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Tiny Township reports high Georgian Bay water levels

Trends show that Georgian Bay levels will most likely go up by five inches from 2019
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TINY - The Township of Tiny is surrounded on three sides by Georgian Bay with 70 kilometres of shoreline.

Over the past years, we have seen record low water levels and also near record high water levels. Each of these scenarios presents its own unique challenges. Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes have experienced many cycles over the decades, dating back to when cycles were first measured in the late 1800s.

Recent high water trends have created many challenges for both the Municipality and shoreline owners due to erosion and other related issues. Township staff and Council members have recently attended educational webinars hosted by both the International Joint Committee (IJC) and Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation (GBGLF) to remain current with the water level trends and potential mitigation actions.

Some key points that came out of the webinars include the following:

  • Waterfront property owners must take necessary actions to preserve their waterfront to protect their assets.
  • The trends that were presented showed that Bay levels will most likely go up by five inches from last year (2019), meaning near record levels. This is as of May 2020; actual trends are weather dependent.
  • The Great Lakes Water Shed is a massive area that has many controls to regulate the levels in the Great Lakes.
  • The IJC indicated that they want to control shoreline resilience and not rely 100 per cent on manmade control structures.
  • These are natural cycles that are influenced by many factors, such as precipitation, temperatures and climate changes.
  • We need to consider the high level and low level cycles. Each action must consider both extremes and the impact on the Great Lakes.

There were many discussions and theories about how to manage the Great Lakes water levels. The controls in place to manage the levels are and have been in place for many years, and are supported by substantial expertise, historical data and lessons learned.

The Township of Tiny is doing the following to help address water levels:

  • Attending ongoing educational webinars to keep informed of actions and recommendations. 
  • Managing municipally-owned property to minimize the impact of high and low water levels.
  • Supporting shoreline properties with Access Permits (at no cost) for construction of shoreline resilience measures.
  • Receiving deputations to Council from groups that want to support actions and provide updates to the Township.

Unfortunately, the Township of Tiny does not control Georgian Bay water levels and we rely on the organizations to manage the specific areas of expertise. We are part of a very large water basin with many moving parts and factors. We do recognize the impact that has occurred in recent years and will continue to represent Tiny through our membership at the GLSLCI.