The International Joint Commission’s decision to move forward with Plan 2014 to regulate lake levels is deeply disappointing. Despite proclaiming to want their input, the IJC is ignoring the needs of vocal residents and communities on Lake Ontario’s southern shore whose property will be hurt by this plan.
The extreme variations in water levels that may occur with Plan 2014 could have severe long-term ramifications. Where will the IJC be when these property owners need help with erosion mitigation and land restoration? Plan 2014 gives short shrift to the very real and very negative consequences of its implementation and offers no help in these areas. Homeowners and municipalities who are already struggling to get by will be left to fend for themselves.
In their last and final presentation today the IJC also stated that boating interests may have to deal with low summer water levels with Plan 2014. This would have a drastic impact on tourism and boating—key parts of the economy for south shore communities.
In short, the IJC’s position shows no concern for the economic fate of our state’s people and places.
We need a new balance in protecting our freshwater resources and protecting our real property, but this plan is severely lacking and should be rejected by our federal government.