Skip Navigation
on:

NCPR is supported by:

News stories tagged with "water-levels"

Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf

After decades, major breakthrough on water levels for Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence

Standing between Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is a dam that a lot of people say operates under outdated rules.

The regulations for the Moses-Saunders Dam between Cornwall and Massena haven't changed since the 1950s. For over a decade, lawmakers and activists have said that the rules on water levels have harmed wetlands, fish and wildlife, and even the tourism economy.

They've tried and failed to find a way of reversing that damage. Last year, officials came up with a new concept, called Plan 2014. Yesterday the International Joint Commission unanimously endorsed it.  Go to full article
Photo: International Joint Commission
Photo: International Joint Commission

House committee restores Great Lakes cleanup funding

A federal program dedicated to environmental restoration and cleanup of the Great Lakes has escaped a massive budget cut.

A committee in the House of Representatives voted to amend a bill that would have slashed the program's funding. The move partially restores the fund to $210 million for fiscal year 2014.  Go to full article
The six commissioners of the International Joint Commission took testimony from more than two dozen people last night in Alexandria Bay. Photo: David Sommerstein.
The six commissioners of the International Joint Commission took testimony from more than two dozen people last night in Alexandria Bay. Photo: David Sommerstein.

River residents give water levels plan thumbs up

There were no surprises last night at a public hearing in Alexandria Bay about managing water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. More than 150 area residents overwhelmingly supported a new plan that would restore wetlands, fish and wildlife, and lengthen the boating season.

The Jefferson and St. Lawrence county legislatures both support the plan. Assemblywoman Addie Russell spoke in favor, as did influential green group Save The River.

And there were no surprises the night before near Rochester, either, where residents of the south shore of Lake Ontario railed against the plan for the damage it could do to their property.

But as David Sommerstein reports, what emerged last night were personal stories that illustrate what's at stake, and the challenge the agency in charge of making the decision faces.  Go to full article
IJC Chairwoman Irene Brooks faced a determined crowd at an earlier water level hearing in Alexandria Bay. Tonight's hearing will be at the Bonnie Castle Resort from 6-9 pm. Photo: David Sommerstein
IJC Chairwoman Irene Brooks faced a determined crowd at an earlier water level hearing in Alexandria Bay. Tonight's hearing will be at the Bonnie Castle Resort from 6-9 pm. Photo: David Sommerstein

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence water level plan draws mixed reviews

The International Joint Commission, or IJC, that governs water levels on Lake Ontario and St Lawrence River is presenting a new management plan in a series of public hearings in New York and Canada this week.

Plan 2014 aims to strike a compromise between the economic interests of harbor communities and the environmental concerns over current water level management.

The previous draft plan drew praise from environmental groups, but criticism from some shoreline owners, particularly along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

In Rochester yesterday, about 100 locals weighing in on the conversation showed views are still split.  Go to full article
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf

Another new St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario water levels plan

People along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario will get a chance to weigh in on a new water levels plan next month. It's called "Plan 2014". Regulators say it's better for Lake Ontario property owners than a plan released last year.  Go to full article
The Iroquois Dam helps control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority
The Iroquois Dam helps control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority

IJC prepares for hearings on "modified" water levels plan

A binational agency is poised to take another step towards revising the way water levels are managed on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

The International Joint Commission says it "aims" to hold public hearings on changing the 55-year-old system as early as next month.  Go to full article
Save The River is sending telegrams like these - and a message that management of the St. Lawrence River is outdated - to Gov. Cuomo. [courtesy Save The River]
Save The River is sending telegrams like these - and a message that management of the St. Lawrence River is outdated - to Gov. Cuomo. [courtesy Save The River]

Save The River's throwback water levels strategy

A Thousand Islands based green group is using a 1950s era technology to protest a water levels plan from the same decade. Save The River is sending Governor Andrew Cuomo hundreds of telegrams urging him to change the way the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are managed. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Iroquois Dam. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority
Iroquois Dam. Photo courtesy New York Power Authority

Why low Lake Ontario levels mean high St. Lawrence levels

We've reported for months - years even - that the Great Lakes, from Superior to Ontario, are at historically low water levels.

So we were surprised to get the news this week that regulators are lowering the gates at the Iroquois Dam near Ogdensburg because the St. Lawrence River is too high.

It's quite a puzzle.  Go to full article
Low water near Oak Point on the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Bill Merna, from NCPR Photo of the Day archives
Low water near Oak Point on the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Bill Merna, from NCPR Photo of the Day archives

Low water levels come in handy for Sandy

One potential consequence of Sandy that emergency personnel haven't been worried about is widespread flooding from the region's largest bodies of water. That's because Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are all at low levels already.  Go to full article
Matt Regan, researcher with SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, helps students churn up the dirt to expose the seed bank after removing cattails from a plot at Eel Bay, on Wellesley Island. Photo: Joanna Richards
Matt Regan, researcher with SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, helps students churn up the dirt to expose the seed bank after removing cattails from a plot at Eel Bay, on Wellesley Island. Photo: Joanna Richards

Kids study water levels' impact on St. Lawrence wetlands

Construction of the giant hydropower dam near Massena in the 1950s forever tamed the once-wild St. Lawrence River. It allowed engineers to harness the river's natural ebb and flow for energy production and to protect homes and ports at the same time. But in the process, it hurt the indigenous plants and animals that depend on those highs and lows to survive.

The environmental group Save The River has been leading a charge to persuade the agency that controls water levels to return more natural ebbs and flows to the St. Lawrence. One way is by giving the younger generation of River residents a "hands-on" lesson.  Go to full article

1-10 of 36  next 10 »  last »