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Water levels plan considered tonight in Clayton

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The International Joint Commission is holding public information sessions this week in the North Country to gather public comment on its new plan to regulate water levels in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The two meetings are part of a series of public sessions.

There was one meeting last night in Louisville, NY, near Massena, and another is scheduled Wednesday at 7pm in Clayton, NY.

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Reported by

Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

The current water levels plan has been in place for sixtyyears, and strictly regulates how high or low the water gets at different times of year.  The IJC says that heavy regulation has damaged the health of the waterways.  The proposed changes would allow for more natural water flows.

Jennifer Caddick is director of the group Save the River, which supports the IJC’s new plan. "They’re not developing this new plan on a whim," she said.  "There have been over 180 scientists, and policy officials, and citizens like Save the River involve din making the new plan.  They’ve spent very thorough amount of time looking at the science behind water levels regulation, potential impacts to user groups, and finding a way to balance all of those many interests on the system here."

Not everyone agrees that the new plan balances all interests. 

Property owners on the south shore of Lake Ontario are concerned that the more natural water flow will erode their land. 

The IJC has held a series of informational sessions this month to discuss the changes. 

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 pm at the Clayton Opera House.

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