IJC releases proposed Adaptive Management Plan & webinar schedule | Save Our Sodus

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.

http://www.saveoursodus.com/2013/03/18/ijc-releases-proposed-adaptive-management-plan-webinar-schedule/

IJC’s draft plan for extreme water levels is coming soon | Save Our Sodus

Excerpt on future release of extreme water levels for Great Lakes restoration:

Recent lake levels studies suggest that the best way to address the potential for extreme water levels and the uncertainties, including those associated with climate change, is through adaptive management. A draft Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System will be released for public review next week. The plan aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to monitor climate trends and support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.

Your comments on this comprehensive and collaborative draft plan will be invited from March 15-April 15. The International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team will consider comments received before making final recommendations to the International Joint Commission in May 2013.

Federal funding remains a focus. While levels for 2013 and 2014 are still unknown, expectations are that President Obama and Congress will continue the precedent-setting $1 billion-plus investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the last three years – dollars slated to clean up past pollution, reduce nutrient loads from agriculture and cities, and prevent invasive species. Many thanks to White House Council of Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley for personally telling the Healing Our Waters coalition that Great Lakes restoration would continue.

For specifics on public comments go to website:

http://www.saveoursodus.com/2013/03/08/draft-plan-for-extreme-water-levels-is-coming-soon/