Dear Newzjunky Editor,
Recent comments by Assemblyman Mark Walczyk show a significant lack of
understanding about water levels management on the St. Lawrence River and
Assemblyman Walczyk released a statement that says in part: “The IJC has
continued to drag its feet and shown a lack of measured response when it comes
to addressing the need to effectively regulate outflows. In coalition with many of
my colleagues in the state legislature, I have pointed out the importance of
ensuring officials take a proactive approach and work to ensure we don’t see a
repeat of 2017. Unfortunately, that appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Residents of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties shouldn’t have to worry about
taking on the chin every year because of the IJCs inability to address this in a way
that will minimize any possible damage to US and Canadian residents.”
These statements were made Saturday, April 27, during a very windy period
which caused the height of the River to increase about 8 inches. The water
receded by Sunday morning when the wind died down. While there may have
been some temporary flooding of a few boathouses and docks in the 1000 islands
(mine included), this inconvenience pales in comparison to the misery being
endured by our neighbors in Ottawa and Montreal.
Those two Canadian cities are in the midst of historic flooding which appears to
be getting worse every day. To suggest that the International Lake Ontario – St.
Lawrence Board of control should increase the flow through the dam and send
more water downriver, adding to the severity of the floods already being faced by
cities on the other side of the River, is insensitive and irresponsible.
We are potentially in the throes of another high water year, caused by many
factors: extremely high precipitation in the Lake Ontario and Ottawa River basins,
high inflows from the other Great Lakes and rivers such as the Muskoka River,
and the aforementioned flooding downriver.
Representatives of Save The River and local businesses held an informational
conference call with Assemblyman Walczyk on March 26 to explain to him the
importance of Plan 2014, the current water levels plan. At the end of the call and
in a follow-up letter, the offer was made for the Assemblyman to contact any of
the participants with any questions or concerns he had about water levels. While
Assemblyman Walczyk did reach out to Jefferson County Legislator Phil Reed
for a brief discussion on Sunday morning about the wind driven event, no
attempt was made on his part to reach Save The River or the two International
Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board members who reside in his district.
One can only hope that in the future our Assemblyman will educate himself on
issues such as this by availing himself of the help and expertise offered prior to
issuing press releases such as the one on Sunday.
On behalf of Save The River, I once again offer to answer any questions the
Assemblyman may have on water levels including the effects of River winds and
Save the River April 29, 2019 by on Scribd