Counties pan lake-level management plan

Johnson told her colleagues that IJC Plan 2014 would negate the benefits from dredging completed this fall by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging of the Oak Orchard Harbor.

The dredging removed more than 10 years of sediment from a federal channel actively used by boating, sport-fishing and recreation activities. Allowing for higher-highs and lower-lows in lake levels would wash that maintenance away, Johnson said.

“Dredging our harbors cost well over $1 million, and yet the federal government-appointed IJC has put forth a plan that would devastate our harbors,” said Johnson, who  cited estimates of $3.5 million in damages to shoreline protection systems. “This is government at its worst.”

Negotiations continue….

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WXXI News | The Public Media news source for Rochester, NY and the Finger Lakes

The International Joint Commission oversees the management of Lake Ontario. For fifty years, a hydro-electric dam has regulated the naturally fluctuating shoreline. Frank Bevacqua of the IJC says scientific advancements show that the existing plan is harmful to the environment.

“The remaining 64,000 acres of coastal wetlands along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been degraded.”

In response, the IJC has put forth Plan 2014


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Plan to regulate Lake Ontario water levels amounts to government taking private property (Your letters) |

 Editorial on the 2014 Plan for the Great Lakes:

“As a Lake Ontario shoreline property owner, I appreciate your “sympathy” for “those … negatively affected” by the International Joint Commission’s currentPlan 2014. A new paradigm must be accepted here. The lake, thanks to the IJC, has been turned into a huge reservoir. It is no longer a “natural … waterway.” Those who will be benefiting the most will be the New York Power Authority, the shipping Industry, the St. Lawrence River Valley and Montreal. All four will make or save money on an annual basis. The New York state lake shoreline will pay for it, and annually. Among those who will be negatively affected, or compromised, include 10,000 properties (business and private) on the New York lake shore, and towns, cities and counties.

The IJC has revealed that the Plan will result in 95 percent of the total damage and cost falling on the New York shoreline annually. That “95 percent” was not represented on the IJC Commission, nor in the formulation of the plan. The County of Oswego has over $2 billion in assessments on properties along the lake shore (not counting the nukes); that’s $80 million plus in property and school taxes at risk. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes along the New York lake shore overall. Even 10 percent losses would be catastrophic to localities. Despite IJC wishful thinking and denial, there will be immense repercussions and unexpected consequences from Plan 2014, on all New Yorkers.”

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Moses Saunders dam

Direct from the IJC: “Last updated more than 50 years ago, the plan for managing flow operations at the Moses Saunders dam at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, NY has provided flood control benefits for upstream and downstream communities, more stable water levels for shipping, recreational boating and drinking water intakes, and dependable flows for hydropower production. However, the flow manangement practices have also degraded the environment of Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission’s (IJC) proposal will restore more natural patterns of water-level fluctuation and improve conditions in wetlands and aquatic habitat for fish, birds and other animals in the coastal and nearshore zones of the lake and upper river. It will also continue to manage levels for shoreline communities and other interests on Lake Ontario by reducing the occurrence of high and low water levels to nearly the same degree as the 1950s plan. The proposal will provide for a small increase in the generation of clean hydroelectric power and maintains the current benefits for downstream communities and economic activities in Quebec. The proposal includes an adaptive management strategy which will be implemented over time to provide systematic monitoring and performance assessment, and help communities adapt to changing conditions.

The Lake Ontario –St. Lawrence River proposal for regulation includes five elementsis that are described in detail in accompanying pages: Order Criteria and Conditions; Regulation Plan; Deviations Directive; Board Directive; and Adaptive Management. 

The International Joint Commission may further revise the proposal, including the new regulation plan, based on comments received during the public review process, and will then seek the concurrence of the federal governments of Canada and the United States prior to implementation.”

Controversy continues between stakeholders. Go to IJC WEBSITE to down load Plan 2014.