From NCPR Blogs:
This morning, I reported that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is blasting Federal officials for proposing new ballast water treatment rules that DEC commissioner Joe Martens describes as neither adequate nor effective. I also...
New York state has faced intense political pressure to scrap tough ballast water rules designed to keep invasive species out of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Canada and other Great Lakes states hate New York’s rules, which require...
This morning on The 8 O’Clock Hour, I reported on the balance between economic and environmental concerns on the St. Lawrence Seaway. After all, what’s known as the “Seaway” is our St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, the...
A small drama on the Seaway is playing out on Christmas Day. A Liberian-registered German vessel, Hermann Schoening, is passing through the St. Lawrence River today and is expected to reach Massena’s locks this evening. Sixteen members of...
News stories tagged with "seaway"
Jul 13, 2009 — The Seaway's 50th anniversary has inspired a number of new books about the waterway. One blames the federal government, not the shipping industry, for the invasion of foreign species into the Great Lakes that has cost the region billions of dollars. The Environment Report's Lester Graham talks with author Jeff Alexander about his new book, Pandora's Locks. Go to full article
Massena, NY, Jul 10, 2009 — U.S. and Canadian dignitaries will officially open the St. Lawrence Seaway's 50th anniversary celebration this afternoon in Massena. The Obama Administration is sending department of transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Seaway administrator Terry Johnson will also be on hand to speak. Johnson took over the U.S. agency that runs the Seaway two and a half years ago. He spoke with David Sommerstein about the waterway's legacy and future. Go to full article
Jul 08, 2009 — On July 1st, 1958, the once wild waters of the St. Lawrence River began to rise up behind the massive Moses-Saunders hydropower dam. A year later, the river officially opened to international shipping as the St. Lawrence Seaway. We're recalling that 50th anniversary this week. But that day - now 51 years ago -- is known locally as Inundation Day. The rising water swallowed nine whole villages and hamlets on the Canadian side of the river, known today as the Lost Villages. 530 homes were moved or destroyed. 6500 people were forced to higher ground. You can still see roads that disappear into the river. Old foundations emerge when the water level drops. The memories of life before Inundation Day remain strong in today's towns on the northern banks of the St. Lawrence River. The Lost Villages Museum there brought the old days back to life recently with a Ghost Tour. As a part of our special coverage of the Seaway's 50th Anniversary, David Sommerstein went along and has our story. Go to full article
Clayton, NY, Jun 29, 2009 — July will be a month of celebration and reflection as the St. Lawrence Seaway, and its locks, channels, and hydropower dam near Massena, turns 50. The waterway brought global trade to the St. Lawrence River, but also pollution, invasive species, and one catastrophic oil spill. More than 50 environmental groups across the region are releasing a seven-point agenda for a cleaner future for the Seaway. Jennifer Caddick directs one of those groups, Save the River, based in Clayton. She told David Sommerstein the 50th anniversary is bittersweet for residents of the Thousand Islands. Go to full article
Alexandria Bay, NY, Mar 31, 2009 — Today a little before noon, a Canadian flagged freighter will slip through the locks in Montreal and usher in the 50th shipping season of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Dignitaries from the United States and Canada will be on hand to celebrate. When the Seaway was completed in 1959, a decades-old dream of connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean was realized. As David Sommerstein reports, the anniversary is already stoking an ongoing debate about its economic and environmental legacy. Go to full article
Aug 08, 2008 — The ballast tanks of foreign Seaway ships are the number one vector of invasive species in the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Invaders like the zebra mussel and round goby cost the region hundreds of million dollars a year. Some environmentalists and scientists have called for the Seaway to turn away foreign freighters until they install sophisticated treatment systems to clean the ballast tanks. A new report by the National Academy of Sciences says that's not necessary. The 4-year study by 13 scientists says rules adopted this year requiring all foreign ships to flush their ballast tanks with salt water before entering the Great Lakes are sufficient. U.S. Seaway Adminstrator Terry Johnson praised the committee's findings. He said closing the Seaway to foreign traffic would be "legally unfeasible, politically unrealistic, and economically disastrous" for the U.S. and Canada. Hugh MacIsaac was a member of the study team. He researches invasive species at the University of Windsor in Ontario. MacIsaac told David Sommerstein that salt-water flushing of ballast tanks, known as "swish and spit," is the best existing way to stop invasives. And it lacks the political controversy closing the Seaway to foreign ships would have. Go to full article
Jun 26, 2008 — At least 260 St. Lawrence River residents spoke with one voice at a water levels hearing last night in Alexandria Bay. It was the last chance to persuade the International Joint Commission to adopt a more environmentally friendly plan for controlling the waters of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario. The plan, called "B+", has the support of local, state, and federal lawmakers, including Governor David Paterson, and a broad coalition of environmental groups. But following a five year, $20 million study, the IJC wants to implement a plan that's very similar to the original 50-year old one. The agency says it has to protect homeowners along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Go to full article
Jun 19, 2008 — Advocates of a new water levels regime for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario will converge on the Quality Inn in Massena tonight at 7. The International Joint Commission is holding a public hearing on its proposal to replace the 50-year-old water levels plan. The hearings follow a five-year, $20 million study on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water levels. North Country stakeholders want the IJC to replace some of the natural ebbs and flows of the water. They say it would benefit wildlife, restore wetlands that are rapidly disappearing, and give boaters a longer season to boot. But right now the IJC opposes that plan because it could damage property along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. So the IJC wants to implement a water levels regime that's very similar to the original plan. Dan Barletta has lived along the Lake Ontario shoreline near Rochester for more than 20 years. He's been very involved in the water levels study. He spoke with David Sommerstein. Go to full article
May 12, 2008 — The United States and Canada are trying to figure out how to keep new invasive species out of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. 185 have already snuck in, costing the region billions of dollars a year. Many hitchhiked in the ballast tanks of foreign ships. Both countries want the public to know they're doing something about the problem. So they invited journalists to the port of Montreal to see how ballast tanks are tested for invasive species. David Sommerstein reports. Go to full article
Mar 31, 2008 — A new plan for controlling water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario is drawing fire from all quarters of New York. The International Joint Commission announced this morning it supports a minor tweaking of a plan called "D-Plus". That plan is very similar to the existing, 50-year-old plan and provides only minor benefits for the environment. It's the result of a seven-year, $20 million study. As David Sommerstein reports, leaders in New York say the results are a waste of time and money. Go to full article