The water levels of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are regulated by the Moses Sanders Dam under a joint U.S. – Canada agreement that dates back more than 50 years. That plan was developed before modern science gave us a full understanding of the lake’s fragile ecosystem. Now we know that the old system of management is slowly killing the lake and river.
The International Joint Commission (IJC) – a joint U.S.-Canadian agency – has spent more than a decade developing Plan 2014, which achieves a balance of benefits for all interests, by simply restoring some of the natural fluctuations in water levels.
By adjusting the dam’s operating plan to work with nature, while preventing extreme high and low water levels, Plan 2014 will restore 64,000 acres of wetlands, boost hydropower production and increase the resilience of hundreds of miles of shoreline in the U.S. and Canada.
Maintaining the status quo leaves coastal areas more vulnerable to powerful storms (like Sandy and Irene) and threatens a variety of industries and one of New York’s most valuable natural resources. These industries rely on a healthy lake, clean water and accessible shipping routes. Among the specific problems the current lake regulation plan has created:
SupportPlan2014.org is a website owned by The Nature Conservancy and created in partnership with several non-profit conservation and environmental organizations: Audubon New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Save The River and Ducks Unlimited Inc. The organizations in this coalition are independent of each other and are not a legal entity. They are working together to achieve sustainable shoreline management, climate change resilience and ongoing economic benefit while restoring the health of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.