Boating in Canada News

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24 September 2007

Great Lakes at Record Low Water Levels

In August, Lake Superior, the largest of the five Great Lakes, set a record for low water levels over the last century, and is heading for a record in September. Water flow out of the lake is also down 30% over averages. Lakes Michigan and Huron are at the level of Chart Datum, below their all-time average levels for this time of year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are below their all-time average levels for this time of year, but above Datum. The water level at Montreal Harbour is below average for this time of year and below Datum. (Kingston, Ontario levels are the lowest we've recorded in our log in 21 years - and still dropping.)

The Georgian Bay Association is advancing its 2005 theory that excessive dredging near Sarnia and gravel mining many years ago have been the equivalent of pulling a drain plug, now causing loss of 10 billion litres a day, three times more than previously thought.

The five Great Lakes form the world's largest interconnected body of fresh water, containing one-fifth of all the fresh water on Earth. 99% of the lake waters are considered a legacy of the last ice age. Only about 1% is replenished each year through precipitation, which must offset evaporation and water flowing through the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean.
[ | | Water Level links ]

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3 September 2007

Proposed Federal Regulations to Restrict Boating

Transport Canada has proposed new Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations following the revised Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001), which came into effect July 1. Minister of Transport Lawrence Cannon said, "The new restrictions included in the proposed regulations will maintain the safety of navigation, both commercial and recreational, by restricting the type or speed of vessels that may use the various waterways." The proposed regulations would restrict specified boating areas, restrict mode of propulsion, limit maximum engine power or speed, prohibit recreational towing and water-skiing, and specify areas requiring permits for on-water events.

The proposal was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, August 18. You must comment within 30 days. Transport Canada will publish the final regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II, at which time they will come into effect. More information: Canadian Marine Advisory Council:

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