While an official welcome home ceremony for the S.S. Badger Car Ferry is scheduled for later this month, a crowd welcomed it to port Monday for another season of sailing. The ferry pulled into Manitowoc from Ludington, Michigan with about 100 passengers on board.
Bob Manglitz, CEO of Lake Michigan Car Ferry Service, says he’s “very pleased” for both communities and for all those who rely on the service.
The 60th season was very much in doubt as federal officials mounted pressure to have the S.S. Badger–the oldest steamship on the Great Lakes–either find a cleaner way to dump its exhaust or shut down.
A new 2-year deal with the EPA lets the ship keep dumping waste ash into Lake Michigan. “It was a long struggle. It a lot of our resources and we always believed we would be operating,” says Manglitz. “We believe we will be operating 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now.”
The season opened about three weeks early as the Badger and Broadwind Energy of Manitowoc reached an agreement to ship Wind Energy Towers to Michigan. Those parts will start moving across the lake later this month as the ground is currently too wet to move the turbines to port.