Mackinac Island a fun winter destination The Northwest Indiana Times (2/8) In the northern part of Michigan, there is a summer haven for tourists. But what many people don't know is Mackinac Island draws snow enthusiasts thanks to its cross country ski trails, winter festivals and welcoming year-round lodges.
Mild winter melts ice, opens lake for Miller Ferry Sandusky Register (2/6) Ohioans islanders will have a taste of spring this weekend while the Miller Ferry reopens for a short time. The ferry generally closes after the holidays and reopens in March, which is when ice has receded enough to safely use the boats.
Miller Ferry closes for winter due to weather conditions The Norwalk Reflector (1/10) After a unseasonably warm start to the winter which allowed Lake Erie’s water to remain open for passage, Miller Ferry has finally announced that it will not run for the remainder of the winter season.
Mild December stretches ferry season on Erie The Toldedo Blade (1/5) In early January for the past two years, the ferry docks in Catawba Island, Ohio, were empty and ice had either shut off the main lifeline between the village of Put-in-Bay and the rest of the world, of its stranglehold on the lake was rapidly developing.
The 35,000 islands of the Great Lakes form a superlative natural system. In fact, the largest lake island in the world is Manitoulin in Lake Huron (Ontario), covering 1,068 square miles. Due to their isolation, islands have unique properties warranting special attention and protection. The properties of Great Lakes islands include high proportions of endemic and endangered species, fish spawning areas, open and perched dunes, and nesting colonial waterbirds and migratory waterfowl. These islands contain many critical natural features, cultural resources, and recreational opportunities that, despite being threatened by pressures of unplanned development and habitat destruction, have yet to be holistically addressed.
More Great Lakes island facts:
The Thirty Thousand Islands of Georgian Bay, Ontario, actually include around 17,500 islands.
The Thousand Islands between New York and Ontario number about 1,500.
Lake of the Woods, shared by Ontario, Minnesota and Manitoba, is said to contain 14,000 islands.
Finland claims to have more islands than any other country, with a stated total of 179,584. However, Canada probably exceeds this number with its immense areas of island-strewn lakes and thousands of miles of rocky coastline.
The largest island created by human action is the Ile Rene-Lavasseur, a 780-square-mile island in Manicouagan Reservoir, Quebec. The reservoir was formed by the damming of a river to flood a 210 million-year-old meteor crater. The crater's central uplift became the island.
References: Great Lakes Island Project, Michigan State University, 1996; Josh Calder, Island Information
General Resources Great Lakes Islands Committee U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service View the The Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team's overall assessment of the islands for protection and restoration efforts along with informational factsheets and helpful links.
Islands of the Great Lakes U.S. EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office A team has been identifying Priority Island Conservation Areas (PICAs). These PICAs will be part of the forthcoming Framework for the Binational Conservation of the Great Lakes Islands, which will help island managers, owners, and policymakers prioritize and target island conservation actions.