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Boreal Community Media

Coast Guard kicks off Operation Taconite ice-breaking effort

Jan 08, 2019 08:52AM ● By Editor

Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay gets underway, preparing for Operation Taconite. Photos taken by LT j.g. Zach Wells, Executive Officer, CGC Katmai Bay


From WMMT-TV on January 7, 2019


The cold snap is creating more ice in the commercial ports of Western Lake Superior and the St. Marys River, so the U.S. Coast Guard is kicking off Operation Taconite. 

Operation Taconite is the Coast Guard's largest domestic icebreaking operation. 

Operation Taconite encompasses Lake Superior, St. Marys River, Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. 

Ice breaking operations are based on the following order of priorities: search and rescue, urgent response to vessels in deteriorating weather conditions, community services for flood control and remote communities in immediate need of food, fuel for heat, energy, or and medical assistance, and facilitation of navigation.

In the coming weeks, various commercial waterways may close after due consideration is given to the protection of the marine environment and the safety of island residents who, in the course of their daily business, use naturally formed ice bridges for transportation to and from the mainland.