Oil Spill in Great Lakes

On heels of Enbrige oil disaster, new oil spill discovered in Great Lakes off coast of Michigan.

10-06-2010 // Beth Wallace

Yet another oil spill has been discovered in the state of Michigan, this time affecting the Great Lakes.

On Tuesday, October 5, state and federal officials received complaints from concerned members of the public that parts of a Lake Huron had toxic oil coating the shoreline of the Cheboygan State Park and sheen within the waters of Duncan Bay.  This Northern Michigan coastline is home to several threaten wildlife and plant species, some of which include the rare Black Tern, Pitcher’s thistle, and Dwarf Lake Iris.

The cause of the spill and the areas affected are still unknown, as officials on the scene have not yet determined a source.

“With the Cheboygan State Park in close proximity to the Straits of Mackinac, this disaster has potential to be far reaching,” said Beth Wallace, the Great Lakes Oil Spill Response Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. “The health of the Great Lakes is critical as they support a large source of drinking water, irrigation, fishing, hunting and recreation for both the United States and Canada.  We’ve already seen the devastating effects the Enbridge pipeline oil spill had on the Kalamazoo River and nearby towns. The last thing Michigan needs is an oil spill in the Great Lakes.””

This spill is in wake of the Enbridge pipeline oil spill in July, which dumped just short of 1 million gallons of heavy crude into the already environmentally sensitive Kalamazoo River.  The Kalamazoo River is a major tributary to Lake Michigan.

“Our addiction to oil is threatening the Great Lakes,” Wallace said. “We don’t want the Great Lakes State to become the Oil Spill State. We need to move to a clean energy economy or we could lose the lakes we love.”

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