Thursday, September 28, 2006

Great Lakes 'under fire'

I grew up spending my summers at a resort on Lake Michigan. It is a beautiful area and while it's close to urban areas, it's far enough from the cities to seem remote and undisturbed, particularly in the preserved sand dune areas.

Well, when I heard there was a plan for the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct live-fire exercises, I was very angry. They say they are practicing to be ready for a potential attack from terrorists who may cross from Canada into the U.S. via the Great Lakes. What a joke! The Coast Guard is only going to ruin the peace and beauty of the lakes, will befoul the lakes with lead bullets (we all know what lead does to people, animals and the ecosystem) turn pleasure boating areas into war zones and make it generally unsafe. There have been two dozen live fire exercises already this year. As a former Michigander, lover of the Great Lakes, and overall peace-loving person, I am furious about the Coast Guard's action on MY lakes. This is going to negatively affect the Michigan economy in that charter boat operators and other folks who depend on the state's tourism economy. I heard in one article that the car ferries operating out of Muskegon and Ludington will have to navigate through live fire zones. This is insane! Go here to express your concern.

Click here to check out the Coast Guard "Safety Zones" on their website.

Also, the Canadian people and government are not pleased by this plan. The (Toronto) Globe & Mail reports in an article titled "Great Lakes machine guns raise ire in Canada." The article makes a lot of good points.

From the G&M article: “It was a big surprise on both sides of the border. At first I thought it was an Internet hoax,” said Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, Ont., who has written a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to intervene.
The longest undefended border in the world is gone. It's passé. And this is an example of it.”

Sad, but true.

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