Coast Guard concludes ice breaking operations on Western Great Lakes

The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot heavy icebreaker.

USCG File Photo

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded its domestic ice breaking operations in support of commercial navigation, known as Operation Taconite, throughout the Western Great Lakes, Tuesday.

As a result of warmer temperatures this winter, ice coverage was less than the multi-year average and had no significant impact on commercial navigation on the Great Lakes. Nearly all of the ice that formed has melted.

Six Coast Guard cutters assigned to Operation Taconite conducted nearly 2,200 hours of domestic ice breaking in support of U.S. and Canadian shipping interests. Nearly 14 million tons of dry and liquid cargo, valued at more than $488 million, was shipped during the winter navigation season which spanned 113 days. These commodities were used in sustaining industrial production and generating power throughout the Great Lakes region during the winter months.

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