Excerpt from WashingronTimes on historic flooding:
IJC Future steps could include recommendations for flood control structures, such as a dam that was begun in the 1930s in Quebec but was never finished.
Low-lying areas around the lake in Vermont and New York were inundated by the spring runoff that kept the lake above flood stage for more than two months in 2011.
“The International Lake Superior Board of Control, under authority granted to it by the International Joint Commission, expects to increase the Lake Superior outflow for the month of May.
The increased outflow is expected to exceed the capacities of the hydropower plants on the St. Marys River in May, and therefore the excess will be released through the control structure at the head of the St. Marys Rapids.
“The outflow of Lake Superior will be adjusted over the next several months to accommodate expected maintenance at the hydropower plants, and to reduce the potential for adverse consequences of high and fluctuating flows in the St. Marys Rapids.”
It also follows two periods of public review and feedback, and builds upon considerable co-operative work and planning that has been undertaken in the basin in recent years.” The Plan of Study identifies five themes of concern, and strongly recommends funding for 32 projects and activities to support a balanced approach to water quality management, in response to concerns by governments, researchers, local residents and indigenous peoples about the basin’s ecosystem health.
Johnson told her colleagues that IJC Plan 2014 would negate the benefits from dredging completed this fall by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging of the Oak Orchard Harbor.
The dredging removed more than 10 years of sediment from a federal channel actively used by boating, sport-fishing and recreation activities. Allowing for higher-highs and lower-lows in lake levels would wash that maintenance away, Johnson said.
“Dredging our harbors cost well over $1 million, and yet the federal government-appointed IJC has put forth a plan that would devastate our harbors,” said Johnson, who cited estimates of $3.5 million in damages to shoreline protection systems. “This is government at its worst.”
The International Joint Commission oversees the management of Lake Ontario. For fifty years, a hydro-electric dam has regulated the naturally fluctuating shoreline. Frank Bevacqua of the IJC says scientific advancements show that the existing plan is harmful to the environment.
“The remaining 64,000 acres of coastal wetlands along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been degraded.”
The IJC wants to hear from you before submitting its recommendations to the Governments of Canada and the United States. The International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study is available for review and comment for a 30-day period, from November 12 to December 11, 2014.
Skin, beauty and bath care products can contain the tiny bits of plastic that go down the drain and end up being flushed through the municipal sewage treatment system and into lakes and into the bellies of fish.
“It doesn’t go away,” said Parent. Toothpastes and deodorants are among the other common products that can contain microplastics, although some manufacturers are avoiding their use.
Once entering the Great Lakes waterway, the microplastics not only become a threat to aquatic life, but also endanger and become a contaminant for humans through the food chain.