Adaptive Management in the Great Lakes - St Lawrence River System

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Adaptive Management in the Great Lakes – St Lawrence River System

Public Comment Period: July 31 – August 30, 2013.


The International Joint Commission is inviting comments on an Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River System.  

Climate change poses new challenges for adapting to fluctuating Great Lakes water levels. Although the future is not certain, increases in temperature and alterations in patterns of precipitation are likely to affect water levels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. There is strong evidence that in the future we will likely experience more extreme water levels – both high and low – that are outside the historical range experienced over the past century.

Collaborative, integrated adaptive management offers an approach that helps address the uncertainties of an evolving future associated with climate change and the potential for extreme water levels and associated impacts.  Adaptive management is a structured, iterative process for continually improving management results by learning from the outcomes of previous policies and practices.

The International Joint Commission established the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Task Team to develop an Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River System. The Commission is inviting comment on the final report of the Task Team before making recommendations to the governments of Canada and the United States.