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1
Sinking of the Straits of Mackinac, April 10 2003 - Bow Camera
Sinking of the Straits of Mackinac, April 10 2003 - Bow Camera
::2011/02/22::
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2
Great Lakes Sailing - Straits of Mackinac
Great Lakes Sailing - Straits of Mackinac
::2010/11/27::
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3
Shipwreck diving in the Straits of Mackinac
Shipwreck diving in the Straits of Mackinac
::2013/09/05::
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4
Straits of Mackinac Contaminant Release Scenario: 12-Hour Release in August in Center of Straits
Straits of Mackinac Contaminant Release Scenario: 12-Hour Release in August in Center of Straits
::2014/07/08::
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5
Sunken Hazard - NWF Dives underwater Mackinac Pipelines
Sunken Hazard - NWF Dives underwater Mackinac Pipelines
::2013/10/09::
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6
Boating fun on the Indian River and the Straits of Mackinac (Mackinaw) Go Pro Video
Boating fun on the Indian River and the Straits of Mackinac (Mackinaw) Go Pro Video
::2013/07/31::
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7
Diving - Straits of Mackinac - Cedarville Shipwreck
Diving - Straits of Mackinac - Cedarville Shipwreck
::2007/01/17::
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8
Diving the Straits of Mackinac
Diving the Straits of Mackinac
::2011/07/24::
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9
Straits of Mackinac Contaminant Release Scenario: 12-Hour Release in August on North Side of Straits
Straits of Mackinac Contaminant Release Scenario: 12-Hour Release in August on North Side of Straits
::2014/07/08::
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10
The Cedarville Shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac
The Cedarville Shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac
::2013/06/23::
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11
The Sandusky shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac
The Sandusky shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac
::2013/08/26::
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12
Securing Enbridge
Securing Enbridge's Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac
::2014/09/04::
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13
NMU swimmers swim across the Straits of Mackinac
NMU swimmers swim across the Straits of Mackinac
::2014/07/07::
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14
Sandusky Shipwreck - Straits of Mackinac July 2014
Sandusky Shipwreck - Straits of Mackinac July 2014
::2014/07/25::
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15
Straits Of Mackinac Car Ferrys and Bridge Near completion
Straits Of Mackinac Car Ferrys and Bridge Near completion
::2012/06/02::
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16
It
It's Shocking to Think - Enbridge Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac
::2014/07/15::
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17
William Young Shipwreck - Straits of Mackinac July 2014
William Young Shipwreck - Straits of Mackinac July 2014
::2014/07/25::
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18
Straits of Mackinac May 2014
Straits of Mackinac May 2014
::2014/05/23::
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19
The Straits of Mackinac
The Straits of Mackinac
::2014/06/29::
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20
Scuba Diving in the Straits of Mackinac August 2013
Scuba Diving in the Straits of Mackinac August 2013
::2013/08/31::
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21
Diver Inspects Enbridge Pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac
Diver Inspects Enbridge Pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac
::2014/10/09::
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22
MSD Dive The Straits of Mackinac - Maitland
MSD Dive The Straits of Mackinac - Maitland
::2012/08/05::
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23
Straits of Mackinac
Straits of Mackinac
::2010/12/27::
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24
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay Breaks Ice in Straits of Mackinac
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay Breaks Ice in Straits of Mackinac
::2014/01/20::
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25
Diver Inspects Enbridge Pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac(2)
Diver Inspects Enbridge Pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac(2)
::2014/10/09::
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26
BRIDGE CROSSING AT STRAITS OF MACKINAC 10/06/09
BRIDGE CROSSING AT STRAITS OF MACKINAC 10/06/09
::2009/10/08::
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27
Shepler
Shepler's Straits of Mackinac Lighthouse Cruise
::2010/02/15::
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28
Swims the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time with WildWomanOutdoors.com in 2011
Swims the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time with WildWomanOutdoors.com in 2011
::2011/07/29::
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29
Wreck Dive "Straits of Mackinac" 6Jul13
Wreck Dive "Straits of Mackinac" 6Jul13
::2013/07/15::
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30
Straits of Mackinac Westerlies
Straits of Mackinac Westerlies
::2014/10/04::
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31
Pipeline Under Michigan
Pipeline Under Michigan's Straights of Mackinac : Michigan's Big Show
::2014/07/18::
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32
Diving the Straits of Mackinac, August 2013
Diving the Straits of Mackinac, August 2013
::2013/08/25::
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33
Swimming the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time in 2011 with WildWomanOutdoors.com
Swimming the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time in 2011 with WildWomanOutdoors.com
::2013/01/05::
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34
Straits of Mackinac Diving
Straits of Mackinac Diving
::2013/07/29::
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35
MSD Dive The Straits of Mackinac - Eber Ward
MSD Dive The Straits of Mackinac - Eber Ward
::2012/07/31::
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36
M. Stalker Shipwreck, Straits of Mackinac, Sept. 2008
M. Stalker Shipwreck, Straits of Mackinac, Sept. 2008
::2009/12/26::
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Coast Guard Deploys Oil Skimming Equipment in Straits of Mackinac
Coast Guard Deploys Oil Skimming Equipment in Straits of Mackinac
::2012/01/25::
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38
Freighter Passing A Sailboat In the Straits Of Mackinac
Freighter Passing A Sailboat In the Straits Of Mackinac
::2014/05/09::
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39
Sailing north up  lake Huron in route to the Straits of Mackinac
Sailing north up lake Huron in route to the Straits of Mackinac
::2014/06/27::
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40
Ancient River Canyon at the Straits of Mackinac
Ancient River Canyon at the Straits of Mackinac
::2009/03/08::
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41
Cedarville shipwreck straits of Mackinac
Cedarville shipwreck straits of Mackinac
::2009/05/11::
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42
Diving - Straits of Mackinac - William Young Shipwreck
Diving - Straits of Mackinac - William Young Shipwreck
::2007/01/17::
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Three Teens Paddle across the Straits of Mackinac supporting swimmer Kellie Nightlinger
Three Teens Paddle across the Straits of Mackinac supporting swimmer Kellie Nightlinger
::2013/01/05::
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Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Penetration
Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Penetration
::2010/01/31::
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Straits of Mackinac Aug
Straits of Mackinac Aug '13
::2013/08/21::
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46
Barnum Shipwreck: Straits of Mackinac
Barnum Shipwreck: Straits of Mackinac
::2008/08/25::
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SOS Johnson heads across Straits of Mackinac
SOS Johnson heads across Straits of Mackinac
::2013/05/31::
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Ms. Yooper visits the Straits of Mackinac
Ms. Yooper visits the Straits of Mackinac
::2012/08/15::
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MSD Dive Straits of Mackinac - William Young
MSD Dive Straits of Mackinac - William Young
::2012/08/09::
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Swimming the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time-WildWomanOutdoor.com
Swimming the Straits of Mackinac for the 4th time-WildWomanOutdoor.com's Kellie Nightlinger
::2013/01/04::
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South–facing overhead view of the Straits of Mackinac linking Lakes Michigan (right) and Huron (left)

