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News stories tagged with "water-levels"

Freighter in the Thousand Islands.
Freighter in the Thousand Islands.

IJC: Environmental plan just out of reach

A binational commission has chosen a new plan for controlling water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The International Joint Commission says "Plan 2007" is a minor tweak of a plan called "D+" and benefits almost every stakeholder in the region. The IJC says it improves conditions for hydropower, shipping, and some wetlands in Lake Ontario over the existing plan. And it makes water levels more reliable for the Port of Montreal. The IJC is making its decision official at press conferences in Washington and Ottawa this morning at 10. Irene Brooks is the U.S. chair of the Commission. She told David Sommerstein the IJC wanted to choose the best plan for the environment, which is known as "B+". "B+" is by far the preferred alternative in the North Country. But Brooks says that plan would cause too much erosion along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, near Rochester, and hurt property owners.  Go to full article

IJC to unveil water levels plan

The bi-national agency that controls water levels on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River is making a big announcement tomorrow. The International Joint Commission will release a new water management plan for the first time in 50 years. As David Sommerstein reports, North Country stakeholders are likely to be disappointed.  Go to full article

River advocates slam 'hybrid' water plan

Environmentalists and North Country lawmakers are criticizing a plan to control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario even before it's made public. The International Joint Commission will release its final plan on March 31st. It's the result of a five-year, $20 million study between the U.S. and Canada to determine the best way to regulate water levels for all the users of the Lakes and River. There are reports the IJC will abandon three plans vetted by the public over the five-year study and instead choose a new option. Congressman John McHugh wrote a letter criticizing that possibility. Dalton Foster lives on Wilson Hill near Massena and runs the International Water Levels Coalition. He spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

IJC water levels plan delayed

U.S. and Canadian officials with the International Joint Commission has spent five years, and $20 million, on developing a plan to deal with water levels, as well as other issues, including invasive species and shipping. That plan, meant in part to ease the region's economic and environmental concerns, was to be made public at the beginning of next week. Yesterday, the IJC says its recommendation will be delayed. Frank Bevaqua is public information officer for the IJC. He said the commission "just isn't there yet."  Go to full article
Fishing guide Rich Clarke points out low water levels at French Bay marina in Clayton.
Fishing guide Rich Clarke points out low water levels at French Bay marina in Clayton.

Heard Up North: low water frustration

Boaters wrapping up their summer fun on the St. Lawrence River last weekend saw shoals and rocks they hadn't seen before. Dock space was even tighter than usual at parks and other public tie-ups. The holiday weekend provided just the latest evidence of unusually low water levels that have angered residents up and down the river since mid-August. Some people have simply taken their boats elsewhere. The low water is the latest addition to a list of concerns that especially frustrates those who make their living on the river. Many people blame the Seaway and shippers who brought invasive species, and the New York Power Authority for disturbing the natural state of the river with its hydropower dam. A fishing guide is today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article

Why is the St. Lawrence so low?

So why are the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario so low this summer? David Sommerstein called John Kangas. He's the U.S. Secretary of the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control. This is the agency that actually determines how much water should be let through the dam in Massena, controlling water levels all the way back to Niagara Falls. Kangas says the problems started last winter, when there was too much water. So to prevent flooding in Lake Ontario, the Board let a lot of water through the dam.  Go to full article

Water Levels Study: The Envelope, Please

A 5-year, $20 million study of water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River was finished last week. It's a collaboration between the U.S. and Canada. It's the first time the system has been reviewed since the 1960s. The study recommends three options for holding and releasing water downriver. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

River Groups Hope Water Level Plan Isn't Status Quo

A binational agency is holding its final public meetings this week over new plans to control water levels on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River. It's the first time the system is under review since the St. Lawrence was dammed in the 1950s. River residents are getting worried the 5-year, $25 million project may amount to nothing new. David Sommerstein explains why.  Go to full article
Karen Lago on Cobb Shoal, where cattails dominate due to less water fluctuation.
Karen Lago on Cobb Shoal, where cattails dominate due to less water fluctuation.

People Plan for Future of Mighty River

The U.S. and Canadian governments are revisiting how they control water in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for the first time since the 1950s. The International Joint Commission has spent five years and $25 million studying how different water levels at different times of the year affect everything from wetlands and beaches to shoreline docks and Seaway ships. The IJC is shopping around three new water level plans at public meetings around the region. As David Sommerstein reports, most people in the North Country favor one of them, but their voices may be drowned out by larger population centers elsewhere.  Go to full article

High Lake Levels Boon for Shipping

Water levels on the Great Lakes have come up this summer, thanks to the wet conditions. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Mike Simonson has more.  Go to full article

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