and other commodities. If the river is closed for a lengthy period, experts say, economic losses could climb into the billions of dollars.</p><p>It isn&#39;t just the shipping and grain industries that will feel the pinch. Store prices and utility bills could rise. And deliveries of everything from road-clearing rock salt for winter and fertilizer for the spring planting season could be late and in short supply.</p><p>&quot;The longer it lasts, the worse it gets,&quot; said Don Sweeney, associate director of the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. &quot;It&#39;s inevitable that it will mean higher prices down the road.&quot;</p><p>The focus of greatest concern is a 180-mile stretch of the river between the confluences of the Missouri River near St. Louis and the Ohio River at Cairo, Ill. That&#39;s where lack of rain has squeezed the channel from its normal width of 1,000 feet or more to a just a few hundred feet.</p><p>The river depth is 15 to 20 feet less than normal, now about 13 feet deep in many places. If it dips to around 9 feet, rock pinnacles at two locations make it difficult, if not impossible, for barges to pass. Hydrologists for the National Weather Service predict the Mississippi will reach the 9-foot mark by Dec. 9.</p><p>The situation worsened last week when the Army Corps of Engineers began reducing the outflow from an upper Missouri River dam in South Dakota, where a group of experts said Thursday that the worst U.S. drought in decades had intensified sharply over the last week.</p><p>The flow is gradually being cut by more than two-thirds by Dec. 11 as part of an effort to ease the effects of the drought in the northern Missouri River basin.</p><p>Lawmakers from Mississippi River states are frustrated with the corps&#39; action and even requested a presidential emergency declaration to overturn it. So far, the White House has not responded.</p><p>On Thursday, Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy told Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and some of his colleagues from Iowa and Minnesota that the corps would consider dialing back the amount of water being held back from the Mississippi.</p><p>Darcy also pledged to expedite removal of rock formations south of St. Louis, though that work would take at least two months after a contractor is hired.</p><p>To Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, the stakes couldn&#39;t be higher.</p><p>&quot;There is going to be a dramatic ripple effect to our economy if the barge traffic grinds to halt, which clearly it will if something is not done to avert this crisis,&quot; she said.</p><p>Her Missouri colleague in the Senate, Republican Roy Blunt, acknowledged &quot;friction&quot; between upper Missouri River interests that control the flow and those downstream on the lower Missouri and Mississippi rivers. He said the corps &quot;needs to manage that balance.&quot;</p><p>Over the years, parts of the river have occasionally been closed because of low water, barge accidents, dredging, ice and flooding. But this shutdown, if it happens, would affect a pivotal stretch that is used for two-way traffic &mdash; shipments going south to the Gulf as well as transports from the Illinois and Ohio rivers headed north to Chicago and Minneapolis.</p><p>A two-month shutdown &mdash; the length of time that some observers fear given current conditions &mdash; would have an estimated impact of $7 billion, according to the river industry trade group American Waterways Operators.</p><p>Consider agricultural products. It costs 30 to 35 cents more per bushel to send grain to the Gulf by rail instead of barge &mdash; a massive figure when calculating the millions of bushels shipped downriver.</p><p>&quot;When you think of all we buy at the grocery store that has grain and corn, consumers could really see it hit them in the pocketbooks,&quot; said Ann McCulloch of the Waterways Operators group.</p><p>The Coast Guard controls navigation on the river and decides when to require restrictions or shut it down.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really played by ear,&quot; Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said. &quot;The Mississippi River is a dynamic environment.&quot;</p><p>River shippers are bracing for the worst, weighing train and truck alternatives to move a staggering volume of cargo, if necessary.</p><p>Seven million tons of farm products are shipped via barge in a typical December-January period, along with 3.8 million tons of coal, 1.7 tons of chemical products, 1.3 tons of petroleum products and 700,000 tons of crude oil, McCulloch said.</p><p>Trains already haul a vast volume of material, but switching from river to rail isn&#39;t that easy, especially on short notice. Cargill, for example, uses 1,300 of its own barges on inland waterways. Finding that much capacity elsewhere is no simple task.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ll look for other sources of transportation to the extent we can. But if you take away this important artery, you can&#39;t just snap your fingers and replace it with trains,&quot; Calhoun said. &quot;There aren&#39;t just trains sitting around. They&#39;re already pretty busy with their business on their books.&quot;</p><p>Tractor-trailers can pick up some of the slack. But some cargo, such as coal, just isn&#39;t cost-effective to haul by truck over long distances, said Bob Costello, an economist with the American Trucking Associations.</p><p>Businesses operating directly on the river are bound to suffer, too.</p><p>George Foster founded JB Marine Service Inc. in St. Louis 36 years ago to make a living fixing and cleaning barges. An extended river closure may force layoffs, he said. And he figures many other companies will be forced to cut jobs, too.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s extremely dire,&quot; Foster said. &quot;There&#39;s no way to sugarcoat it.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/drought-threatens-close-mississippi-barges-104099 The Pakistani art of truck decoration http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-31/pakistani-art-truck-decoration-93635 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-31/pakistan1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Pakistan, shipping is big business. New paved highways offer a fast track to the north and Afghanistan. Goods arrive at the port of Karachi and travel as far as U.S. troops based in Afghanistan or newly rich Central-Asian republics farther north. As the shipping industry grows, trucking becomes an important part of the country’s economic engine. But Pakistani cargo shipping trucks – decorated with bright colors, lines from Urdu poetry, and life sized paintings of politicians – look nothing like trucks you see on American highways. The <em><a href="http://www.worldvisionreport.org/" target="_blank">World Vision Report’s</a></em> Jessica Partnow takes us to Karachi, the heart of Pakistan’s one-of-a-kind truck decorating business.</p></p> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 15:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-31/pakistani-art-truck-decoration-93635 Not a cruise ship http://www.wbez.org/content/not-cruise-ship <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//frontandcenter/photo/2011-07-11/88967/5.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The gravel in your driveway, the steel in your car, and the coal that produced electricity for your home may well have spent time on a Great Lakes freighter on its way to you. Each year, over 100 million tons of iron ore, coal, limestone and other products travel through the Great Lakes navigation system on ore ships.