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News stories tagged with "lake-ontario"

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

USGS gets new $4 million ship to learn more about Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is getting a new research vessel. The multi-million dollar ship will gather data across the lake and where it empties into the St Lawrence River. It will be stationed at the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Station near Oswego.

Supervisor Brian Lantry says the new, 69-foot, deep-water science vessel will replace the 50-year-old ship now used to collect data for a host of research projects on Lake Ontario.

Lantry says the new ship will carry heavier equipment, now used almost exclusively on ocean-going vessels. And he tells Jonathan Brown--because it's so difficult getting those ships on the Great Lakes--the new research vessel will provide more data on Lake Ontario's chemistry, physics and aquatic life.  Go to full article
Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.
Grass carp, one of four Asian species now in American waters.

Asian carp closer to Great Lakes?

Two New York lawmakers are demanding that U.S. officials shut two Chicago shipping locks to prevent an invasive fish from getting into the Great Lakes. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said Friday they are concerned about the recent discovery of a 20-pound Asian carp in Chicago's Lake Calumet, six miles from Lake Michigan. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
A dock in Morristown last month, posted by Susan Steffen LaRue to Save the River's Facebook page.
A dock in Morristown last month, posted by Susan Steffen LaRue to Save the River's Facebook page.

Thousand Islands boaters nervous as water level dips

The sun and warm temperatures are starting to bring boaters back to the St. Lawrence River. But especially in the Thousand Islands, they're being greeted by unusually low water levels. A dry winter and warm spring across the Great Lakes is mostly to blame. But that hasn't stopped lawmakers on both sides of the border from clamoring for a new system for controlling water flows. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Jefferson County says no to NYPA plan for off-shore wind farm

The New York Power Authority has targeted zones in lakes Ontario and Erie as potential sites for off-shore wind farms. The zones are all more than two miles from shore, and in 150 feet of water or less.

The power authority hopes for up to 500 megawatts of power, and will accept proposals from private developers until June 1.
One of the zones lies between Galloo and Grenadier islands. Another stretches south from Galloo along the eastern end of Lake Ontario. NYPA CEO Richard Kessel came to Watertown this week to ask for the county legislature's support. As Martha Foley reports, he didn't get it.  Go to full article

"Golden Crescent" epicenter of wind farm battles

This week, Iberdrola Renewables revealed plans to build 75 wind turbines in the St. Lawrence County town of Hammond. The windmills would be 66 feet taller than those on the Tug Hill Plateau. Many would be visible from the St. Lawrence River.

From Hammond upriver to Clayton, Cape Vincent, and around the shoreline of eastern Lake Ontario, developers want to build hundreds of windmills. One plan for a wind farm on Galloo Island already has approval of the Jefferson County legislature.

The New York Power Authority is in on the "wind rush," too. NYPA wants to install at least 120 megawatts of wind power in the waters of Lakes Ontario and Erie. Local residents refer to the eastern Lake Ontario region as "The Golden Crescent." Critics of the wind farm plans say windmills will scare away the tourists and anglers who drive the local economy. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.

New York pushes for better water levels management

Friday, the community of Clayton celebrated the completion of a $2.5 million clean-up of prime waterfront on the St. Lawrence River. Frink America's former snowplow plant polluted eight acres of riverside property in the heart of the Thousand Islands. Town supervisor Justin Taylor says the clean-up took almost ten years. The redeveloped property may include a hotel, multi-family residences, businesses, and a riverwalk. The head of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, Pete Grannis, came to Clayton to deliver the official certificate of completion in person. Grannis stayed in Clayton Saturday for Save the River's Winter Weekend. He updated the members of the environmental group on the stalled study to control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. In 2008, the International Joint Commission finished a 5-year, $20 million review of water levels and issued a new plan for controlling them. But then the IJC rescinded that plan, put the whole project on hold, and went back to the bargaining table. Grannis told David Sommerstein that was due to strong opposition from New York.  Go to full article

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