IJC’s draft plan for extreme water levels is coming soon | Save Our Sodus

Excerpt on future release of extreme water levels for Great Lakes restoration:

Recent lake levels studies suggest that the best way to address the potential for extreme water levels and the uncertainties, including those associated with climate change, is through adaptive management. A draft Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System will be released for public review next week. The plan aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to monitor climate trends and support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.

Your comments on this comprehensive and collaborative draft plan will be invited from March 15-April 15. The International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team will consider comments received before making final recommendations to the International Joint Commission in May 2013.

Federal funding remains a focus. While levels for 2013 and 2014 are still unknown, expectations are that President Obama and Congress will continue the precedent-setting $1 billion-plus investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the last three years – dollars slated to clean up past pollution, reduce nutrient loads from agriculture and cities, and prevent invasive species. Many thanks to White House Council of Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley for personally telling the Healing Our Waters coalition that Great Lakes restoration would continue.

For specifics on public comments go to website:

http://www.saveoursodus.com/2013/03/08/draft-plan-for-extreme-water-levels-is-coming-soon/

Environmental Justice U.S. EPA

From NYSPSA at Syracuse Univ. Nicole Daniels found that spa definition “too broad” and confusing to people. She called definition ” squishy”. Read on for EPA definition of environmental justice. Next question, how does EJ differ from Superfund concept

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

What is meant by fair treatment and meaningful involvement?

Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies

Meaningful Involvement means that:
people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health;
the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision;
their concerns will be considered in the decision making process; and
the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected
EPA and Environmental Justice

EPA’s goal is to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to maintain a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

EPA’s environmental justice mandate extends to all of the Agency’s work, including setting standards, permitting facilities, awarding grants, issuing licenses and regulations and reviewing proposed actions by the federal agencies. EPA works with all stakeholders to constructively and collaboratively address environmental and public health issues and concerns. The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) coordinates the Agency’s efforts to integrate environmental justice into all policies, programs, and activities. OEJ’s mission is to facilitate Agency efforts to protect environment and public health in minority, low-income, tribal and other vulnerable communities by integrating environmental justice in all programs, policies, and activities.

Learn more on the history of Environmental Justice…

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/ej/basics/

DEC releases new draft plans for Belleayre resort and ski center | Watershed Post

The Cross Roads Venture started in 1999. State bought Indian Plateau in 2011. Here is excerpt from and link to Watershed Post article:

In its current form, the Belleayre Resort project includes plans for a 250-bed hotel and a 120-bed hotel, over 250 fractional-ownership condos and other housing units in various buildings, and an 18-hole golf course. Read on….
Continue reading

Environmental groups push bi-national commission to advance lake levels plan | News Blog

The coalition pushing binational commission, IJC, to recommend Bv7 plan to control lake levels on Great Lakes esp. Lake Ontario and The St Lawrence Seaway includes Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Nature Conservancy, Audubon New York, and Save the River. Lake Ontario shoreline property owners oppose the plan. http://m.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/blogs/Post?basename=environmental-groups-push-bi-national-commission-to-advance-lake-levels-plan&day=16&id=NewsBlog&month=04&year=2013

Watertown Daily Times | Environmentalists urge Gov. Cuomo to support IJC’s Bv7 water management proposal

This is an excerpt from Watertown Daily. With so many stakeholders supporting Plan Bv7, it may do better yo replace old management plan. Read on: “In a joint letter to Gov. Cuomo, four conservation groups — Save the River, Clayton; the Nature Conservancy; Audubon New York, and Citizens Campaign for the Environment — asked the governor to support Plan Bv7, a water regulation proposal by the International Joint Commission that could replace the existing half-century-old management plan. “Expressions of support for Plan Bv7 from Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River community have more than quadrupled since July 2012,” they said. “Much of the new support for Plan Bv7 came from the south shore of Lake Ontario.” So far, the groups gathered a total of 9,170 letters and petition signatures supporting Bv7 — an additional 7,000 “expressions” since July. The lake’s south shore has been where most of the complaints have been coming from because of the increased the risk of erosion under Bv7. At a panel discussion on the topic Saturday in Clayton, Sodus Point Mayor Christopher Tertinek argued that higher water levels allowed under Bv7 would flood waterfront properties and cause the village’s sewer infrastructure to fail. In an economic impact study, IJC estimated an additional $3 million per year in shore protection cost to coastal residents under the new management plan. But advocates argue that Bv7 is a balanced plan that finally takes into consideration environmental and recreational boating interests neglected under the original management plan. “Plan Bv7 will replace over 50 years of water level management that has significantly altered the Lake and River’s natural processes and dramatically reduced habitat diversity,” environmental advocates said in their letter to Gov. Cuomo. “Plan Bv7 will achieve these benefits through a return to more natural flows. It will provide a longer recreational boating season by avoiding the rapid draw down of the Lake and River in the fall, increase warm-water recreational fishing opportunities, increase hydropower production and lead to conditions that rebuild beaches naturally, all while continuing to provide significant protection to shoreline property owners.” http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130416/NEWS03/704169884

York Co. emergency director gives tips for surviving the river this spring | Local News | Rock Hill Herald Online

