(AREA) -- The U.S. Coast Guard says it has started seasonal ice-breaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River systems, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The effort called "Operation Coal Shovel" began Thursday and also includes the Canadian Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard is also scheduled to begin ice-breaking operations in the Saginaw Bay. The 225-foot Port Huron-based cutter Hollyhock will be in the Saginaw Bay shipping channel. Icebreakers from the U.S. and Canada work together to prevent ice jams in the waterways as conditions worsen throughout the winter. Crews say any ice in the area should be considered unsafe and officials are urging people in the area to stay clear.