Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation

From Where I Sit

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July 17, 2012
by: David McLaren

Great Lakes Can Heal Themselves

Go down to the shore and take a hard look at the water.

See that it's a long way from it's usual shoreline. Smell it. Does it still smell as sweet as the inland seas used to be called? Touch it. Taste it. Get in. Let it enfold you.

But check for E-coli first. And don't step on the zebra mussels. And avoid the red algae and the invasive weeds.

A Native fisherman I know is hanging up his nets because the fish are fleeing from all the shoreline development. I've heard tell of whitefish, when the fishermen cut into them, have bellies full of zebra mussels. The sportsmen say that their beloved salmon are smaller than they used to be.

The International Joint Commission has written another report --- $17 million to look at and recommend ways to fix the plunging lake levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

You can find the report at and you can talk to the authors at a public meeting at 1 PM on July 17 at the Cranberry Resort in Collingwood.

But the short story is that they can't account for the drop --- a metre  over 20 years in the bit of Georgian Bay I know. The truth is, large, complex ecosystems such as the Great Lakes are beyond the ability of science to understand and governments to manage.

The best ecological scientists say that, even if we don't understand everything, where harm has been done, remove the harm and let the system heal itself. The IJC report hints at an important source of harm with its list of "interests" in the lakes.

As Pogo says, "We has seen the enemy and they is us."

I'm David McLaren.


From Where I Sit is on 560 CFOS Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 7:08 am and 5:08 pm

Posted: 2012-07-23 08:18:52

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