Great Lakes Section
The Great Lakes Section of SCO started in 2010. It is led by veteran Great Lakes advocate Mary Muter and comprised of Sierra Club members with specific experience and focus on Great Lakes issues. They are addressing the multiple components of the Great Lakes ecosystem using bi-national coordination of activities with the Sierra Club in the States.
Sierra Club’s substantial body of work includes a leading role in the agreement of Great Lakes jurisdictions to ban new diversions of water out of the basin.
Current work includes focus on sponsoring wetland research by McMaster University, advocating for restoration of healthy water levels in the Middle Great Lakes (Huron, Michigan & Georgian Bay), and protecting the ecosystem from invasive exotic species like Asian Carp (sign the petition HERE).
For further information contact issue chair Mary Muter or SCO Chapter Director Dan McDermott at email@example.com
CLICK HERE to make a charitable donation towards our Great Lakes work.
Action Alert: Support new plan for healthier water levels management on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River!Submitted by Kristina Jackson on Fri, 2012-04-20 12:31
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Thank you to all who dropped by our booth at the Green Living Show and signed our Asian Carp petition!Submitted by Shaima Al-Khalili on Mon, 2012-04-16 12:13
Thank you to everyone who came by the Sierra Club Ontario booth at The Green Living Show this weekend to sign our petition to the Provincial and Federal governments to take action in preventing the Asian Carp from invading our Great Lakes! Also, thank you to TVO’s Water Brothers who sent so many people over to sign our petition and then came over to sign it themselves (see photo)!
We really appreciate your efforts and we hope we can all move towards effective change. This is a threat that will impact us all. We have already gathered over 900 signatures and we hope to reach 2000 and have them mailed out to us by May 1st when we present it to our political leaders ... Read more »
Attached below is the petition to our Provincial and Federal Governments asking them to take action in preventing the Asian Carp from invading our Great Lakes.
Please print, sign, distribute, and mail back to: Sierra Club Ontario, 550 Bayview Avenue, suite 402. Toronto, ON, M4W 3X8
Sierra Club Ontario's Great Lakes Section Chair, Mary Muter, quoted in Vancouver Sun:
Environmentalists alarmed after study reveals massive Great Lakes ice loss
Environmentalists say they hope a new study suggesting that the Great Lakes have lost 71 per cent of their ice cover over the last 40 years will move skeptics from steadfast "denial" of global warming to a robust scientific debate.
"Policymakers say they won't take action because they can't prove it. I think we can prove it. It's getting warmer. We don't know why, but at least it's worth a discussion and worth a dialogue," said Mark Mattson, executive director of the Toronto-based Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.... Read more »
Click below to review summaries of the presentations given by Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser's students as well as guest speaker Ralph Pentland on Sunday, March 25, 2012.
From the Water Brothers website:
Watch Carpageddon and other episodes here: http://thewaterbrothers.ca/archives/47
Asian Carp are poised to become the next great invasive species to the Great Lakes. If they crossover their final barrier into Lake Michigan they will become the most devastating invasive species to ever become established in the Great Lakes.... Read more »
36 Great Lakes groups call on EPA to require stronger protections against invasive species in ballast waterSubmitted by Kristina Jackson on Thu, 2012-02-23 11:42
FROM GREAT LAKES UNITED:
Thirty six diverse organizations from across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region joined together to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen a proposed permit regulating ballast water discharges from commercial vessels. The group letter was sent on the last day of the EPA's comment period on the permit. To view the letter, please click here. The EPA must now issue a final permit by November 30, 2012.
... Read more »
Come and visit Sierra Club Ontario at the ROM booth on April 13-15 at the Green Living Show!
The Sierra Club Ontario will be displaying a REAL Asian Carp! Come and see first-hand the creature that threatens to invade the Great Lakes.
The Green Living Show
Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15
200 Princes' Boulevard
Toronto, ON M6K 3C3
FREE ADMISSION WITH E-WASTE!!... Read more »
The Great Lakes have been experiencing shifting water levels over the past few decades as a result of dredging, mining, and shoreline alterations. In areas where Lakes are faced with lower levels, Cargo ships are struggling to deal with the changes. Avoiding simple solutions like decreasing cargo weight to accommodate lower lake levels, Obama has instead decided to channel 31 million dollars of the 2012 US budget towards dredging commercial harbours and navigation channels (Associated Press). This would save Cargo ships from cutting revenues by being able to keep cargo at a profitable weight. It is unfortunate that Obama is seeking hard-path solutions in dealing with water levels just as he has dedicated 350 million of the 2012 to Great Lakes environmental clean-up.
