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Great Lakes water levels at all-time low

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A map of the Great Lakes
A map of the Great Lakes

UNDATED (WSAU)  Lake Michigan’s water level is at an all-time low.

The U-S Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday that the Great Lake on Wisconsin’s eastern shore is lower now than its previous record-low set in 1964. And it’s six-feet below the all-time high level from 1986. John Allis of the Corps’ Great Lakes Hydrology Office said the water levels on both Lakes Michigan and Huron have been teetering with record lows for the last few months. The drought is a factor, but officials say the water has also been brought down by a major dredging and river-bed mining project at the Saint Clair River on the eastern Great Lakes. The last major work ended there in the 1960’s. And the federal government said a while back that the Saint Clair project dropped Lake Michigan by about 16 inches. A recent U-S-Canadian government study blamed the dredging for an additional drop of 3-to-5 inches.

Great Lakes mayors and conservation groups have asked both countries’ governments to consider a remediation project at the Saint Clair, to raise Lake Michigan’s water levels to their previous norms. But critics say it could cause more erosion problems at the Saint Clair. The International Joint Commission, which deals with joint U-S-Canadian water issues, says it’s reviewing numerous public comments on what should be done. A recommendation could come in the next few weeks.

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