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After wave action during 2012's Superstorm Sandy undermined Oswego harbor's 850 foot detached breakwall, the Corps of Engineers received 19 million dollars to restore the wall, which is crucial to the continued and increasingly important role of Oswego's Port Authority in the growth of Central New York's economy.

The Corps will deploy a true heavweight in Oswego. They'll use Dolos, 16-ton concrete structures, the largest they've ever used in a breakwater project.

Dolos work by dissipating the energy in waves, directing it sideways rather than trying to block it entirely. They interlock with one another to form a mesh, and over time, wave action tends to settle them more snugly together.

They will be placed on a bed of 20-ton Limestone, which is now arriving at the Port aboard hundreds of trucks and rail cars from quarries in Jamesville NY and Vermont.

Because there are gaps between and among Dolosse, they make excellent aquatic habitat for fish and other underwater creatures. Their sheer mass tends to collect and hold organic debris (logs and etc), which while decompossing help establish and maintain a nutrient rich environment.

Software developed in France will monitor the performance of the Limestone bed and precast structure in the face of Lake Ontario's waves and currents.

Durocher Marine is the lead contractor on the project, and Lakeland Concrete (Lima, NY) is building 950 Dolos, with the possibility of up to 100 more as the Corps and Contractor work to attain the design density along the targeted plot. 

Dolosse were invented by South African engineer Eric Mowbray, who worked at the East London S.A harbor. After a severe storm in 1963, he set out to design a concrete block that could be "sprinkled on his existing breakwalls like children's jacks."

He and a fellow engineer came up with an "H" form with one side of the "H" rotated 90 degrees. This design, called a "Dolos", was so successful that today Dolosse (Dohl-awe-sah) are routinely used to protect beaches, create new breakwalls, and reinforce existing breakwaters everywhere in the world.

They are not, however, indestructible. They are formed from unreinforced concrete, and under extreme conditions can hammer each other and be ground into dust.

Sources: Concrete & Wikipedia.





Why won't Lake Ontario freeze?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's deep. Deeper than all but Lake Superior, and lower in latitude than most of the others. Still, in 50 years of watching Lake Ontario in winter, and wishing it would freeze, it simply will not.

This could have been the year. Unusually cold. If the lake froze, the "lake-effect" snow storms would end and we'd be able to take the white "we surrender" flag out of the window.

Encouragingly, while facing obscene heating bills, we have rarely seen our shores so heavily ice bound.

Will the ice kill the snow? Close, but at 43%, no cigar.

How do you spell C O L D? In the counties at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, it's S N O W. And that's because the lake refuses to freeze - giving rise to the infamous "lake-effect" snow storm which can drop a foot of snow on you in about 30 minutes, go away for an hour and then come back to drop a foot of two more.

In a recent (image and report courtesy NOAA Feb 13) summary of Great Lakes ice cover, Lake Ontario stood at 43% while two others, Superior and Erie, were 100% frozen, and Michigan and Huron not far behind.

In total, the lakes were 88% ice-bound on February 13, 2014, topping the previous record of 82% set in 1996, according to this report from NOAA 


What the Kiwis Know that Larry Ellison hasn't figured out yet

The America's Cup began as a contest between nations. The boats had to be built at home, the sails and equipment had to originate at home, and the crews had to be citizens of the challenging and defending nations.   Dean Barker, a Kiwi through and through, and those who support and finance him know what's wrong with the Cup: it begs to return to being a contest between nations.

That's what the Kiwi's tried to do, (given the circumstances) with an all "down under" team last month, and it's why we cheered him on out there on SF Bay.

The problem: Oracle Team USA's boat was ALSO a product of New Zealand. In a sense, the Kiwis were sailing against themselves and in the end, sadly, money, not skill, not passion or national pride made the difference.

The hard truth is money will almost always triumph. The shame is, in sport, especially at its pinnacles like in the AC, it shouldn't be allowed to. AC boats should be one design, period.

Mr. Ellison, why don't you try to win with an American boat and team?

Maybe winning, for you, doesn't have any boundaries. I promise you that for us, the sailors and citiznes, it does.

So, the 34th Cup was a fantastic spectacle with no real depth and will soon be forgotten. We are passionate sailors, but for us it's "ho hum," and we don't really care because the whole thing has become an amorphous blob.

What could have been pride is now apathy. Yes, owner Larry Ellison's checkbook trumped NZ's, but for sheer spirit and joie de vivre effort, we gotta give it to the Kiwis cause they know how to root for the home team.

What do we want? Americans calling the shots on board.

Here's a link to a great post-cup interview with Dean Barker.



The simple answer is, it’s worse than that.

Fact is, since the day the stuff was first invented, not a single molecule of the plastic we use and discard so thoughtlessly has gone away by itself.

Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn't still around. It is!  It’s found its way to our lakes and oceans and it’s threatening to plug things up in a major way.

Last week, the State University of New York released a chilling study. Their conclusion? Concentrations of plastic are higher in the great lakes than anywhere else in the world.

Read more and more here.