Low water needs fix

Global warming. Lack of snow and rain. Dredging issues.
Feb 11, 2013


These are the explanations most commonly heard pertaining to the historic-low water levels in the Lakes Michigan-Huron system.

While these may be contributing factors, a report recently released by the Georgian Bay Association indicates the decline in water levels is tied to a hole in the St. Clair River caused by river bed mining near Port Huron.

More than 2 billions gallons of water per day is being hemorrhaged out of the

Lakes Michigan-Huron system, eventually making its way to the Atlantic Ocean. The report cites that this is more than triple what was originally believed, and the problem is far more serious than first thought.

Why don’t more people know about this problem? When recently asked at a Michigan Press Association meeting about what he plans to do about low water levels, Gov. Rick Snyder points to more dredging. There was no mention of the drainage hole at all — none!

Why is this? Certainly he must be aware of a situation of such magnitude.

Experts indicate fixing the hole comes with a huge price tag — in the billions of dollars. We argue that not fixing the hole comes at an even greater cost.

The economic impact of this will hit us in a variety of ways — including the boating and fishing industry, drastically declining property values along the Lakeshore, and adverse effects on the shipping industry. This doesn’t even take into consideration the very long-term ecological impact declining water levels have on the area.

It’s time that state, regional, federal and Canadian governmental leaders to sit down with the Army Corps of Engineers and find a resolution to this very sensitive issue.

Time is not on our side. We can’t afford to wait for a long-term study to be implemented, and allow this to get caught up in the bureaucratic quicksand that is often the norm.

Our Great Lakes are a precious resource that we must protect, and the time is now to do so!

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



There was already a governmental study about 5 years ago that said it was not the dredging of the river that caused the low levels. Since Erie is high and Huron is low that study was clearly flawed.


Global warming was debunked years ago - data falsified. Most meteorologists don't even support the myth, but this paper is still sticking with it?!!! Way to misinform!


Hold on folks. If you read the article, it clearly states that their main argument is the lack of response to the hole in St. Clair river. The listing of Global Warming, lack of snow and dredging issues was mentioned in the beginning of the article because people often use these reasons for the low water levels. Global warming is not the purpose or direction of this article. I for one happens to agree with the argument that continuing to ignore the hole in the St. Clare river is the wrong thing to do. Take a look at the original article this viewpoint is discussing which was featured in the Tribune on Jan 26th. http://www.grandhaventribune.com...


Thanks, curious - once I saw "global warming" I skipped the article having decided it had no credibility. I appreciate the clarificaton.


Dredging is a necessary, expensive, environmentally-unfriendly short-term fix.

"It’s time that state, regional, federal and Canadian governmental leaders to sit down with the Army Corps of Engineers and find a resolution to this very sensitive issue". Long-term solutions must be investigated, the sooner the better. Gov Snyder has just recently included Great Lakes water level restoration on his ShareOpinion website. Now is the time to voice your opinions, and encourage him to begin looking into long-term solutions beyond short-term annual dredging.


i always thought the rising or low water is caused by to much rain or not enough, last couple of years we have been in a drought situation, not enough water returning to the lakes and rivers, now they want corp of engineer to fix it, you can come up with all kind of reasons, but you can not fix mother nature


Last night PBS Newshour talked about low harbor levels in the Upper Great Lakes and interviewed scientists from Ann Arbor - nobody mentioned the St Clair river dredging. Is the government rejecting the Georgian Bay study?


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