Important meeting will suggest policies to maintain Lake Huron levels

by Nancy McDermid

KAGAWONG—Learn about the latest science regarding the upper great lake water levels on Saturday August 6 when the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board (IUGLSB) holds a public meeting at the Kagawong Park Centre.

The board will be presenting its findings and potential regulation plans for Lake Huron during the meeting and organizers feel it is important for the public to show up in large numbers as an expression of interest on the fate of the lake. The meeting is the only one the IUGLSB is holding on Manitoulin this year and one of a series it is holding across Canada and the US as the organization gauges public interest on the topic of great lake water levels.

“We are trying to get as many people out to the meeting as we can because we believe we have a chance to make a difference,” said Therese Trainor, secretary of the Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council(MASC).

“This is a chance for the public to show the study board that they are concerned about the water levels on the Great Lakes. We will be videotaping the event and posting information on our website in order to get people involved,” Ms. Trainor said.

A ‘water’ committee formed out of the MASC has examined the study documents and hopes to pose questions to the board and encourages the public to do so as well. The concern is that the water level in Lake Huron is down while the water level in Lake Erie is up. “Of greater concern is the fact that Lake Huron’s water level continues its slide towards an all-time historical low,” Ms. Trainor writes in a letter to the editor published on July 27 in the Manitoulin Expositor.

“We (the water committee) believe that Lake Huron can be returned to its former level without a big disruption to those south of us,” Ms. Trainor said in a telephone interview. The committee suspects that the amount of water disappearing into the St. Clair river in Sarnia is impacting both Lake Huron and Lake Erie.

During the meeting, scientists will be reporting on glacial isostatic adjustment, restoration options for Lake Huron, options for a new regulation plan for Lake Superior outflows, multi-lake regulation, impacts of climate change and an adaptive management framework. For further information about the study or to review the water level report, visit the Great Lakes Study website at www.iugls.org. The meeting is being held from 10 am – 12 pm.