Help Save the S.S. Badger Through the S.O.S. Campaign
The communities of Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin are banding together to save an historical landmark...the S.S. Badger carferry.
At the beginning of April 2012, Lake Michigan Carferry was awarded a $75,000 grant from Wisconsin State Energy Office. This is to be used to help begin the process of possibly converting the S.S. Badger to liquefied natural gas instead of coal. A previous federal grant of $800,000 was awarded to the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute in order for them to study the use of natural gas on Great Lakes vessel.
Back in 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered all vessels that regularly discharge to obtain a Vessel General Permit. Since the Badger discharges ash into Lake Michigan from its coal-fired boilers, it was included in this mandate under the Clean Water Act. However, the permit does not allow ash discharge after December 19, 2012, so Lake Michigan Carferry has until that date to come up with a solution. It can switch to diesel power, natural gas or discharge its ash somewhere on land. A grant request was turned down in 2010 that would have provided funds to convert to diesel power. The ash discharged by the S.S. Badger was tested by an independent environmental lab and found to be non-hazardous, and Lake Michigan Carferry has spent over a quarter million dollars on high grade coal and boiler updates.
The S.S. Badger is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the last coal-fired passenger ship in the United States. The ship employs 250 people and is estimated to bring $35 million annually to both Michigan and Wisconsin. The permanent docking of this treasured icon is simply not an option for those of us who benefit from its service and who watch its majestic journey every summer.
Join the cause to help save the S.S. Badger carferry through the S.O.S. (save our ship) campaign. To purchase T-shirts, visit the Todd & Brad Reed Photo Gallery, Gordy's, Redolencia or Big Boy. S.O.S. bottles of water can be purchased from the Reeds and Gordy's.
Contact Lake Michigan CarferryLudington: 701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, MI 49431
Manitowoc: 900 South Lakeshore Drive, Manitowoc, WI 54220