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GLIN==> St. Clair River portion of IJC Upper Lakes Study to be Expedited



Ottawa, Canada - The International Joint Commission announced today that
its International Upper Great Lakes Study Board will expedite its study
of the St. Clair River to determine whether there are ongoing channel
changes leading to a potential increased conveyance capacity of the
channel and whether changes in water levels are the result of natural or
human influences. The Study will produce a draft report a full year
ahead of schedule by February, 2009, with interim progress reports
throughout 2008.  A peer reviewed final report on the St. Clair River is
expected in June, 2009. Board co-chairs Gene Stakhiv and Ted Yuzyk
presented the revised plans in Ottawa this past week that they drafted
at the Commission's request.

 

"The Commission understands the urgency of getting answers based on
sound science as soon as possible," said Herb Gray, chair of the
Canadian Section of the Commission.  "The Study Board is to be commended
for maintaining the integrity of the scientific process while responding
to the need to expedite the study."

 

"Much work is already under way toward answering critical questions
about the St. Clair River," said Irene Brooks, acting chair of the
United States Section of the Commission. "Answers to these questions
will let us increase our focus on the full range of factors that affect
water levels and on how regulation of Lake Superior might be improved to
take into consideration changing interests and changing climate."

 

Since beginning its field work in April, the Study has already commenced
cross-sectional surveys of the St Clair River, bed material sampling,
videoing of the river bed and reconnaissance and negotiations for a
hydrometric gauging station on the St Clair River.

 

The Commission had also requested that its International Lake Superior
Board of Control investigate options to deviate from the existing
regulation plan at the outflow between Sault Ontario and Sault Michigan
in light of record low water levels.  The Commission agreed with the
recommendation of the board co-chairs that no deviation from the current
plan is advisable.

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