Read more here:... Read more »
EVENT: Can Michigan/Huron/Georgian Bay water levels be restored? What is happening to water levels in the Great Lakes and their most productive wetlands?Submitted by Shaima Al-Khalili on Thu, 2012-02-16 10:59
Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser, Director of Life Sciences at McMaster University, and her graduate students will present their Sierra Club sponsored wetlands research findings on Great Lakes wetlands and Dr. Chow-Fraser will outline her critical research plans for the coming summer.
Great Lakes Section members will review the Restoration and Final Reports of the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board.... Read more »
By Dan McDermott, Chapter Director
Premier Dalton McGuinty’s commitment to enact a Great Lakes Protection Act (GLPA) was the one new environmental commitment put forward by the Liberals during last fall’s election. The environmental community responded positively to the pledge while noting that the funding component mentioned by the Premier was a modest one. It was also noted that the commitment contained no specifics as to what McGuinty saw as priority Great Lakes issues.... Read more »
Study shows Canadian waters can be protected from an Asian Carp Invasion
For immediate release
Tuesday, January 31, 2012... Read more »
This report is a progress report on the research funded by Sierra Club carried out from May to October in 2011. The three main projects share an overarching theme that examines threats to coastal biodiversity because of changes in the hydrologic regime of Lakes Huron and Erie.
The first project provides an initial glimpse of how northern pike utilize wetland and nearshore habitat in Tadenac Bay and the surrounding region.
The second is a comparison of home ranges of the Blanding's turtle (species at risk) in two protected areas (Beausoleil Island of Georgian Bay Island National Park and Rondeau Bay Provincial Park) that have very different landscape features and experience different stresses. Since this is the first documented study of a Blanding's population on an island, a sub--‐project has been carried out to determine if turtles select for specific habitats before, during and after nesting as has been suggested by the literature.
The third project examines the effects of rain effects and agricultural practices on the water quality of first--‐order streams in the Beaver River watershed.
Click on the pdf attachment below to see the 14 pg. McMaster University report
Final as approved by Sierra Club (US & Canada) on 5 December 2011
Whereas the Asian carp (bighead, silver, grass and black) have invaded extensive portions of the United States waters and the silver and bighead carps present a serious and immediate threat of invasion into the Great Lakes ecosystem, via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal; and
Whereasthe Asian carp have caused ecological devastation in the Illinois and Mississippi River systems in specific river sections where they have become well established—95 percent of the biomass in some river sections is composed of Asian carp; and
Whereasthe Asian carp cause this devastation through highly efficient reproduction and filter feeding that effectively removes the plankton that serve as the base of the food chain—without enough plankton to support forage fish, shellfish and other species, native species decline ; and... Read more »
Sierra Club is the only grassroots environmental organization active in all Great Lakes jurisdictions. The Ontario Chapter and Sierra Club Chapters in all eight U.S. Great Lakes States support ecosystem-wide stewardship of Great Lakes levels. As well, Sierra Club Ontario now has the policy support of those US Chapters for the gradual restoration of Upper Great Lakes levels. Our Great Lakes Bi-national Policy simply and clearly now states:... Read more »
Great Lakes Section Chair Mary Muter was honoured earlier this year by the Township of the Archipelago "for her dedication and hard work in seeking solutions to the current problems facing the water quality and water levels of the Great Lakes." See more online here:
We're proud of you Mary!
Bill Bialkowski, an engineer with extensive professional expertise dealing with flow dynamics, reviews the International Joint Commission's summary of multi-lake management for the Great Lakes and poses some interesting questions.
(To see the report & graphs you must click on the Attachment link below)
Summary of content here:
IJC ’93 Level Reference Study Chapter 4
Note by Bill Bialkowski, 25 November, 2011,
The 1993 IJC Level Reference Study was the largest study ever conducted by the IJC on water levels ($20m). It came after two significant events. 1) The completion in 1977 of sill designs for the St. Clair River (SCR) to compensate for the dredging up to 1962, and 2) the 1974 high water followed by the record setting high water of 1986. This second event guaranteed that nothing would be done to compensate the SCR as Orders for Approval and funding were withdrawn. With the IUGLS’s 2009 ‘do nothing’ recommendation, and the flawed 2011 Restoration Report, some Georgian Bay people are claiming that the IUGLB is now ‘in favour’ of recommending multi lake regulation based on comments at public meetings.... Read more »
Anyone interested in Great Lakes wetland research has gotta check out http://greatlakeswetlands.ca/
This is where the Coastal Wetland Research Group at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) share research on the ecological functions of the Laurentian Great Lakes' coastal wetlands. You can find a variety of publications here - not just McMaster research.
Our own Mary Muter, Chair of Sierra Club's Great Lakes Section has a piece posted there - tho a couple years old it is still relevant. Down the Drain: Georgian Baykeeper battles to save the Middle Lakes