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Saturday January 30th, 2016

Posted at 9:52am

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U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Gould

While the weather may seem like it is not needed, the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard ice breaking crews  are ready to get ice breaking operations underway as needed in southern Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair. the Detroit River system, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers, work together to break ice in these waterways as conditions worsen throughout the winter.

The last two winters presented particularly harsh ice conditions on the Great Lakes. In 2015, operation Coal Shovel started on January 8th, 2015, and ended on April 17th, 2015, for a total of 100 days during which U.S. and Canadian icebreakers performed 2,400 hours of operations to support more than 150 commercial vessel transits.

Operation Taconite, another Coast Guard ice breaking operation that takes place in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron, lasted for 122 days.

As the 2016 operation Coal Shovel season begins, Sector Detroit and the Canadian Coast Guard will continue to monitor potential hazardous ice conditions and conduct ice-breaking operations throughout the Great Lakes. Phone conferences are conducted regularly with maritime shipping company representatives to coordinate ice breaking services and facilitate the movement of commercial vessels.

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