The Straits of Mackinac (/ˈmækɨnɔː/ MAK-in-aw) is the narrow waterway separating the U.S. state of Michigan's Lower Peninsula from its Upper Peninsula. The Straits of Mackinac connect two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The straits are five miles (8.0 km) wide and 20 fathoms (120 ft; 37 m) deep.[1] Hydrologically, the two connected lakes can be considered one, which is called Lake Michigan–Huron.

History[edit]

The Straits of Mackinac is a major shipping lane, providing passage for raw materials and finished goods and connecting, for instance, the iron mines of Minnesota to the steel mills of Gary, Indiana. Before the railroads reached Chicago from the east, most immigrants arrived in the Midwest and Great Plains by ships on the Great Lakes. The straits is five miles (8 km) wide at its narrowest point, where it is spanned by the Mackinac Bridge. Before the bridge was built, car ferries transported vehicles across the straits. Today passenger-only ferries carry people to Mackinac Island, which does not permit cars. Visitors can take their vehicles on a car ferry to Bois Blanc Island.

Islands in the Straits of Mackinac include the two populated islands, Bois Blanc and Mackinac, and two that are uninhabited: Round and St. Helena islands. At 11 miles (18 km) in length, Bois Blanc is the largest island in the straits.

Satellite photograph of icebreaker paths through the ice in the straits. The Mackinac Bridge is the vertical line in the center, connecting the landmass of the Upper Peninsula above to lower Michigan below. The icebreaker paths run right-to-left, connecting the open water of Lake Michigan with the open water of Lake Huron between Mackinac Island and Round Island.
The Straits of Mackinac, spanned by the Mackinac Bridge, seen from the southern shore

The straits are shallow and narrow enough to freeze over in the winter. Navigation is ensured for year-round shipping to the Lower Great Lakes by the use of icebreakers.

The straits were an important Native American and fur trade route. Located on the southern side of the straits is the town of Mackinaw City, the site of Fort Michilimackinac, a reconstructed French fort founded in 1715, and on the northern side is St. Ignace, site of a French Catholic mission to the Indians, founded in 1671. The eastern end of the straits was controlled by Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, a British colonial and early American military base and fur trade center, founded in 1781.

Straits of Mackinac today[edit]

The straits are patrolled by a detachment of the United States Coast Guard based at Graham Point, St. Ignace. A shipping channel through the winter ice is maintained by the Coast Guard's Great Lakes icebreaker, USCGC Mackinaw, based in Cheboygan near the eastern edge of the Straits. This new vessel went into service during the 2005/06 ice season.

Most of the Straits have been set aside by the state of Michigan as the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve, a riparian public space dedicated to those personnel who were lost aboard the boats and ships that sank in these dangerous shipping lanes.

Lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinac include:


2008 panorama of the Straits from Mackinac Island

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°48′50″N 84°45′00″W / 45.81389°N 84.75000°W / 45.81389; -84.75000

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