More than 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline potentially vulnerable to Straits of Mackinac oil spills

More than 700 miles of shoreline in lakes Huron and Michigan are potentially vulnerable to oil spills if the pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac ruptures, according to a new University of Michigan computer-modeling study.

U-M Water Center hydrodynamics expert David Schwab developed computer simulations to determine how far and how fast an oil spill could spread in lakes Michigan ad Huron. This study is a critical component of assessing the risk to Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

Areas at highest risk include Mackinac and Bois Blanc islands, as well as locations directly east and west of Mackinaw City. Communities also at risk include Beaver Island, Cross Village, Harbor Springs, Cheboygan and other places along the lakes Huron-Michigan shoreline.

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