Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Inverhuron Provincial Park lies north of Kincardine on the southeastern shore of Lake Huron. At Gunn Point, the receding lake had abandoned a nice gravel beach ridge back among the trees and left a broad platform that plants are trying to colonize. On the bay to the south, a nice set of dunes had formed and still farther south, cottages lined a beach with a narrow sandy beach and rock ledges exposed on the recently exposed lake bottom.
Looking north from Gunn Point, I could see Douglas Point and the Bruce Generating Station, the largest nuclear power plant in North America and the second largest in the world (Wikipedia). I suppose it's the existing transmission infrastructure that makes the big wind farm just inland from here possible. I admit, the wind turbines were much prettier in the late afternoon sun than the boxy nuclear plant.
Lake Huron is the third largest lake in the world - and probably larger if you count Lake Michigan, which is really part of the same lake. It's been ratcheting downward for thousands of years, although relatively high water in the 1980s caused lots of erosion problems. The last few years it has continued to fall and is near record levels now. This is partly due to regional hydrology - maybe less rain - but it may also be due to human changes at the outlet near Detroit. Once again, we can credit regional changes in the environmental landscape to the Corps of Engineers!