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NEWS: Mayors call on Harper and Obama to protect the Great Lakes

Michigan Radio reports, “Nearly 100 mayors of cities located near the Great Lakes are urging President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to help fight historically low water levels in the lakes. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative sent a letter last week to the president and prime minister.” The letter states, “We ask that you engage the full authority of your offices to find near, mid, and long term solutions to this problem.” The news report continues, “David Ullrich, the organization’s executive director, said, ‘Our hope is that more attention can be given by the executive branch in the United States and through the ministries in Canada to make this a higher priority.'”

Two weeks ago, the Associated Press reported, “Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918, and the lakes could set additional records over the next few months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The lakes were 74 centimetres below their long-term average and had declined 43 centimetres since January 2012. The other Great Lakes – Superior, Erie and Ontario – were also well below average.”

Last year, the Globe and Mail reported on the 2012 IJC report. That article noted, “The largest part of the drop in the lakes’ water levels is attributed to climate change: shorter winters and dry, hot summers meant more water evaporating from the lakes than was going back in through precipitation.” The significant impact of climate change on lake levels has also been highlighted in studies by the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory, NASA, and the US Geographical Survey.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be highlighting climate change and the many threats to the Great Lakes in a speaking tour that begins in about six weeks from now. Her speaking tour will visit Duluth, Minnesota (April 4); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (April 15); Grand Rapids, Michigan (April 16); Rochester, New York (April 25); Toronto, Ontario (April 27); Saugeen Shores, Ontario (July); Bayfield, Ontario (September 28); and possibily other communities.

This builds on her May 2012 speaking tour on the Great Lakes that visited Toronto, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Kingston, Sarnia, Tiny Township, Owen Sound and London.

For more, please read:
‘Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever’ by Maude Barlow
UPDATE: Barlow to begin 7-city Great Lakes tour on April 4
NEWS: Lake Huron, Lake Michigan at lowest water levels ever recorded
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