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Drought exposes Great Lakes wrecks

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – The remains of a wooden steamer built 125 years ago recently were uncovered in West Michigan because of lower Great Lakes water levels.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/XS5bCY) sections of the 290-foot steamer Aurora, which burned in 1932, and parts of at least four other shipwreck hulks were exposed by the receding waterline at Grand Haven near the edges of Harbor Island.

The Aurora is in the Grand River, which flows into Lake Michigan nearby.

Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates members and officials with the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven have surveyed the area. Valerie Van Heest, director of MSRA and a maritime historian, says this offers a rare chance to see wrecks without having to scuba dive.

The Great Lakes are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures.

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