Lake Ontario

The board that helps regulate the level of Lake Ontario says it will continue to have some flexibility in taking steps that may help ease potential flooding along the shoreline.

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board helps control the level of the waterways through a dam on the St. Lawrence.

The board has been allowed to let out more water from Lake Ontario than regulations call for in recent months, because of the high level of the lake. The International Joint Commission is allowing that variance to continue until June of 2020.

NYS expands lawsuit over Lake Ontario flooding

Nov 17, 2019
Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Attorney General Letitia James have announced an expanded lawsuit against the International Joint Commission, for “failing to implement its flood protocol for the Moses-Saunders Power Dam.” That is the dam that can be used to help regulate the level of water in Lake Ontario.

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Officials say populations of fish-killing sea lamprey remain at near-historic lows in Lakes Ontario and Michigan, but are above target levels in Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

The amount of water that officials on the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board are releasing from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River continues to be above the usual outflows for this time of year. That is due to the fact that lake levels are still over the so-called trigger levels in the government's water management, called Plan 2014. When those levels are exceeded, the Board can deviate from the Plan, allowing for more water to be pushed into the river.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state will be suing the International Joint Commission for failing to properly manage water levels on Lake Ontario.

The governor addressed reporters and local public officials on the deck of Silk O’Loughlin’s in Irondequoit, overlooking the water.

"The facts of the matter are plain and simple," Cuomo said. "The IJC's function is to manage the lake level. That is their job, to manage the lake level. They have failed to manage the lake level. Period."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced some changes this week to his plan to build back the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

NOAA

Local community members will now be able to play an even larger role in shaping the proposed national marine sanctuary in Lake Ontario. The federal government is seeking applications from those interested in serving on a council that would advise the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as it considers creating a 1,700-square-mile national marine sanctuary in the southeastern portion of the lake to preserve the shipwrecks below its waters.

Rep. John Katko

This week, central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) brought acting administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pete Gaynor, to tour some of the flooding damage along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The purpose was to figure out how to get funding for those affected.

Katko said it starts with local authorities aggregating the extent of the damages. The state will decide if it warrants a disaster declaration. Then, it goes to the president, which if he approves it, would release funds.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich has a new role overseeing the Great Lakes.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

The international board that helps manage water levels on the Great Lakes announced it is reducing outflows. This means the International Joint Commission's International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board will be letting less water from Lake Ontario through the Moses-Saunders Power Dam into the upper St. Lawrence River.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Lake Ontario is on the decline, but that doesn’t mean the worst is over. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it doesn't expect the water in the Great Lakes to go down too much, too soon.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont went fishing on Lake Ontario Tuesday for their first official meeting. After showing off a pair of steelhead trout, Cuomo also took questions from reporters on a wide range of issues.

File Photo / WBFO News

There is no plan for wind generators off-shore from southern Erie County, but opponents are organizing just in case. A firm called Diamond Wind is expected to file for at least 50 generators in the lake next month, when as a window for wind farm applications opens.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

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.


Nick Lippa / WBFO News

After another year with record high lake levels, New York State has formed a multi-agency task force to come develop plans to strengthen infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s shoreline. The Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Commission -- also known as REDI -- continues to meet with local municipalities. WBFO’s Nick Lippa attended Tuesday's meeting in Albion to see how the meetings are progressing.

IJC to add new members to lake management board

Jul 18, 2019
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.

Photo courtesy of Lamar Bliss

Flooding on Lake Ontario broke records this year. A lot of shoreline residents say they’ve never seen water levels anywhere near this year's, but in fact Lake Ontario has flooded many times before.


Chris Caya / WBFO News File Photo

Lake levels have reached an all-time high in upstate New York. Plans to improve and establish infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s shoreline communities are being developed to deal with what Governor Andrew Cuomo has said could be the ‘new norm’.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO News File Photo

Water levels in two of the Great Lakes are the highest ever recorded. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that Lakes Erie and Ontario last month reached their highest points since record-keeping began in 1918.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

It may not be the news lakeshore property owners want to hear. The organization that regulates water levels on the Great Lakes said it will continue with record outflows from Lake Ontario.

July 4th parade canceled due to high lake level

Jul 3, 2019
Alex Crichton / WXXI News

Susan Albright has lived on Edgemere Drive in Greece for decades and there's always been a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.

"Our son is 35, and when he was a toddler, we had him in a float. Behind our car in the parade," she said.

But this year, there will be no parade.

IJC to review Plan 2014, but asks shoreline residents to be patient

Jun 29, 2019
Office of Rep. John Katko

Although members of the joint U.S.-Canadian agency that oversees a water regulation plan came to Central New York on Friday, some of those attending a roundtable discussion weren’t necessarily pleased with what they heard.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) toured flood-ravaged portions of Lake Ontario Monday, saying he expects the entire Lake Ontario shoreline will be declared a disaster area shortly. That would allow homeowners, businesses and governments to access federal disaster dollars. He also presented a three-tiered plan to deal with the record high water levels.

Landowners threaten lawsuit over Lake Ontario flooding

Jun 17, 2019
Payne Horning / WRVO News

A coalition of New York property owners plans to sue the International Joint Commission, the international body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario.

All week long, New Yorkers have been weighing in on a proposed project that would help preserve some of the oldest shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. The federal government is considering creating a 1,700-square-mile national marine sanctuary in the southeastern portion of Lake Ontario. And as part of the designation process, federal officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spent time visiting the communities that stand to be impacted by the transformative project.

Resentment growing against IJC and Plan 2014

Jun 13, 2019
NCPR

As Lake Ontario lingers at record highs, public outcry against the group that manages lake levels continues to rise.

Governor's Office

Officials who help regulate the level of Lake Ontario are pointing to some hopeful signs in the effort to deal with the ongoing flooding issues along the lake shore.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

Wet spring weather has pushed Lake Erie's water level to its highest point ever recorded.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

It is being called REDI: the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. The multi-agency task force was introduced during a conference call with Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday to help communities along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines deal with high water levels.

Nick Lippa / WBFO News

As water levels along the shore of Lake Ontario continue to rise, newly appointed International Joint Commission members are visiting impacted areas to see things firsthand.

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