From Maine to Michigan


IJC reporting on boundary from Maine to Michigan:

“New low water records were set in January 2013 for the Great Lakes of Michigan and Huron, now in their 14th consecutive year of low water levels. This period is the longest duration of low water on record and has resulted in lowering the long-term average level for the lakes.

Swinging like a pendulum, the Red and Souris River basins have fluctuated from deluge in 2011 to drought in 2012.  For 2013, record snowpack levels, an extended winter and the unknown impact of spring and summer rainfall heighten the impending flood risk. Board member Todd Sando reported that the elevation of the “100-year flood has now doubled” in the Souris, as the basin is still reeling from the devastation caused by 2011 flooding. The Commission accepted a Souris Plan of Study and will be deliberating and providing recommendations to the governments in the near future. 

Further east, the memories of surviving more than 60 days of elevated flood waters in 2011 persist in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River watershed. The Commission accepted a report by the Work Group tasked with developing a Plan of Study, which would further evaluate structural and non-structural options for water management in the transboundary watershed shared by Vermont, New York and Quebec. The IJC will deliberate on the Work Group’s findings and recommendations prior to issuing advice to governments. 

The IJC’s first international watershed board is the International St. Croix River Watershed Board, which helped to increase understanding of native alewives and the importance of restoring passage to the full length of the river.  A recent change in Maine state law allows the return of the native alewives.”


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