Remember the water levels study? It was an historic effort to reframe the way water flows are managed on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Sounds wonky. But the effects could be profound, affecting Thousand Islands boaters, endangered Lake Ontario wetlands, waterfront homeowners, shippers in Montreal, you name it. People packed public meetings to advocate for their side. People in the Thousand Islands even made T-shirts.
Here’s a good summary of all the NCPR coverage for a refresher.
It’s been almost three years since the International Joint Commission, the binational commission which controls the water flows, backed away from the study results and went back to the drawing board.
Yesterday, the IJC announced it’s been pecking away at a new plan. In a press release, the IJC said that new plan would push toward:
…a new regulation plan that moves toward more natural flows to provide environmental improvements, particularly for Lake Ontario wetlands, while continuing to protect other interests.
Basically, that’s very good news for people along the St. Lawrence River, because it’s also likely that plan would keep river levels higher in August and September when boaters want to keep their crafts in the water.
The IJC also said it was trying to incorporate “adjustments for significant climatic changes.”
Another meeting is scheduled for April in Quebec City. Still no word on when a new plan may be released. But the IJC does promise opportunity for public comment once that happens.