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RE: E-M:/ Lake levels/wells



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Enviro-Mich message from "Eric Uram" <eric.uram@sierraclub.org>
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Steve,

If this is true, why is Governor Engler committing
$14 million of taxpayer funds for dredging boat
landings, canals and marinas on the Great Lakes
during spawning season?  All without adequate
review of the potential consequences or details
regarding the sites to be dredged.

Eric Uram
Sierra Club Midwest Office
214 North Henry Street Suite 203
Madison, WI  53703-2200
(608) 257-4994
(608) 257-3513 fax
eric.uram@sierraclub.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Sadewasser
[mailto:SADEWASS@state.mi.us]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 7:57 PM
To: bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu;
olssonk@umich.edu
Cc: BONNIES@cannontwp.org;
enviro-mich@great-lakes.net;
gesmundm@msue.msu.edu
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Lake levels/wells


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Enviro-Mich message from "Steve Sadewasser"
<SADEWASS@state.mi.us>
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Dr. Madsen is correct, and the implications should
be appreciated.  Lake and river levels naturally
fluctuate.  Riparians should realize that they
will never have a guaranteed level to maximize
their access or use.  Rivers meander (the Missippi
actually changed direction of flow during an
earthquake in the early 1800's) and those on the
wrong side of an oxbow should not be shocked to
discover that they are not riparians forever.
Waters rise, fall, and change direction.

Efforts to attempt to defeat these changes are
usually extraordinarily expensive, and almost
defeated by the shear volume of the natural forces
involved with water level fluctuations.

Look at the Pontiac Lake experiment for an
example, and look at all of the other attempts to
reign in declining, or for that matter increasing,
water levels.

Going with the "flow" is a much preferred
alternative.  If your dock has to be longer
because of temporary low water, make your dock
lower.  Don't try to make the lake fit your
"standard"

<<< Barbara Jean Madsen
<bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu>  3/29  4:12p >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen
<bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu>
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On Tue, 28 Mar 2000, Kristine Yvette Olsson wrote:

> ------------------------------------------------
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> Enviro-Mich message from Kristine Yvette Olsson
<olssonk@umich.edu>
> ------------------------------------------------
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>
> We are also getting some calls asking about low
lake and river levels.  We
> are going to be writing and article on it,
actually, for our next
> newsletter.  We would like to address why levels
are low (cyclic droughts?
> Global warming? Development paving over
groundwater recharge areas) and
> what, if anything people should or should not do
about it.

The lakes do go up and down on a natural 7-10 -
year cycle, related to
cycles of precipitation.  The record low was in
the mid-1960s; the record
high was in 1986.  There has also been a long-term
trend upward, so that
the record low of the 60s wasn't expected to be
exceeded.  I don't know if
anyone has definitely established the reason for
the magnitude of the
current low, but global warming/climate change,
together with El Nino, is
probably involved.

        It should be pointed out that the cycles
of lake levels are
essential to the health and even the existence of
the Great Lakes coastal
marshes, which are among the most diverse (in
terms of plant species) and
productive ecosystems in the world, and which
support many fish and bird
species as well.  In low-water years, seeds in the
soil germinate and give
rise to many plants of moist ground and shallow
water.  As low water
persists, woody plants (shrubs and trees) invade
and would take over the
marsh, but in the high-water years, the woody
plants are drowned out,
clearing the ground for the succession of marsh
plants to begin again.
Thus, stabilizing the levels of the lakes would
cause widespread
ecological damage.

        --Barb Madsen






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Environmental
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