I have lived on Georgian Bay for over 35 years and I have to say that what is happening to our Beautiful Georgian Bay is a travesty and for us to ignore what is going on is unconscionable. By now, most of your readers have probably realized the seriousness of the impact of declining water levels of Lake Huron. The invasion of hundreds of miles of pristine beaches and exposed shores by Phragmites (a species of 12 foot reeds) has destroyed this habitat for fish, waterfowl, and yes, even Man. Appalling! The loss already of more than 20 percent of Georgian Bay's wetlands (the spawning grounds for 80 percent of fish species) is an ecological disaster. Of course we recognize that the declining water levels have many other environmental, economic and social impacts. However, the question that you must ask is,

"Why isn't something being done to respond to this growing tragedy?"

Let me explain.

The International Joint Commission was established in 1909 to protect the Great Lakes. Their mandate from the U.S and Canadian Governments includes "if the lake levels drop near to or at Chart Datum for 2 or 3 years, they (I.J.C.) must take action immediately to avoid permanent, severe damage to the Lakes". The Lake Huron/Michigan levels have been at or near C.D. for 13 years, yet I.J.C. has not taken action. HELLO!

The I.J..C. Study Group has just finished a four year, $17 Million Study of Lakes Michigan/Huron water levels including the St. Clair River. Their final report acknowledges the severe declines in the water levels of the Lakes and confirms that the outflow of the St. Clair River which drains Lakes Michigan/Huron has increased approximately 6 percent (annually) contributing to the decline! In spite of the clarity of the urgency of the on-going disaster, the Study Group decided to make no recommendations to take action! They don't want to do anything despite their clear mandate.

It is time for all of us who care about this environmental disaster to stand up and be counted!

Here's how.

The I.J.C. is holding public hearings and your voices need to be heard! Meetings are to be held at Midland, on July 16th, and at Collingwood, July 17th.

Further information on meeting details, are available at websites: http://ontario.sierraclub.ca/ http://www.fallingwaters.ca/ and the International Joint Commission at http://www.ijc.org/iuglsreport/?page_id=25

You can also contact the writer at snowyjoe.com or at 705 4438684.

Sierra Club is planning a significant protest at these meetings include theme T-shirts. To be effective, we desperately need your support to demonstrate to the world that the I.J.C. is displaying gross negligence in the face of this environmental disaster.


Best regards; Joe Hayward