Driving consensus on what to do about water levels in Georgian Bay. Online event.

In the last 7 years, we have seen water levels in Georgian Bay break records on the high and low side, causing damage, hardships and anxiety. In January 2013, the all-time record low was set at 175.57 metres. Fast forward to 2020: although the all-time 1986 highest record of of 177.50 metres hasn't been broken yet, every monthly record high has been broken for eight months in a row, with one July measurement just shy of all the-time record by about 5 centimetres. Going from an unusable boat house to one that is sinking underwater is one small example of many difficulties of extreme water levels.
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Mitigating water level extremes. Be part of the discussion.

What drives water levels is very complex, and a range of about 6 feet over time is not unusual. In fact, a range is important for the unique character and biodiversity of Georgian Bay as part of Lake Huron-Michigan. What is different is the new extremes that water levels seem to be reaching - the range appears to be expanding and more volatile.

There's a lot of information out there on water levels and what to do to take the edges off the increasing extreme high-highs and low-lows. It's a challenge to know what information is best to act on. This symposium aims to bring together the experts, scientists and stakeholders, to drive consensus about what should be done.

We invite you to join our online water levels symposium.
Click here to register today.
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Hear directly from scientists and policy makers.

1. The morning session objective - To achieve a consensus among scientists about:

    A. What we know and don’t know about water-level fluctuation cycles;
    B. What we know and don’t know about human influences in the system;
    C. Whether we have all the data we need to understand water levels and, if not, what data and data-collection approaches should be prioritized; and
    D. How can existing and to-be-collected data be rationalized and presented to better inform decision-making.

Water Levels Up and Down Georgian Bay

2. Afternoon session - To achieve a consensus among stakeholders about:

    E. What improvements could be made to coordination between control boards, and their coordination with other water levels control structures in the system, to better address extreme high and low water levels.

    F. Action needed to make any such improvements that are identified as being needed to better address extreme high and low water levels.

3. The format is designed to present concise information from rigorously chosen experts to your OWN screen. It is a virtual event.

Four speakers will provide short, focused 5-minute presentations on each topic as above, and will then form a panel to answer questions from participants related to each topic. In the morning, these will be qualified scientists, engineers and academics. In the afternoon, after a 30 minute lunch break, the speakers will be those who can comment on the current system of human interferences (control boards etc.) in the Great Lakes system, the decision making process and how it could be better coordinated to achieve some mitigation of extreme high and low water levels. After 2 sections, structured in the same way as in the morning, there will be a 30-minute wrap up discussion and Q&A.

Who are the speakers?

Each speaker was carefully chosen in a process that started well over 3 months ago in order to ensure we are bringing the best information to you. We're just firming up the details with each speaker, and will give you all the details and their short bios very soon. Thank you for your patience.
Water Levels Symposium Graph

Reminder: Timing and registration details.

When? Saturday October 24
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Hosted by: Georgian Bay Forever and the Georgian Bay Association
FREE ONLINE EVENT. You will need a computer or smartphone, WIFI, and the ZOOM application. The ZOOM link will be sent via email after registering. We will also send you background information/homework on water level drivers to help improve your experience with the content of the speakers' presentations.
You'll need to register to attend!

About the hosts:

The Georgian Bay Association is a not-for-profit advocacy organization that acts as an umbrella group for 19 cottage associations along the eastern and northern shores of Georgian Bay, representing over 3,000 families.
Formed in 1916, our mandate to protect the fragile and finite water and land resources of the Bay has not changed in over 100 years. Our mission is to work with our water-based communities and other stakeholders to ensure the careful stewardship of the greater Georgian Bay environment.
Learn more about the Georgian Bay Association at www.georgianbay.ca
Georgian Bay Forever is a charity dedicated to scientific research and public education on Georgian Bay's aquatic ecosystem.
Our mission is to protect, enhance, and restore the aquatic ecosystem of Georgian Bay by funding accredited research on water levels, water quality, and ecosystems; by educating the public and governments on issues regarding the environmental protection, conservation, the safety and preservation of the water and the natural features of the Georgian Bay area of Ontario; and by enhancing the public's appreciation for their environment.
To donate, please click here.
Learn more about Georgian Bay Forever at www.gbf.org