The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported on Monday that Lake Ontario is now 8 inches higher than it was last year at this time. The number, reported by the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, is the third highest increase seen in one of the Great Lakes behind Michigan and Huron both tied at 1 foot.
What does the rise in level mean for the Great Lakes?
While excessive rising of the water level may cause flooding and higher rates of erosion, a moderate level provides routes for “commercial navigation, recreational boating, marinas, beaches, fishing, cottage and homeowners, and the aquatic ecosystem.”  While Lake Ontario’s levels are indeed increasing, they are doing so at a healthy rate… hardly to the extent as the highs of the mid 1980’s or the lows caused by El Nina in the late 1990’s.
The Great Lakes provide rich learning experiences for local students… does your class use Lake Ontario or any of the local streams to explore environmental trends?
1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration