In the February issue of BoatUS there was a special report on activity taken by several states to ban copper marine anti-fouling bottom paint by 2020. Copper is added to bottom paint as a biocide to prevent slime, plant and zebra mussels from attaching onto the hull. The typical recreational boat sits in her slip much of the time the copper coating in the paint slowly leaches into the water and settles in the bottom. While copper is a naturally occurring element, especially in Michigan, the concentrations in the silt since its introduction in the late 1980s has created a poisonous wasteland in the basins in some of ports and marinas according to the EPA.
Michigan has over 200 marinas and over 900,000 registered watercraft. It’s only a matter of time before the issue hits our shores. Currently only Washington and California are actively taking steps to curb the use of copper bottom paint.
Current alternatives to copper based anti-fouling paint are being developed but have serious environment and cost concerns. Switching to a non-biocide or organic requires stripping the existing coating from the hull. This can cost thousands of dollars and create a copper laden dust which is considered hazardous waste. Application of the new coating requires the use of a sprayer. However has the commodity cost of copper skyrockets environmentally friendly alternatives may be cheaper in the long run.
It may be several years before Michigan lawmakers consider taking similar steps. In the mean time paint manufactures will continue to develop and refine non copper alternatives. Boaters should keep this issue in mind when they prepare their craft for the next boating season.
We are pleased to announce that our blog http://www.thumbwind.com launched today under its own domain name. Watch this blog for the inside scoop on Lake Township and Caseville politics and news of the Upper Thumb.
Lake Township, Caseville, Michigan – January 25th. – The township board was inundated by a high turnout during a rare mid-winter Planning Board session. The motion of revoking the ordinances restricting boat hoists within beach easements was met by opposition from local residents and seasonal owners. The ordinance, enacted in 2007, prevents lake easements from becoming residential marinas along the beach. The current zoning ordinance limits residents to two hoists per 25 foot of easement shoreline.
The board postponed a vote and further discussion until February 22nd. A date, coincidently, that falls during mid-winter break for most schools. Turnout may be much higher by seasonal residents.
Lake Township residents are still in the dark as to why the Lake Township board wants to kill this successful ordinance.
I’m a cheeseburger hound. I’m one of those who never seem to turn down going to some pub to grab a cheeseburger and a beer. At my age the waistline seems to have come more front and center. So I find myself getting more fussy about where I’m going to indulge on one of my favorite peasant foods.
You would think that the annual Cheeseburger festival in Caseville would turn out some of the finest burger on bun concoctions in the area. However the event has swelled to such a size that the rule is quantity not quality and cook it until it resembles a hockey puck. I haven’t had a burger in Caseville in several years.
When the party is in high gear during Cheeseburger festival in Caseville we find ourselves in the little town of Elkton about ten minutes away. There you will find the Hitching Post Inn. The Post is located in a historical hotel that was also once a church. (The stained glass still is place). This is a great Bar Burger joint. The owners are working to establish a solid business and have won over the locals. In 2011 they put in a new bar so updating is constant. This is a great place to come when the crowds in nearby Caseville get on your nerves.
It’s the best cheeseburger in the Thumb…period. Is it up with Michigan’s best? No. My designation of a great bar burger goes to the Shamrock in Utica Michigan. However the Hitching Post uses fresh local beef and all the staff pitch in and cook. Even the head bartender, Jelzs, can really cook up a bit of paradise on a bun. The establishment has their own Facebook Page and a loyal group of subscribers. I’m one of them. Menu choice…Blue Cheese Burger.