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great lakes

This spring's heavy rain in the Lake Ontario region had quite an impact on homeowners, but it also affected the water offshore. The rainfall overwhelmed sewage systems in cities around the lake, and pushed tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water.


Beth Adams/WXXI News

Lake Ontario's water level is down a foot from its peak in late May, but still more than 2 feet above normal for this time of year.

The U.S.-Canadian government body that regulates the lake levels says it will start to gradually reduce the outflow of water from the lake to the St. Lawrence River.

The International Joint Commission is trying to balance fears of more flooding on the southern shore of the lake against concerns about the hazardous conditions faced by shippers and boaters with the unprecedented outflows into the St. Lawrence in May and June.

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 3

The recent black, odorous wastewater discharge near the base of Niagara Falls violated New York regulations, a state official says. But it's unclear whether any fines will result.


For a lot of people and business around Lake Ontario, flooding put summer on hold. Now that the water is going down, businesses are coming back, including an amusement park on one of Toronto's harbor islands.


Take a look beneath the surface of Lake Erie, as divers survey the Admiral, which sank in a storm in 1942. More than 30 men died on the tug and the barge it was hauling.

One of the divers, Marc Duncan, took underwater video during the survey.

Despite a White House proposal to eliminate $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the House Appropriations Committee voted late Tuesday to fully fund the program through September 2018.

The vote marks an important step toward securing funding for the Great Lakes cleanup program in the federal budget for the next fiscal year.


On Tuesday, environmental advocates will be watching closely as a Congressional spending committee considers a $300 million restoration program for the Great Lakes.

Update: Committee vote is good news for the Great Lakes.

President Trump's 2018 budget plan eliminated the money, which has gone to a wide range of projects -- from cleaning up pollution to battling the Asian carp. Now, Congress has a chance to restore funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

​As scientists forecast a significant algae bloom in Lake Erie this summer, environmental groups are calling for tougher government policies to reduce pollution from farms.


Lakeshore officials make the push for federal aid

Jul 13, 2017
Alex Crichton

Elected officials from lakeshore communities are asking Gov. Cuomo to request the president declare areas hit hard by flooding a disaster, so federal funds can go to help residents.

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich, Sodus Point Mayor Chris Tertinek and Sodus Town Supervisor Steven LeRoy were among those signing a letter to Cuomo asking him to request federal help.

Reilich says they are asking the Governor to act now, so that Federal Emergency Management Agency resources may be made available to lake and pond front residents.

Congress has taken its first step to ensure that Great Lakes restoration continues in 2018 – contrary to President Trump's budget plan.

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee released the 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which includes full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

July 19 update: Committee vote is good news for the Great Lakes.

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