To The Editor:
Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are running about 21” higher than average. So are the passions of shoreline property owners impacted by the high levels, and some elected officials.
Anger, frustration and a demand for answers are understandable reactions when homes and property are threatened.
Unfortunately, the blame is misplaced and the solution sought is no solution at all.
Many who should know better are making old, unsupportable claims that the new water plan – Plan 2014 – is the reason the water is high. Although the new plan makes for a convenient target it is not the cause, nor will “getting rid of it” be a solution. The Lake and River would be at similar levels under the plan it replaced. In 1973 the Lake was about 9 inches higher.
Nature plays the biggest role in water levels on the Lake and River. Neither are isolated bodies of water; they are part of a large, complex system. They are fed by the outflow from Lake Erie, countless tributaries, snowfall, and rainfall and runoff.
The water is higher now because the supplies of water to them have been greater than in recent memory.
The solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred.
Instead, we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper
Executive Director, Save The River