Spring weather conditions have taken hold in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Ice breaking operations on the bay of Green Bay and all the Great Lakes, however, ended as of noon April 26th. The 109-day mission dubbed Operation: TACONITE spent just over 18-hundred hours assisting nearly 600 ships. That allowed more than 11-million tons of materials to be shipped region-wide including through Green Bay. While that sounds like a big effort, Vessel Traffic Management Specialist Mark Dobson with the U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste Marie says the shipping season was slightly below normal.
Now the cutters will focus on getting navigation buoys ready for another summer shipping season. Dobson says, however, cutters from other portions of the Great Lakes are being brought onto Green Bay because the coast guard is without the Sturgeon Bay-based cutter Mobile Bay.
Installation of the buoys and other navigation aids will only take about three to four weeks.