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Great Lakes Today

Veronica Volk/WXXI News / Great Lakes Today

Lake Ontario is on the decline, but that doesn’t mean the worst is over.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced it doesn't expect the water in the Great Lakes to go down too much, too soon.

Keith Kompoltowicz is the chief of the Corps' watershed hydrology branch in Detroit, Michigan.

"Currently all the lakes are on their seasonal decline," he said via phone Tuesday. "But additional records for the month of August are still likely on a few of the lakes."

An Ontario climate expert is joining those who say climate change is one of the main reasons behind record water levels in the Great Lakes. The opinion runs contrary to those which have placed the blame on the work of an international commission.


Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The New York Sea Grant is working with homeowners looking to repair their eroded shorelines.

Erosion is a growing concern along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, but it’s not a new problem.

"There’s always been a lot of erosion along Lake Ontario, that’s just the way it functions," said Roy Widrig.

Widrig is with the New York Sea Grant, which provides educational and outreach material to residents and business owners on the shoreline.

Seneca Pure Waters Association

With harmful algal blooms posing an increasing risk to freshwater sources across the country, one group is looking for better ways to track them.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit that looks at environmental factors affecting public health.


Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today/WXXI News

The federal government’s congressional watchdog agency is taking a look at a controversial plan that helps adjust water levels on Lake Ontario.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made an announcement about Lake Ontario homeowners Wednesday on WXXI’s Connections, saying some money from the resiliency development plan will go to private homeowners.

The governor announced a plan to build back the lakefront in a more resilient way in May. When he did, he said the state was looking to fund large-scale, big-picture projects to protect the lakeshore from flooding and high water levels.

Water levels on Lake Ontario are slowly dropping, but are still at record high levels. During a stop in Oswego Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to boost tourism along the lake, at a time when communities are still experiencing flooding.

Provided photo

An overwhelming number of residents along the Lake Ontario shoreline in the Rochester area say it was Plan 2014, and not climate change, that caused recent flooding.

Those are the preliminary findings of a study led by the Rochester Institute of Technology and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Students from across the country conducted the study by talking to shoreline residents both online and in person in July.

USFWS

A renewed effort to fight invasive mussels in the Great Lakes is underway.

Invasive quagga and zebra mussels aren’t new to the Great Lakes. But according to some experts, they’re among the greatest threats to the ecosystem.

Dan Molloy is an expert in aquatic invasive species, especially the quagga mussel.

"Their populations can explode, they eat microscopic plants which are the foundation of the ecosystem, and they’re the only freshwater mussel or clam that can attach to thing."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Since the flooding of 2017, the International Joint Commission has been criticized for mismanagement of Lake Ontario.

Now, in response to some of those criticisms, the IJC is adding two new seats to the board that regulates the outflows of Lake Ontario.

Kevin Bunch is a communications specialist with the IJC.

"The idea here is to make sure that people who live along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River -- make sure that they have a voice."

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