“Blue is water’s signature colour. When light shines on a body of water all the wavelengths of light in the light spectrum are absorbed with the exception of the blues, indigos, and violets. Sometimes green light doesn’t get absorbed either. These unabsorbed colours are what we see. Clouds, sunshine, and shadows do beautiful things to the colour of water, making it appear in different shades of blues, purples, blacks, greys, and greens.”
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.
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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.”
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US and Canadian governments must petition International Joint Commission ( IJC) to mitigate matter of building nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron.
According to the Daily Tribune:
“US. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin are pushing Secretary of State John Kerry to fight the Canadian government’s plan to build a huge nuclear waste dump near the Lake Huron shoreline.”
‘Site will be located in Kincardine Ontario less than mile from lake shore north of Blue in Port Huron.’
Proceeding with mining development is beung questioned in Northwest Ontario, Ring of Fire, Sudbury. Bullying not way to bring diverse stakeholders together. Excerpt from The Sudbury Star:
The extraction of mineral resources in the remote Ring of Fire represents a multibillion-dollar enterprise, potentially creating thousands of jobs throughout the North. The challenges are significant –but the boost to the North’s economy (and the province) may be worth the investment of public dollars on capital projects, such as a rail or road access.
With comparisons being made between the Ring of Fire and Alberta’s oil sands, it’s no wonder that environmentalists and First Nations communities are wary of runaway development decisions being made by governments without due consideration of future impacts. While bitumen mining in northern Alberta has brought economic growth, it has also created significant social and environmental issues that will likely remain for centuries. To avoid similar negative impacts, a truly comprehensive and consultative environmental assessment process needs to be priority number one.
However, until now, the Conservative government has seemed content to put itself at odds with environmental organizations and First Nations. As a result, the government has needlessly contributed to the delaying development in the Ring of Fire.
Reblog of the article by Becky Mckendry on water use by Ontario, Quebec, New York, Pennsylvania. Water hog designation depends on type of water use from agriculture to hydro power:
More than 44 billion gallons of water were extracted daily from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin in 2011, according to a new report.
Of the region’s states and provinces, Ontario withdrew the most water, at about 37 percent and Pennsylvania took the least at .07 percent. Uses for the water include irrigation, public drinking and industrial needs.
That amount does not include water used for hydroelectric energy.
When including energy uses, the picture changes dramatically. Quebec, New York and Ontario together make up more than 97 percent of the water withdrawals.
The findings are part of an annual report recently released by the Great Lakes Commission. The full report can be found here, as well as previous years’ reports.
In this era of tight budgets good to see Canada funding science again! This article is from Environmental News:
Established in 1968, the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario attracts scientists from across Canada and around the world. The site encompasses 58 formerly pristine freshwater lakes 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Kenora, in the Lake of the Woods watershed.
Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley said, “The Experimental Lakes Area is an incredibly productive outdoor laboratory. It has an unmatched record of generating critical information about acid rain, mercury contamination, climate change effects, and the connection between phosphorus runoff and algae blooms in lakes. The ELA is a go-to place when we need information to make environmental progress.”
IISD President and CEO Scott Vaughan said, “Premier Wynne’s commitment to the ELA is encouraging and we look forward to working with the province and the federal government on a plan that enables IISD to take over the operations of this extraordinary facility.”
IISD is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization specializing in policy research, analysis and information exchange to advance sustainable development globally.
“What is special about the ELA is that it takes research out of the lab and right into the environment. The ELA presents a rare opportunity for research, perhaps unique in the world,” said Vaughan, who took over at IISD in early April, after five years as Environment and Sustainable Development commissioner for Canada.
Environment Canada hydrologist Laurent de Rham measures ice depth over a lake in the Experimental Lakes Area, February 2010 (Photo courtesy Environment Canada)
In its remote location, the ELA provides a real-world laboratory in which researchers can isolate the effects of specific pollutants on aquatic ecosystems.
Over the past four decades, research conducted there has provided scientific evidence on the environmental effects of acid rain, phosphorous and other pollutants that has informed policy within Canada and around the world.
With new pressures like climate change, and poorly understood emerging environmental contaminants such as chromite, nanoparticles and endocrine disrupters, Vaughn says the case for continuing to support the Experimental Lakes Area is very strong.
Organically fish smell but metals contaminating the environs that fish live in destroy their ability to smell. A Canadian study demonstrates that fish can recover their sense of smell with remediation of lakes and streams. Here is an excerpt from Scientific America explaining this restorative process: Greg Pyle, a professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, said he suspects that impaired sense of smell “has meaningful and profound effects” on many fish species. It may be jeopardizing entire populations of fish, including some endangered species. “We’ve tested everything from leeches to water fleas to several species of fish,” Pyle said. “Every species and every metal we’ve observed has had effects at low, environmentally relevant concentrations.” Most contaminated lakes have a metallic mix, making it hard to tease out which pollutants are to blame. In the latest study, Pyle and his team of researchers took yellow perch that lived in Ontario lakes contaminated with mercury, nickel, copper, iron and manganese, and put them in a cleaner lake. Within 24 hours of basking in the clean water, the fish regained their sense of smell. This shows “fish from metal contaminated lakes have the ability to recover once the lake recovers,” the authors wrote in the paper published in last month’s Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety journal. The researchers used wild fish from two lakes with metal contamination (Ramsey and Hannah lakes) and from a cleaner one (Geneva Lake). Ramsey and Hannah, located in Sudbury, Ontario, are polluted from more than a century of mining, particularly with nickel. Hannah Lake is one of the worst-polluted lakes in the area, while Ramsey is similar to other North American lakes near industrial areas. Geneva Lake is far enough northwest to escape most contaminants. Just as the clean lake revived the sense of smell for the Ramsey and Hannah fish, Geneva Lake’s perch had decreased smell after just 24 hours of hanging out in the dirtier lakes. Their response times to substances that smelled like their food dropped 75 to 59 percent. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fish-cannot-smell-in-polluted-waters
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/