New plan for Lake Ontario water levels considers wetlands

By on February 8, 2012

An outdated water level management plan for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario that has been degrading surrounding wetlands for over 50 years will soon be replaced. The International Joint Commission, a binational organization founded to manage the shared waters of the United States and Canada, will soon release a new plan that considers the needs of the wetlands as well as hydropower and shipping purposes for which the original plan was instated.

According to the IJC website, the current plan is “based on water conditions of the last century, has no regard for environmental consequences and no process for adapting to possible future challenges such as bigger storms, more severe droughts and increasing effects of climate change.” Currently, the wetlands near Lake Ontario are overrun with cattails that outcompete other vegetation that is not receiving the right amount of water in each season. Bird and fish populations are in decline and the area also has problems related to run-off water quality. Healthier wetlands that are hopefully to come after the new plan should mitigate these current problems.


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