These tips were posted by Holy Cow in outdoor angler. At least follow these tips when getting in the water. 1) Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) 2) Take an emergency aid kit 3) Take sunblock 4) Take bottled water 5) Plan ahead, knowing when you plan to “put out” into the river and when you plan to return to shore 6) Be safe http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/04/14/4771947/york-co-emergency-director-gives.html

Canada annexed by US as Parkland- NOT! CBC News

Do Americans really want Canada, our biggest trading partner, to be one big park? Here is an interview by Peter Mansberg of PM Harper: “It’s one thing in terms of whether Canadians, you know, want jobs, to what degree Canadians want environmental protection. These are all valid questions,” Harper said in an exclusive interview Monday with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge. MAPCanada’s crude oil pipelines “But just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process is all about.” The $5.5-billion Northern Gateway project is a proposal by Canadian oil and gas company Enbridge to build two pipelines stretching 1,177 kilometres between the Alberta oilsands and the West Coast. The Northern Gateway would have the capacity to transport 525,000 barrels of oil per day. Community Reaction The CBC community reacts to Mansbridge’s conversation with Stephen Harper. What’s your take? Just before hearings on the project began, Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver raised the issue of foreign money going to environmental groups earlier this month. The groups say they get a small amount of funding from outside of Canada and that the government is trying to refocus the debate when much of the investment in the oilsands comes from outside of Canada. “I don’t object to foreigners expressing their opinion,” Harper told CBC News. “But I don’t want them to be able to hijack the process so that we don’t make a decision that’s timely or in the interests of Canadians.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/01/16/pol-harper-mansbridge-interview.html

New Democrats Motion Passes: Navigable Waters Protection Act

The NDP convention considered the following motion:

2-06-13 Resolution to Reverse changes to Fish Habitat Protection, to Navigable Waters Protection, and to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

Submitted by Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Dartmouth—Cole Harbour

WHEREAS, instead of strengthening habitat protection and environmental oversight, the Conservative government has: gutted the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act; weakened the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; cut funding for science and research; and continues to ignore the threats of climate change to Canada’s oceans; and

BE IT RESOLVED that New Democrats call on the Conservative Government to reverse changes to fish habitat protection, to Navigable Waters Protection, and to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;

and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the federal government immediately implement the 75 recommendations identified in the Cohen Commission Report, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that cuts to funding for fisheries science and ecosystem management be restored

MP Robert Chisholm spoke in favour of this motion.

MP Philip Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine) spoke in favour.

Motion passed.

Canada Vows to Protect 10% of Coastline: NDP Resolution Passes!

2-01-13 Resolution on Coastal and Marine Area Protection Submitted by Dartmouth—Cole Harbour WHEREAS, Canada has the longest coastline in the world and Canadians expect and deserve healthy oceans and marine areas for present and future generations. BE IT RESOLVED, that the following clause be added to section 2.1 of the policy book. New Democrats believe in: – Canada’s commitment to protect at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020 as committed to under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. http://blogs.canoe.ca/davidakin/environment/ndp-convention-2-01-13-resolution-on-coastal-and-marine-area-protection/#.UWlxsT6MgbQ.twitter

Reliably unpredictable

Extreme weather patterns merit action on a micro & macro scale. 2013 had tge coldest Easter on record in England/UK. Droughts, floods in USA are more frequent and severe. Treaties address these problems by focusing on ways country states can reduce their carbon emissions (CE). As with Kyoto signatories, we have seen drops in carbon production, e.g., in UK and elsewhere. However, a pattern is emerging, i.e., decreased emissions are often followed by decreases in domestic manufacturing. As with the case of Britain, this decrease has happened along side the building up of financial, banking sectors in their economy. This strategy is emerging as a pattern along with austerity, high unemployment and debt. When looking at spending trends we see carbon emission increases shift to developing countries, a decrease in CE from UK is accompanied by increased in carbon footprint by consumers importing products once made locally. So what appears to be positive results in reducing CE are actually increases in CE elsewhere. Here is an excerpt from The Guardian on climate change (or if you dislike that term rather call it – “increases in weather patterns producing droughts and floods as well as extreme temperatures and rising seas and lower lake levels. “:
Our weather, always unpredictable, is now  becoming increasingly harder to forecast short term. The challenge for meteorologists is to explain these unexpected outbreaks of climatic unpleasantness. “There is no doubt that the recent weather has been highly changeable – on both sides of the Atlantic,” said meteorologist Nicholas Klingaman of Reading University. “We have blizzards and flooding. America has had droughts and scorching temperatures.” Nor is it difficult to pinpoint the immediate cause, Klingaman said. The problem lies with the jet stream, a narrow band of strong winds that sweeps round the planet between the tropics and the Arctic. “Its behaviour has changed dramatically in the past few years and has produced these lengthy bouts of extreme weather. The real question, of course, is an obvious one: why has the jet stream changed its behaviour?” The answer is very worrying, for it transpires that meteorologists may find it increasingly hard to make long-term assessments of future weather with their former confidence. The planet’s weather systems are being stirred and shaken and the cause is closely linked to climate change, the result of the trillions of tonnes of carbon that we have been pumping into our atmosphere…” Read on @: http://m.guardiannews.com/uk/2013/apr/07/science-behind-britain-coldest-easter