Low Great Lakes' water levels threaten South Port Sailing
Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:55 AM ET
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2013 1:12 PM ET
Members of the South Port Sailing Club in Tecumseh met Thursday night to talk about how to salvage the 2013 boating season.
Members say water levels in the Great Lakes have dropped so low, they can't use their marina unless they go ahead with an expensive dredging operation.
The latest water bulletin issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans say levels in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie remain below average.
"When we haul the boats in the fall we normally haul out at the end of October but last fall we [did] it in the middle of September just because the water had dropped so much. Most of us had to drag our keels through the mud," said the club's treasurer, Bill Frank.
The South Port Sailing Club is at the mouth of Pike Creek.
Tim Byrne with the local conservation authority is not ready to call it climate change, but he says the immediate future is not promising.
"If we go for extended periods of time without measurable snowfall, without measurable ice accumulation, then the rate at which it will recover will be very, very slow," he said.
The executive called a meeting to decide whether to dredge the harbour or to dock the boats at the Belle River marina for this season.
Dredging will cost about $100,000 just for the harbour, New docks will have to be installed because the boats will still sit far below where they sit now.
Docking at Belle River will cost members a $1,000 more than docking in Tecumseh.
Allen Shearn is not excited about either plan, but says something has to be done.
"It's really a wrench for all of us. This is a beautiful place. It took a lot of hard work to get it to this point.," he said.
No decision was made at Thursday's meeting.
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