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

Fair Distribution of water, STAKEHOLDERS INTERESTS, and Water Levels-WHAT IS BV7 and Why is IJC STALLING?

Excerpt from Senator Bob Runciman address talking about the status quo to maintain water levels and IJC recommendations. Is IJC kowtowing to interest of wealthy New Yorkers? Is status quo working? Link to full address included: “…They [INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION – IJC] came up with what is known as Plan BV7, a plan that respects the natural flows of the river, that satisfied, for the most part, boaters, tourism operators, residents and, in particular, environmentalists. A plan that would extend the tourism season in the Thousand Islands and wouldn’t drain the wetlands along the river’s banks. A plan that is much more environmentally sound than the 50-year-old approach now in use. Plan BV7 would not solve everyone’s problems, but it would balance their interests. Everyone would have enough water, most of the time. We’re not likely to do better. In 2011, we were told by the International Joint Commission that the new plan would be in place by the end of 2012 or early 2013. Last spring, they held public consultations, with the promise that public hearings – the final step before implementation – would follow last fall. Finally, after decades of delays, it seemed that change for the better was coming. But nothing has happened and a cloak of secrecy has descended over the entire process. What happened is anyone’s guess. But I suspect the IJC has decided to side with a few wealthy property owners who built on the floodplain in the Rochester area of New York state and believe the proposed plan could result in flooding of their property. Thousand Islanders fear that a few powerful interests could scuttle the good work and millions of dollars spent to develop a plan that the overwhelming majority of people support. Meanwhile, the optimism, the hope that finally the IJC was listening to the people is quickly fading. Today, I call on the International Joint Commission to move forward and fulfill the commitment it has made. http://www.bobrunciman.com/index.cfm?ID=111&ViewItem=Yes&IDln=137&ShowText=No

Watertown Daily Times | Canadian senator prods IJC to approve Bv7 water plan

Blurb on legislation to balance shoreline resident interests with tourist operators and shipping: Canadian Sen. Robert W. Runciman is urging the International Joint Commission to “quit stalling” and adopt the proposed Plan Bv7 water management plan. In a news release, Mr. Runciman said the current approach cuts short the boating season by almost a third and threatens wetlands in the Thousand Islands. The senator said Plan Bv7 is the best approach he’s seen to balance the interests of shoreline residents along Lake Ontario, tourist operators on the upper St. Lawrence River, Seaway shipping companies, the Montreal harbor and the environmental movement. http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130306/NEWS03/703069888