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; } div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted #aa211d; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: dotted; border-top-color: #aa211d; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; } ul { margin-left: 15px; } li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-28/FNC-inset-promo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 50px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/about-front-and-center-%E2%80%93-depth-reporting-great-lakes-87655">About Front and Center</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-05/big-ship-diary-88726">Big ship diary: nine days on a freighter </a></strong></li></ul></div></div><p>Multimedia producer Allison Swaim takes us on board one of these ships: the MV Calumet.&nbsp; At 630 feet, it's longer than two football fields and holds close to 20,000 tons of cargo. You'd need almost 1,000 semi-trucks to carry the same load. Seventeen crew members live and work on the ship for a month at a time. It's a working boat, and the work never stops.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/26256476?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ff0000" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>This piece was produced for Front and Center, our series covering the Great Lakes region.Hear more from the Calumet at <a href="frontandcenter/2011-07-05/big-ship-diary-88726">Big Ship Diary</a> or get a glimpse behind the scenes at <a href="http://transom.org/?p=19129">Transom.</a></p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/not-cruise-ship Front and Center: Is the St. Lawrence Seaway Big Enough? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-22/front-and-center-st-lawrence-seaway-big-enough-88189 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/St. Lawrence Flickr Neil Smith.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Brian Mann with <a href="http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/" target="_blank">North Country Public Radio</a> is traveling along the St. Lawrence Seaway as part of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter"><em>Front and Center</em></a> series. Monday, he talked about the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway back in 1959. He checked in from his journey, discussing shipping along that route.</p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-22/front-and-center-st-lawrence-seaway-big-enough-88189 About Front and Center – in-depth reporting from the Great Lakes http://www.wbez.org/story/about-front-and-center-%E2%80%93-depth-reporting-great-lakes-87655 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-14/Great Lakes Aerial_Flickr_NASA Goddard Photo and Video.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><div><div><div><div>The Great Lakes region has always been defined by water. The “sweetwater seas,” as the lakes were known, sustained indigenous people, and served as a thoroughfare for hunters, fur traders and early voyagers. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More recently, water powered the region's growth as a critical input to the mills, processing plants and manufacturing complexes that propelled this region into becoming the industrial and agricultural powerhouse of America. &nbsp;Water was also the conduit for those goods to travel through the Great Lakes and out the St. Lawrence Seaway, but also down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><table style="width: 290px;" align="left" border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="10"><tbody><tr><td><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-21/waterspromo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 50px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title=""></a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/great-lakes-face-increasing-pressure-water-world-own-backyard-88093">Great Lakes face increasing pressure for water from world, own backyard</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/how-likely-fear-west-could-steal-great-lakes-water-88134">How likely is the fear the West could steal Great Lakes water? </a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/waukeshas-request-great-lakes-water-complex-first-test-law-88126">Waukesha's request for Great Lakes water is complex first test of law </a></strong></p></td></tr></tbody></table><div>Water helped build this region and made it rich. &nbsp;But in the process the Great Lakes became a dumping ground for toxic industrial, manufacturing and human waste. &nbsp;The lakes were poisoned, thousands of acres of critical wetlands paved over and the natural aquatic ecosystem destroyed by pollution and invasive species.&nbsp; Tough environmental regulations and cleanup efforts have brought dramatic improvement but today the lakes face new challenges.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Beginning on June 20th with a live call-in program and continuing with a series of in-depth reports and web-features, Front and Center will focus on one topic—water, the critical resource linking 42 million residents of the Great Lakes basin.&nbsp; Reporters from throughout the region will examine the politics and policies shaping the region, and highlight the people who have made Great Lakes's water their life's work.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We will take you to the St. Lawrence Seaway where Canadian and U.S. officials are facing off over environmental shipping regulations, and travel down the Chicago River to consider the feasibility and the potential environmental benefits of re-reversing the river.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We'll visit one of the world's only floating post offices making deliveries to the big ships on the Detroit River, and spend a week on a freighter chronicling the lives of the workers onboard.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We'll hear from Native American leaders in Northern Michigan combating invasive species threatening their traditional fishing grounds and eavesdrop on wildlife biologists on the islands of Lake Superior tracking the remarkable recovery of the Bald Eagle population once decimated by industrial chemicals.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>With the region's industrial economic base in decline, experts are looking at how water can play a central role in a defining a new economic future that balances the need to create jobs and protect the environment.&nbsp; Some call it a "freshwater economy," while others label it a "blue" economy. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Already, with water becoming an increasingly scarce resource around the globe, companies in the region are scrambling to get ahead of the curve, inventing new technologies to conserve and better manage water use.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ultimately, the future of the Great Lakes will be guided by the actions and commitment of all those who live in the region--the people who use the lakes but all too often have taken them for granted.&nbsp; Our hope is that these stories will educate and spark debate while inspiring those of us who live in the region to appreciate this unique resource that has enriched our lives.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></div></div></div></div></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 20:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/about-front-and-center-%E2%80%93-depth-reporting-great-lakes-87655