But last summer the carp, which could
Chicago Canal Reopens
decimate native fish stocks in the Lakes,
got dangerously close to the barrier at Mile
Marker 296, near Romeoville, Illinois, and
the Corps increased the electrical power
from one volt to two volts. That led the
Coast Guard, which controls navigation,
to close the canal to all but steel-hulled
commercial craft out of safety concerns,
leaving southbound cruisers stuck. The
waterway is an important link in the “Great
Loop” cruising route around the east-
ern half of the U.S. Until BoatU.S., the
Waterway Guide and the America’s Great
Loop Cruisers’ Association got involved,
the only way non-metallic recreational ves-
sels could get through was under tow, with
a dead engine, by a steel commercial vessel,
a $600 option. After a four-week closure
and some testing by the Corps, the Coast
Guard reopened the canal for boats over 20
feet but only during a daily 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
travel window, and with a requirement that
boaters request prior authorization to make
the 0.7-mile transit.
Everyone aboard must wear a U.S.
Coast Guard-approved life jacket, remain
seated and “avoid contact with standing
water and anything metal unless necessary
for navigation, and avoid making contact
with anything outside the hull.” Due to the
risk of shock, personal watercraft, canoes,
After closing the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal that connects Lake Michigan
with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers to
recreational boats late last summer, the U.S.
Coast Guard reopened it in mid-September
but with strict new transit procedures. To
prevent non-native Asian Carp already in
the Illinois River from entering the Great
Lakes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
which operates the canal, installed an electronic “fish fence” in 2005.
“We appreciate that the U.S. Coast
Guard and the Corps of Engineers worked
hard to strike a balance to keep the fish barrier effective while continuing to allow recreational boats passage,” said BoatU.S. Vice
President of Government Affairs Margaret
Podlich. “We strongly advise any boater contemplating that route during the 2010 boating season to check the latest Coast Guard
regulations through the District 9 website:
www.d9publicaffairs.com.” — R.L.
Around The Americas, Online The voyage continues as Ocean Watch exits the frozen Arctic and heads down the North and South American coasts on its clockwise circumnavigation of the Americas (see November BoatU.S. Magazine). In September the 64-footer cleared Davis Strait in Canada, completing the Northwest Passage from east to west, in one ice sea- son. The expedition boat will make 30 scheduled stops in 12 countries as it heads around the southern capes and back toward Seattle later this year. At presstime the steel sloop was off the coast of Brazil. Follow the crew’s exciting log: www.AroundtheAmericas.org
kayaks, rafts, or non-motorized sailboats
were still prohibited from transiting the
canal at press time.
09-ACR-685 Aqualink ad Boat US:Aqualink Ad Boat US 11/12/09 9:58 AM Page 1
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