The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control (Board) recently reviewed conditions in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system and has agreed to continue to follow the Regulation Plan, except when conditions downstream allow an under-discharge to store water on Lake Ontario, or when conditions require an under-discharge to avoid high water downstream at the confluence with the Ottawa River.
Lake Ontario is currently at its plan-specified level, but is below its long term average, as are the other Great Lakes upstream. Under-discharge will start when levels at Lac St. Louis attain 21.8 m (71.5 ft), 30 cm (1 ft) lower than the flood alert level. The Board will begin to store up to 5 cm (2 in) of water on Lake Ontario at that time. The Board will store in excess of 5 cm (2 in) only if levels at Lac St. Louis are at risk of exceeding the flood alert level of 22.1 m (72.5 ft). This strategy will allow the Board to address uncertainty in the inflows over the freshet and near future as well as provide the environmental and recreational benefits of higher water levels both up stream on Lake Ontario and downstream on the lower St. Lawrence River during the spring spawning and boating seasons. Continue Reading →
The International Joint Commission released it’s plan for dealing with extreme water levels on the Great Lakes.
The proposed Adaptive Management Plan – Building Collaboration Across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence System: An Adaptive Management Plan for Addressing Extreme Water Levels – and information on the public review process can be found on the International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team website at http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/
As part of the public review, the Adaptive Management Task Team will host a series of webinars to discuss different aspects of the draft Adaptive Management Plan.
The Task Team is hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on key aspects of the proposed Adaptive Management Plan. Click on the webinar title below for information on how to participate.
Comments on the proposed Adaptive Management Plan can submitted on-line until April 15, 2013.
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A water snake in Lake Erie.
TOLEDO, Ohio — For those who live and play on the shores of Lake Erie, the spring rains that will begin falling here soon are less a blessing than a portent. They could threaten the very future of the lake itself.
Lake Erie is sick. A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually.
The spring rains reliably predict how serious the summer algae bloom will be: the more frequent and heavy the downpours, the worse the outbreak. And this year the National Weather Service says there is a higher probability than elsewhere of above-normal spring rains along the lake’s west end, where the algae first appear. The private forecaster Accuweather predicts a wetter than usual March and April throughout the region. Continue Reading →