Our Environment

Ensuring that the ecosystem of the Georgian Bay is kept protected is the McGregor Bay Association’s number one priority.

Water Level Policy

Because water level variations are problematic for us all, it is understandable why some would favor Huron-Michigan Lake level control.  When the lakes were at their lowest level, people thought water levels would never come back.  There was an urgent push to reduce the outflow from the lakes to increase water levels. Now that water levels are very high, the narrative has changed, favoring controls regulating flow into the lake to reduce lake levels.  The ferocity with which the water returned, underscores the power of the ecosystem, making any water level control measure we may have considered impotent if not redundant. 

Georgian Bay Association’s (GBA) efforts to address the consequence of water level variations are excellent but the missing piece is the acknowledgement that lake level variation is a natural and fundamental character of the lakes.  This characteristic has existed for thousands of years and needs to be respected, arguably protected.  There is good reason to be more vocal about the need to adapt to the lakes’ long history of water level change rather than promoting the idea of forcing the lakes to “behave” in a more convenient way (beyond IJC management). 

Human interventions have unintended consequences; one of which is a reinforcement of the belief that the lakes are ours to control.  Another unintended consequence is political.  If we support the reduction of water input to the lakes through river flow reversal, our argument for restricting water diversion from the Great Lakes to drought-stricken areas is significantly weakened. 

There are many forces trying the exploit the lakes and my hope is that we can adjust our messaging to be more consistent.  I suggest a proposition along the lines of, “respecting the inconvenient character of water level change and working to defeat the notion that lake levels are ours to control.” 

John Woodrooffe