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News stories tagged with "lake-ontario"

Owens wants to know cost of Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence water level plan

U.S. Representative Bill Owens says environmentalists shouldn't be concerned about his stand on a new water level plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission started controlling high and low water levels in the 1950s. While that's kept a stable water level, the agency now says it's bad for the environment. The new plan allows water levels to reach higher highs and lower lows.

The IJC has yet to release all the plan details. Congressman Owens recently wrote to the agency, urging closer attention to shoreline property damage along Lake Ontario. He says that damage could exceed $3 million annually.  Go to full article

IJC wants water levels to consider eco-system costs

When spring comes, water levels rise. The spring thaw naturally fills-up lakes and rivers. But you might not know it by looking at Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. For fifty years regulators have been tempering extreme high and low water levels. And shoreline property owners, shippers, and dam operators like it that way. They don't like big fluctuations.

But now a new proposal by the International Joint Commission recommends a more natural approach. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
if itís if appropriately implemented, the plan would begin to reverse damage caused by 60 years of regulations

IJC releases water level plan

A new plan for controlling water levels in lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is intended to restore diversity in shoreline plant and animal communities by permitting greater fluctuations.

The International Joint Commission, representing both the U.S. and Canada, released the regulatory plan yesterday.  Go to full article

Creating a passion for theater in Kingston

Theatre Kingston has welcomed its new Artistic Producer on board this season. Brett Christopher has been an active member of the Canadian theater community for more than a decade. Most recently he was Artistic Associate at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. Christopher is perhaps best known for his performance in I Am My Own Wife in 2009. Founded in 1990, Theatre Kingston is Kingston, Ontario's professional theater company. Todd Moe spoke with Christopher about his goals, which include collaboration and community connections to keep local theater vibrant.  Go to full article
My wife and family are more important to me than what's going on here with these wind issues.

Cape Vincent struggles with wind power divide

Small communities across the North Country, from Burke in the east to Hammond in the west, have been deeply divided over wind power development.
The disputes pit neighbor against neighbor, and can go on for years.

That's the case in Cape Vincent, situated just where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River.

The picturesque town fills up in the summer with boaters, fisherman and summer residents with homes on the water. But the community's tourism and second home economy has come into conflict with the prospects for up to 137 wind turbines being built there by BP and a Spanish company called Acciona.

That's put enormous pressure on the town council and town planning board. In recent weeks, three of the Planning Board's five members have resigned.
Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article

Report shows mixed compliance with Great Lakes pact

A five-year agreement among the states and Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes region to protect water resources has hit its half-way point.

The National Wildlife Federation released a report yesterday assessing how well the states are doing in meeting the goals of the Great Lakes compact.

It says all eight states adjoining the lakes have missed at least one deadline for improving water conservation and efficiency. But some have made more progress than others. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Mary and Helen Eldrett at Downybrook. Photo: Joanna Richards.
Mary and Helen Eldrett at Downybrook. Photo: Joanna Richards.

New easement protects an Eden of grassland, rocks and water

The land just off eastern Lake Ontario near Watertown contains thousands of acres of fields and wetlands that are valuable habitat for birds and wildlife.

In the Jefferson County town of Brownsville, owners of a private wildlife preserve have signed an agreement ensuring their land will be forever protected. Ontario Bays Initiative announced the new conservation easement on the 182-acre property.

Joanna Richards visited the sanctuary and has this story.  Go to full article
We donít really know what these chemicals are doing to the fish, to the wildlife, and to the people that live around the Great Lakes.

Report: new chemicals threaten Great Lakes

A new report calls on the U.S. and Canada to do more to protect human health and water quality in the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission's biennial report says beach closures, contaminated groundwater, and invasive species continue to be significant problems in the region. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article
The <em>Hermann Schoening</em> [Photo from Erie Shipping News blog]
The Hermann Schoening [Photo from Erie Shipping News blog]

Aboard a cold Seaway ship with a sick crew

Twenty-two Chinese seamen are resting up in Montreal after a harrowing Christmas journey through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The crew aboard the German-owned Hermann Schoening became violently ill after phosphine gas leaked into the living and working spaces. The gas is used regularly as a fumigant to kill pests in the cargo hold. The freighter is carrying 19,000 tons of midwestern corn bound for Algeria.

The crew was treated at a hospital in Ontario. But the ship then continued on with windows open to air out the gas.

Don Metzger piloted the freighter from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River to Massena. He's been a Seaway pilot for more than 30 years. He told David Sommerstein he's never seen anything like this happen before. Metzger says the crew was sick and cold, and unprepared for winter weather.
Carolyn Osbourne of the Mariners House of Montreal says the crew spent yesterday recovering after being sickened by phosphine gas. She says they received a second hospital checkup, as well as warm coats, gloves, and Christmas gifts while in port. The ship was scheduled to resume its travels this morning.

An official with Transport Canada says the incident is under investigation. The shipowners could be fined if violations of the Canada Shipping Act are found. But the gas leak is so far being considered an anomaly.  Go to full article

Jefferson County town bans wind power

Towns across the North Country have been consumed by commercial wind farm projects. Wind power has divided neighbors, even families. It's turned the results of elections in places like Hammond and Cape Vincent. A recent planning board meeting in Cape Vincent dealing with wind power devolved into a physical altercation.

The town of Henderson, on the shore of eastern Lake Ontario in Jefferson County, has side-stepped future wind clashes. It's become the first North Country town to ban all wind turbines - industrial ones, private ones, even wind test towers.

Henderson town supervisor Ray Walker voted with the 4 to 1 majority passing the law Wednesday night. He told David Sommerstein a mostly anti-wind citizens' group came up with a set of zoning regulations after a year of research.  Go to full article

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