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MSU conference explores need for greater international cooperation to protect vital global watersheds
MLive (11/25)
A recent Michigan State University workshop focused on water rights and improving cross-border policies for the protection of the great waters of the world.

VU students testing area waters
The Northwest Indiana Times (11/21)
Students of Valparaiso University, Ind., were at Lake Michigan to work on water quality measurements for an Environmental Protection Agency education project.

Forest Hills students put surf boards to the test in Lake Michigan
MLive (11/20)
Surf’s up! Well at least it was for some lucky students from Forest Hills Public Schools on Thursday, Nov. 19. Twenty students from each of the district’s three high schools had an opportunity to surf 10- to 12-foot waves at Grand Haven State Park, Mich.

City says yes to dock sale
Traverse City Record-Eagle (11/3)
In Traverse City, Mich., commissioners agreed to sell the coal dock marina to a group of nonprofit organizations focused on Great Lakes history, education and environmental protection to expand use for nonprofits and construct new, modern facilities.

TVDSB high school students learn about importance of Great Lakes
St. Thomas Times-Journal (10/31)
Participants at the Lake Erie Student Conference spent the day in Port Stanley, Ont., taking demonstrations on water quality testing, commercial fishing, birds of prey and the threat of invasive species.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
TEACH: Building the Mackinac Bridge

table of contents
The construction period: 1954-57
Bridge trivia
References and more information

The Mackinac Bridge looking south. Rising 552 feet (that's 55 stories!) above the Straits of Mackinac, where lakes Michigan and Huron meet, is the world-famous Mackinac Bridge. Also known as the "Mighty Mac," this engineering marvel is 5 miles long and, anchor block to anchor block, holds the record as the longest suspension bridge in the world!

Before the Mackinac Bridge was constructed, travelers between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas had to cross the Straits via an an hour-long ferry ride. On busy weekends, like the start of hunting season or the Fourth of July holiday, carloads of anxious travelers would wait in line as long as 24 hours to catch a ferry.

Although the bridge was envisioned way back in the late 1800s, Sen. Prentiss M. Brown, Sr., the "Father of the Mackinac Bridge," was the key figure in the bridge construction project. Governor-elect G. Mennen (Soapie) Williams was another strong advocate for the bridge and helped to create the Mackinac Bridge Authority in 1950. Steinman quote.The bridge designer was Dr. David B. Steinman and primary contruction firms were Merrit-Chapman & Scott and the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel.

Today, the Mackinac Bridge is hailed as one of the most outstanding engineering achievements of the century and leaves people wondering how Michigan ever got along without it! The 100 millionth crossing of the bridge happened on June 25, 1998.

View from the Mackinaw City shore, May 2000.

Images: The Mackinac Bridge looking south, and view from the Mackinaw City shore (May 2000), both courtesy Christine Manninen.

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