Water levels of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are always changing. Particularly high or low water levels can be challenging for property owners and businesses located directly along their shorelines. Very wet weather conditions in both 2017 and 2019 led to record high water levels on both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, resulting in flood and erosion damages to some shoreline properties. Record high water levels on Lake Michigan-Huron in 2020 led to similar challenges while multiple dry years from 2000 to 2013 resulted in consistently low water conditions creating problems for the boating community.
As part of the GLAM Committee’s long-term requirement to review the outflow regulation plans for Lake Superior and Lake Ontario, it is important for the committee to document water level impacts to various stakeholders throughout the system. Information on water level impacts can be used to improve predictive models needed in the adaptive management effort and to inform the International Lake Superior Board of Control and the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board.
While impact information can be gathered and assessed in various ways, the GLAM Committee benefits greatly from direct stakeholder feedback and insight. The GLAM Committee is using various questionnaires as a way to gather stakeholder input in a structured way.