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NYPA Relicensing, Part 1: The Lay of the Land and Water

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In 1954, over 6,000 workers and their families came to Massena from all over the country to work on the St. Lawrence. Their boss was New York's "Master Builder" Robert Moses. His goal was to harness the force of one of North America's greatest rivers, a main artery carrying the largest store of fresh water in the world to the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project was the largest public works project in the world. The power project's 50 year operation license expires in 2003. In the intervening years since it went on-line, our values regarding public and private lands, the environment, and historical preservation have changed dramatically. The New York Power Authority faces challenges in getting a new license that Robert Moses would likely have considered trivial. Over the next three days, we'll look at the Power Authority's relicensing struggles. Today, David Sommerstein takes a trip deep into the inner workings of the Robert Moses Power Dam itself to see how it all works... and how it changed the river valley forever.

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