Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Adapative Management Committee

Survey of impacts of high water levels in 2017 on Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Municipal and Industrial water uses

In 2017, high Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels caused problems for municipal water and wastewater operators as well as some industrial facilities throughout the system. Challenges included poor drainage through municipal wastewater infrastructure in low lying areas close to the shoreline as well as reports of problems with pumping infrastructure for both waste and potable water. Many of these issues are consistent with those identified during the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River study which identified some municipal and industrial plants on low-lying elevations near the lake that may have their facilities impacted by flooding should water levels rise to levels similar to those experienced in2017.  As well, some operators may have benefited with increased intake pressure due to higher water levels.  The GLAM Committee will be conducting a survey of municipal public works departments responsible for wastewater, water intake and sewer systems as well as some key industrial facilities vulnerable to flooding and high water conditions on the U.S. and Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River as well as the lower St. Lawrence River from to acquire better information on impacts and benefits this industry experienced from the high water levels in 2017. The information will help the GLAM Committee refine estimates of critical problem areas and thresholds and will ultimately support longer-term activities to review existing regulation plans.

 

Survey of impacts of high water levels in 2017 on Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Marinas and Yacht Clubs

High water levels throughout the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system in 2017 impacted several shoreline communities, stakeholders and businesses including recreational boating marinas and yacht clubs.  Media reports highlighted several marinas and yacht clubs that were flooded and had their business and operations negatively affected.  This project consists of contacting and interviewing marina and yacht club owners or managers on the U.S. and Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River as well as the lower St. Lawrence River from Lac St. Louis through Trois Rivières to acquire data and information on how their businesses and the industry were affected by high water levels in 2017. The information will be summarized and analyzed to support the GLAM Committee’s annual reporting to the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board and will also be used to support performance indicator review.
 

Shore Protection Structure Condition Assessment following 2017 High Water Levels on Lake Ontario

High water levels throughout the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system in 2017 impacted several residential shoreline communities, stakeholders, and businesses.  Media outlets reported property owners experienced flooding, erosion and damage to their shore protection structures due to water level and wave conditions.  This project will re-visit the properties that were surveyed by Quinte and Lower Trent Conservation Authorities (2009-2012), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (2011) or United States Army Core of Engineers (2015) as part of the model validation efforts following the 2006 International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Study to assess the condition, design characteristics, and expected performance of shore protection structures were consistent with inputs to the FEPS model. This effort shall concentrate on the Lake Ontario shoreline, and not include any structures on the St. Lawrence River.  Future efforts shall consider impacts to shore protection structures in other parts of the system.  The information will be summarized and analyzed to support the GLAM Committee’s annual reporting to the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, and to support performance indicator review and model validation efforts.

 

2018 Monitoring of Lake Ontario coastal wetland habitat in support of adaptive management

This project will result in detailed vegetation community data referenced to elevation and seasonal water levels in 16 Lake Ontario coastal wetlands. These data can be used for adaptive management monitoring and integrated into wetland vegetation community modelling (i.e., refine Integrated Ecosystem Response Model inputs and validate outputs) in Lake Ontario following implementation of Plan 2014. This is a continuation of ongoing GLAM efforts to collect data to support model validation.