Save the River annual conference to focus on water levels

February 2, 2012
By

CLAYTON — International Joint Commission spokesman Frank A. Bevacqua will give an overview Saturday of the newly proposed water management plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River at Save the River’s 23rd annual Winter Conference.

At the conference, Mr. Bevacqua will share details on Plan BV7, an updated water management plan that is expected to restore area wetlands by allowing more natural variation in water levels on the lake and river.

The new plan — which the IJC could adopt as early as the end of the year — would also keep the lake’s water levels 2.4 inches higher on average than under the current plan, 1958-DD.

Critics of BV7 argue that the current plan brings greater economic benefits and minimizes property damage along the shoreline.

However, environmental advocates — including Save the River — believe it is a balanced approach that would not only help reverse the damage done to the region’s ecosystem with the construction of the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam at Massena, but also help the region’s tourism, fishing and recreational boating industries by allowing higher fall water levels and restoring fish spawning habitats.

Other speakers at the conference include:

■ Douglas A. Wilcox, professor of wetland science at SUNY Brockport, who will make a presentation on Great Lakes water levels, regulations for Lake Ontario and implications for wetlands.

■ Tony Maas, World Wildlife Fund Canada’s freshwater program director, who will talk about the importance of protecting and restoring environmental flows.

■ Kathy Morris, Save the River’s education curriculum consultant; Maria Mesires, Case Middle School, Watertown, and Mary Bowman, Thousand Islands Middle School, Clayton, who will shed light on Save the River’s school programs.

Registration for the conference, which will focus on the impact of water levels on the region’s environment, begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive, with the presentations starting at 10 a.m.

The conference fee is $30 and includes a buffet lunch at noon and cocktails between 4 and 6 p.m.

For more information or to make a reservation, call Save the River at 686-2010.

Article source: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20120202/NEWS03/702029870 The feed :

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