1 – A U.S. Coast Guard cutter began icebreaking operations this week on Saginaw Bay.
The cutter Bristol Bay was working in the bay’s shipping channel.
The ice in the Essexville area is unstable and the Coast Guard is advising everyone to stay clear.
The cutter Bristol Bay is a 140-foot tug that works in conjunction with a special barge.
The icebreaking work is part of Operation Coal Shovel, which breaks ice in Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario and the southern part of Lake Huron. It also does work in the St. Clair and Detroit river systems.
Another Coast Guard team is breaking ice in Lake Michigan’s Green Bay.
2 – The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County is posting weekly waterfowl count results on its Facebook page.
Earlier this week, most refuge waters were reported to be frozen, but sections of the river remained open to harboring birds.
Those included almost 10,000 Canada geese, 27 sandhill cranes, and 23 bald eagles.
The refuge contains more than 9,600 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood forest, and grasslands.
The refuge is designated as a U.S. Important Bird Area for its global significance to migratory waterfowl.
It’s one of a limited number of locations that these geese use to rest and feed while traveling the Mississippi Flyway to and from wintering grounds as far south as Georgia.