August 6, 2009

Study: Low Great Lakes levels are natural

A U.S. and Canadian study says the low water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron during nearly all of the last decade were only natural.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Thursday the study into whether erosion in the St. Clair River is to blame for the reduced Lakes Michigan and Huron water levels found that nothing likely needs to be done to improve the natural situation.

The St. Clair serves as the main outflow for the two lakes, part of the Midwest's Great Lakes system. The river's erosion problem has been blamed on an Army Corps of Engineers dredging project that took place in the 1960s.

While the finalized version of the study is not expected until Oct. 1, several environmental groups have already questioned its initial findings, the newspaper said.

They have cherry-picked the science that they want to arrive at the conclusions and recommendations that they want, said Mary Muter of the Georgian Bay Forever conservation group.

The Journal Sentinel said other notable groups questioning the findings include the National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes United, the Sierra Club's Great Waters Group and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.