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News stories tagged with "lake-ontario"

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

Lake Ontario ecosystem incorporating invasive zebra and quagga mussels

An update now on the invasive zebra and quagga mussels. Yesterday, we told you about the Sackets Harbor water treatment plant on the shore of Lake Ontario. It was nearly shut down last week after its intake pipe was so choked with mussels almost no water came through.

This morning, we hear from Dr Dawn Dittman. She's a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey in Cortland, New York--and one of only a few people tracking the invasive mussels.

She says their numbers appear to be stabilizing. And she tells Jonathan Brown some popular sport fish--native to Lake Ontario--are starting to find zebra and quagga mussels quite tasty.  Go to full article

Zebra mussels rebounding near Sackets Harbor

A thick cake of zebra mussels nearly shut down a water treatment plant in Sackets Harbor last week. The invasive species has been wreaking havoc in Lake Ontario for more than 20 years now. New regulations on the ocean-going freighters that first brought zebra mussels to these shores--and other measures--have led some to believe the invader has been contained. But, as Jonathan Brown reports, officials in Sackets Harbor now fear the species is rebounding.  Go to full article

Wolfe Island bird kills raise wind power concerns

A recent study of bird and bat mortality at Wolfe Island's 82-turbine wind farm is raising concerns among environmentalists. Wolfe Island is Canadian territory, located where Lake Ontario empties into the St. Lawrence River. The report found 600 birds and more than a thousand bats were killed by the windmill blades in a six month period. Nature Canada called the numbers "shockingly high." Ornithologist Bill Evans says the real question is which species of birds died. Evans directs Old Bird, Inc. in Ithaca and has consulted for both wind power companies and environmental groups. He told David Sommerstein Wolfe Island is a designated important bird area, so ornithologists predicted high fatalities. Evans says the number of hawks, owls, and other raptors was the most alarming.  Go to full article
Coming to the Great Lakes soon?  (Photo: USFWS)
Coming to the Great Lakes soon? (Photo: USFWS)

Green groups want Obama to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp invasion

Environmental groups are blasting the US Corps of Engineers and urging President Obama to do far more to stop the spread of an invasive fish into the Great Lakes.

Scientists say the aggressive Asian carp -which can weigh up to 100 pounds--could wipe out natural fish stocks in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

As Brian Mann reports, some lawmakers want new, permanent barriers that would prevent the fish from spreading.  Go to full article

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