150 years ago, humans began to interfere with the natural depth and flow of the St. Clair River by mining the gravel of its river bed for road construction. This ongoing meddling with nature culminated in 1962 with the final dredging for the St. Lawrence Seaway Project. As a result, the St. Clair River is now much deeper, and the flow through it out of Lake Huron is at times much faster. That does not pose a problem when Mother Nature is generous with precipitation, as she has been this spring and early summer. From 1999 to 2013, though, precipitation in our basin was low, yet the flow of the water out of Lakes Michigan-Huron-Georgian Bay through the St. Clair River remained fairly constant. The inevitable result was record-breaking low water in these Middle Great Lakes, causing serious loss of wetlands (and therefore of necessary fish spawning and nursery habitat), reduced commercial shipping loads, shoal-infested pleasure boating, especially in Georgian Bay, and even lack of water access to some seasonal properties.
In order to prevent a repeat of this issue, since even lower water levels are predicted to occur from about 2024 to 2035, Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation’s water levels expert, and one of our Scientific Advisors, has designed a scientifically sound, flexible solution (see hydrofoil gates image below) to the excess flow of water through the St. Clair River during only such a period of relative drought. Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been most favourably impressed by this flexible installation, and our expert was asked to present it at the May 2017 symposium of IAGLR (the International Association of Great Lakes Researchers).
Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation (GBGLF) urgently needs major funding to further our research and to promote our proposed solution to the St. Clair River issue to key players in Washington D.C. Thanks to the work of the International Joint Commission (IJC), Ottawa is already well on the way to being totally on board with us.
To Donate by mail: Send your cheque to P.O. Box 324, Midland, Ontario, L4R 4L1, noting that your donation is for the work of GBGLF.
To make a secure online donation: Go to Secure Online Donation
The next 150 years of manageable water levels in Georgian Bay and throughout Lakes Michigan-Huron can become an environmental success story with your generous help and support!
Categorised in: Water