Searching for Answers, Seeking Solutions

I’ll admit – I’m the least qualified writer of the Peninsula Pulse staff to tell you why lake levels have dropped so significantly. I thrive when it comes to art, literature, and entertainment…not science. I’m as clueless as half the readers who appear in our photo poll, as clueless as many of you who are opening this issue with a slew of overheard theories and ideas swirling in your head like water going down a drain. Where did that water go?

Some say the mild winters are to blame. Some believe the dredging of the St. Clair River has caused the levels to plummet. I heard there is a huge hole in the bottom of one of the Great Lakes…

Well, a team of writers and researchers are here to set the record straight – they’ve compiled information, maps, and statistics to help you and I understand what the heck happened to the water surrounding our beloved peninsula.

Roy Lukes presents “Lake Michigan’s Highs and Lows” he has witnessed over the decades spent living on the Door Peninsula while Paul Burton offers “A History of Great Lakes Protection,” and Carol Thompson answers the questions on everyone’s mind: “Where Did the Water Go?” and “Can We Get the Water Back?”

Because this water that makes our county what it is – a gorgeous, diverse landscape that draws a multitude of visitors each year and provides many of us with our livelihoods, whether directly or indirectly – we will also touch upon how the levels influence us and the landscape, and what we can do.

Richard Purinton, CEO of the Washington Island Ferry Line, describes the low water’s affect on the island and the ferry. Matt Ledger asks locals how the change in water levels has challenged their businesses and jobs. Kari Hagenow of the Door County Invasive Species Team lists invasive plants growing on our larger shorelines.

I suspect you and I will be so wildly informed about the lake levels after reading this issue that if the tourists ask, ‘Where did the water go?’ we’ll be doling out facts and valid information like Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I may not know much about science, but I know that I love the water that drew me to this beautiful place. Let’s do our part to understand what’s going on. Let’s learn more about how we can respect and protect the water around us.