“In November, the IJC issued a 25-page report advising both governments take decisive steps to protect human health and the environment by reducing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the lakes. The brominated flame retardants, which are bioaccumulative and found in many products, have been in use since the 1970s and exposure has been linked to cancers, reproductive health, thyroid, neurobehavioral and developmental disorders.”
US and Canada efforts towards cleaning up PCBs and other toxic chemicals in Au Sable river and Lake Huron.
“We’ve come to Toronto to ask Seabridge whether it will publicly support an International Joint commission review,” Olsen said in a press release. “We’re deeply concerned about the unprecedented downstream risks to our people, who rely on the health of our rivers for their livelihoods. As with the Pebble Mine, the long-term risks outweigh the rewards.”
Mining project in British Columbia will impact tribal lands an rivers and livelihood …..possible IJC review. Touch on link to read more.
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.
Excerpt on efforts of IJC on Lake level issues resolution:
“We would like to thank the experts working in the basin on these issues, the International Multi Agency Arrangement partners, the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board and its community and industry advisory groups and Canadian and U.S. indigenous communities for their contribution to the draft water quality plan of study,” said the board’s Canadian study co-chairman Glenn Benoy.
The over 100-page plan is quite detailed and lays out the principles and approaches to be taken while studying the many issues facing the Lake of the Woods basin on both sides of the border.
It includes frameworks with how to interact and involve all of the different governments, communities, private interest and First Nations, which all have a stake in the lake and the research being done.
The International Joint Commission releases a new report on the health of the Great Lakes. Excerpts from the report:
Noting that the focus of environmental monitoring has recently “shifted to an array of recently discovered compounds known as ‘chemicals of emerging concern’,” the report states that CECs are “found in products used daily in households, businesses, agriculture and industry, such as flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides.”
To determine how well wastewater treatment plants on the Great Lakes are handling CECs, IJC conducted a study from 2009 to 2011 of their operations and of the effectiveness of various wastewater treatment technologies at removing 42 specific CECs.
The study found that six chemicals (an herbicide, an anti-seizure drug, two antibiotics, an antibacterial drug and an anti-inflammatory drug) were detected frequently and had a low rate of removal in treated effluent, while five more had a low rate of removal, but not frequent detection. The main finding was that “at least half of the 42 substances examined…are likely to be removed in municipal wastewater treatment plants.”
The NDP convention considered the following motion:
2-06-13 Resolution to Reverse changes to Fish Habitat Protection, to Navigable Waters Protection, and to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Submitted by Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Dartmouth—Cole Harbour
WHEREAS, instead of strengthening habitat protection and environmental oversight, the Conservative government has: gutted the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act; weakened the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; cut funding for science and research; and continues to ignore the threats of climate change to Canada’s oceans; and
BE IT RESOLVED that New Democrats call on the Conservative Government to reverse changes to fish habitat protection, to Navigable Waters Protection, and to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the federal government immediately implement the 75 recommendations identified in the Cohen Commission Report, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that cuts to funding for fisheries science and ecosystem management be restored
MP Robert Chisholm spoke in favour of this motion.
MP Philip Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine) spoke in favour.
About time we collaborated to map border regions hydrographic contextual cartography: The IJC, in collaboration with Environment Canada, Agriculture Agr-Food Canada, USGS, MBWS, ND and MN have been coordinating the harmonization of the framework hydrographic datasets along the Canadian – US boundary. One immediate value added is our ability to now focus on the contextual geography of our shared waters, moving away from silos of information. Building off the harmonized geospatial framework, the IJC is moving forward with the development and implementation of web map services: these web services (see example of how the IJC is serving up the information in the link below) give the public the opportunity to view data and attributable information in one service. Users of this map service can zoom, pan, and view gaging information- a first step. http://ijc.projectstagingserver.com/en/Detailed_Red_Riverhttp://redriverbasincommission.org/IJC_Map/ijc_map.html
Adaptive Management task force have come to conclusions on how to manage the Great Lakes as a resource in lieu of atmospheric changes we are experiencing today and their effects on us. ‘Instead of fighting nature, we need to figure out better ways to comfortably live alongside its changes.’ As lake levels will change our ability to adapt to these changes is a topic of debate – we can adapt to changes or struggle to maintain the status quo through engineering. The following is an excerpt from SODUS on the upcoming webinar focus on these changes in the Great Lakes:
The bi-national Adaptive Management Plan responds to changing climate and the limited ability to alter lake levels through regulation of flows from Lake Superior and Lake Ontario. “Our climate is changing and increases in temperature and alterations in patterns of precipitation are likely to affect water levels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River,” says U.S. co-chair of the Adaptive Management Task Team, Debbie Lee. “There is strong evidence that in the future we will experience extreme water levels – both high and low – that are outside the historical range seen over the past century. Indeed, we have seen record low water levels this past January on Lakes Michigan and Huron.”
The most recent IJC studies on lake levels – the International Upper Great Lakes Study and the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study – both concluded that adaptive management is the best way to address the uncertainties associated with climate change and the potential impacts from extreme water levels. Adaptive management uses the information obtained from long-term monitoring and modelling to support the evaluation of plans, policies and practices and adjust them as knowledge improves or as conditions change. “The proposed Adaptive Management Plan is based on working collaboratively with Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River partners to gather and share critical information over time, assess the information with state-of-the art tools, develop adaptation strategies, measure our collective success in managing the impacts of extreme water levels and adapt accordingly”, explains Canadian co-chair, Wendy Leger. “We believe it is a cost-efficient and effective way to support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.”
The Adaptive Management Task Team is seeking input from the public on the draft Adaptive Management Plan between March 15 and April 15, 2013. Following public comment, the Task Team will revise the Plan and forward it to the IJC for its consideration.
This is an excerpt from Kevin Websters fishgator.com blog about kayak fishing on Lake Erie:
…We had drifted a bit further out, but not quickly, and we decided to head back to where we were having hits and hookups. It was roughly 9:15AM now, and our phones weren’t telling us anything was up. However, all the boats had moved on. We were alone out there. As we paddled out of the 30 foot depths and back to the 20, the sky was starting to turn a bit pinkish. When we stopped paddling, there was a VERY thin line of clouds over Canada. Based on my Lake Ontario experience, I guessed we had 2 hours of “safe time” before we had to deal with those clouds, and even then, they weren’t the legendary low, tall nasty clouds you sometimes see coming out of Canada when you’re out on Ontario. These were thin, dark, wispy clouds. I didn’t give it much thought. Just then, jimmy Yansick hooked into a smallie, and I did too. We had a double hook up going, and we were excited. Both fish were landed (mine is pictured), and we were sitting on a very flat, windless Lake Erie for a minute or so afterwards, in about 21 feet of water, 1.5 miles offshore. Then it turned on us. Lake Erie is a Bear When it Churns Up I’ve fished some big lakes in my kayak before, and fought through 2 footers on Black Lake, Hemlock, and other long lakes that give the water a chance to really stand up. None of that prepared me for what I was about to experience. It helped me get through it with all my gear and my life, but by no means did it PREPARE me….. http://fishgator.com/wny-kayaking/kayak-fishing-lake-erie/