South Dundas council adopted a resolution of support for Plan 2014, a modern water levels plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Save the River, the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper organization asked South Dundas to consider a resolution of support.
According to Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper executive director, “The current regulation plan ‘Plan 1958D’ has caused clear environmental harm to fish populations, wetlands, coastal habitats, and the myriad economically and environmentally important species of plants and animals they harbour, thereby degrading the quality of life for all citizens of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence region.”
Last June, Plan 2014 was been referred by the International Joint Commission to the U.S. and Canadian federal governments, and is now communities along the waterway are being asked to formalize their support with resolutions. According to Willbank, “Plan 2014 will increase production of hydropower by dams in the St. Lawrence River, and maintain the benefits that regulation of the river and lake has provided to international shipping. By restoring some of the natural fluctuations in water levels, while avoiding extreme high and low levels, Plan 2014 will restore the plant and animal diversity of coastal wetlands without public investment and dramatically increase opportunities for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.”
“Our communities need this. In the River region our economy is directly tied to our environment. Plan 2014 will improve both. We can no longer claim that we don’t understand the effects of our out-dated water levels plan – we have the data and knoweldge we need to restore the Lake and River.”
South Dundas council approved the resolution at the November 4 meeting.