The SS Badger has been making the four-hour run from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin since 1953. It's the last coal-fired ferry in the United States and annually attracts some 100,000 passengers.
The ferry is an important aspect of life in Ludington. It brings tourists, which means jobs and income for the small town.
However, there are growing concerns among environmental groups. Now, the Badger can potentially dump up to four tons of coal ash slurry directly into Lake Michigan on its route. This is legal due to an EPA permit that allows the Badger to continue this practice, but that permit is now under review. If the permit is cut, the Badger's days are coming to an end.
Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Brandy Henderson. Henderson is with Ludington's Visitors and Convention Bureau and spoke about the emotional attachment and identity that Ludington has for the SS Badger.
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