Friday, July 13, 2012

Is 'Living With It' A Solution To Falling Lake Michigan Water Level?

Remember all the concern a few years ago about falling Lake Michigan water levels - - in part traced to dredging of a Great Lakes river that lets a lot of water rush faster to the Atlantic Ocean?

Here's a blog posting from 2007.

Well here we are in 2012, with a warming climate that is evaporating off even more water and a big study suggests that the solution is to...do nothing.

That idea was rejected in 2010, but apparently it's back.

Dan Egan has the story:

It long has been acknowledged that historic dredging and mining in the St. Clair River, the primary outflow for Lakes Michigan and Huron, permanently lowered the connected lakes by about 16 inches.

A recently completed $15 million study funded by the U.S. and Canadian governments found that unexpected erosion since a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging project on the river in the early 1960s dropped the lakes' long-term average by as much as an additional five inches.
But that study, co-led by an Army Corps employee, concluded that the erosion is not ongoing and is therefore not triggering further water loss.

3 comments:

jimspice said...

There's a big boulder about 100 yards off shore in Bay View called Texas Rock. It's normally a couple feet below the surface, but I've seen pictures from the '30s and '60s, when lake levels were at their lowest, showing people who had swum out and stood on the barely submerged rock, making it appear as though they are standing on the water.

I'm guessing we'll see more of these photos being created in the near future.

Paul Trotter said...

The St. Claire issue needs to be adressed. Billions of gallons of fresh water is draining out the great lakes because of a man made problem- the dredging of the St. Claire river resulting in even more erosion. Because of the sediment buildup the depths decrease causing problems with shipping through this river. Consequently more dredging is done and the cycle continues. This river needs to be restored to a state that restricts or slows down the massive outflows of Lake Michigan water. To use a an adaptive solution as they called it last night appears to be the passive please special interest groups way to bring this river back to its original state or close to it.

lconley said...

One outflow that could be stopped is the Chicago River - which would eliminate an ourflow, and help stop the jumping carp too.