The ice cover over Green Bay is thinker than it has been in many years. With ice still covering as much as 90 percent of the Great Lakes, US Coast Guard icebreaking operations are likely to be stretched to the limit, delaying ice breaking activities in some ports with limited commercial vessel traffic like the Ports of Green Bay and Chicago.
The Port of Green Bay has decided to make a guessing game of the date of arrival for its first ship of the 2014 navigation season. The Port of Green Bay and Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau are offering a prize to the individual who can come closest to guessing when the first ship will arrive at the port this year.
The prize package includes passage for one vehicle and two passengers on the Washington Island Ferry, a $25 gift certificate to The Ship’s Wheel restaurant on Washington Island and four Port of Green Bay can coolers.
Green Bay Port Director Dean Haen says the 2013 navigation season ended earlier than usual, which may increase demand for ships early in the 2014 navigation season, but the Great Lakes are 90 percent frozen over and the port cannot ask for ice-breaking assistance until March 15 at the earliest.
In fact, given the ice conditions that currently exist in the Great Lakes region some experts say that icebreaking operations on Green Bay won't occur until the second or third week of April at the earliest.
To register a prediction, go to www.greenbay.com and click on the First Ship in Port contest link.
Green Bay's WBAY Channel 2 Action News featured the port contest on a recent broadcast which can be found at: http://www.wbay.com/story/24792245/2014/02/21/port-of-green-bay-predictions