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_River http://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/
The IJC settles water disputes between the USA and Canada. The organization was established by the 1909 International Boundary Waters Treaty. The IJC has been more successful in diffusing distributive water issues rather than regulatory. Afterall everybody gets something with distributive policies while regulatory policies aim to change behaviors. This short article written by Mike Vlasveld was published in the Blackburn News. The link to the article is attached: The International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Regional Office is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Director, Dr. Saad Jasim says the relationship between Canada and the United States, shared at the Windsor office, is very unique. “We had a Chinese delegation come to our office and they had problems dealing with waters shared by provinces within the same country, and they can’t get an agreement on that,” says Jasim. “They said, ‘how can you get agreements and (the IJC) be going for 100-years?’ I said, ‘That’s by good dialogue, good understanding, and improvement of communication.’” Jasim says 40-million people live along the Great Lakes, and use the water for drinking, fishing, and recreation. He explains that it’s the job of his office to ensure the quality of the water is as high as possible. Most recently, the director says they held a workshop where 40 scientists from both countries sat down for two days to discuss algae bloom issues in Lake Erie. http://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2013/03/07/ijc-office-celebrates-40th/
When the topic of camels come up in polite conversation we generally think of hot desert places but this recent fossilized find of a giant camel in the High Arctic of Canada suggests that these noble beasts were quite adept to colder clines of the Northern Territories.
Excerpt from Rebecca Morelle reporting for BBC World News:
Scientists have unearthed the fossilised remains of a giant species of camel in Canada’s High Arctic. An analysis of protein found in the bones has revealed that this creature, which lived about 3.5 million years ago, is an ancestor of today’s species. The research is published in the journal Nature Communications. Dr Mike Buckley, an author of the paper from the University of Manchester, said: “What’s interesting about this story is the location: this is the northernmost evidence of camels.”