WXXI AM News

IJC's "Plan 2014" Angers Local Representatives

Dec 22, 2014

Maggie Brooks addresses the IJC Plan 2014
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI

A new plan for managing Lake Ontario’s water level makes shore property owners feel threatened.

The International Joint Commission oversees the management of Lake Ontario. For fifty years, a hydro-electric dam has regulated the naturally fluctuating shoreline. Frank Bevacqua of the IJC says scientific advancements show that the existing plan is harmful to the environment.

"The remaining 64,000 acres of coastal wetlands along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been degraded."

In response, the IJC has put forth Plan 2014, which would allow for more frequent variations in water levels. Lake shore property owners worry that these frequent variations could damage their property and local industry, as well as have unintended consequences on the environment. Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks spoke out about the plan amid representatives from five other counties.

"Existing structures could be compromised by higher lake levels and the higher lake levels could leave the lake shore susceptible to increased flooding and increased erosion."

Bevaqua acknowledged that municipalities along the coast would have to make investments in shore protections, but says Plan 2014 is the only compromise that makes sense.