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Emergency order bans dropping anchor in Straits of Mackinac

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas
flickr user Always Shooting

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a temporary order that bans ships from dropping anchor in the Straits of Mackinac. That’s following an incident in April when a ship dragged an anchor across the bottom of the straits, causing a mineral oil spill and damage to the Line 5 fuel pipeline.

“Maritime maps have been marked for some time with the Straits of Mackinac as an advisory to not drop your anchor, but there’s been no rule or regulation technically prohibiting it, and so this rule now prohibits that,” said Snyder Communications Director Ari Adler.

Adler says the rule will make it easier to take legal action against a ship or shipping company that violates the no-anchor zone.  The temporary order lasts six months while the state tries to negotiate with the U.S. Coast Guard on a permanent federal rule.

“We are working with the Coast Guard and making good progress on moving toward a federal regulation that would establish a permanent no-anchor zone in the Straits of Mackinac,” Adler said.   

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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