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Lynyrd Skymmr Rocks at Keeping Milwaukee Rivers Clean
If there's a cooler name than the Lynyrd Skymmr for any piece of heavy equipment in America, Jim Stingl would like to hear it.

Milwaukee's river skimmer is back on the water for the season with its rocking moniker.  In 2013 the Aquarius Systems' Trash Hunter collected 1,225 cubic yards of garbage and debris from rivers and Lake Michigan.  It's enough to fill 61 dumpsters this size:



Some cities, like Washington, D.C., haven't bothered to name their skimmers. Others have come up with just-OK names. Houston calls its boat the Mighty Tidy, which beat out Stinky Pinky and Captain Clean in a contest there.

Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, settled for the literal Flotsam and Jetsam for its river-clearing boats. New York has a few including the Jamaica Bay, Snowy Egret and Ibis. Yawn.

Jane Dauffenbach, president of Aquarius Systems in North Prairie, which built Milwaukee's boat, said aquatic weed harvesters made by the company were more often named. Brooklyn has the Lake Mess Monster; Bakersfield, Calif., whacks watery weeds with the Mark Twain; and Indian Lake in Ohio uses the pun-free Lake Raker.

So it looks like Lynyrd Skymmr blows the competition out of the water. With a name that suggests high decibels, it's notable that this 3-year-old watercraft is 40% quieter than its predecessor.



 
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Agricultural Runoff Fueling Aquatic Overgrowth - Over the past several years, the backwaters of the upper Mississippi River have seen an increase in duckweed and algal blooms, growing into thick, green mats on the surface of the water. The free-floating flora is a nuisance for anglers, boaters and swimmers alike, but the overgrowth is problematic for the aquatic ecosystem as well.


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