The IJC finds that the regulation of water levels and flows in the St. Lawrence River in accordance with the 1952 and 1956 Orders of Approval has damaged ecosystems along the coast of Lake Ontario and upper St. Lawrence River over the last 50 years or more. The effects of the current regulation of water flows and lake levels on ecosystems were not fully understood or considered when the existing Order of Approval and regulation plan were developed. Maintaining the current and outdated regulation will do nothing to prevent the ongoing shoreline erosion that is currently taking place, and will continue to do harm to the lake’s ecosystem.
The flows of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are moderated through the release of water at the Robert H. Moses-Saunders Power Dam in Massena and Cornwall. Because the applications to operate the dams were made by the U.S. and Canadian governments, they are the entities that must approve Plan 2014.
Shoreline property owners face no significant additional threat from the new water levels. The maximum water level difference for Plan 2014 is only 2 inches higher than current regulation – about the height of a tennis ball.