great lakes

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a special session of the NYS legislature, partly to ask lawmakers to approve more money for people impacted by spring flooding.

Cuomo notes that back in July, the state passed a $45 million financial assistance package for homeowners, businesses, and local governments following the lakeshore flooding along Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

At a special state hearing in Oswego County Tuesday, government officials admitted that there's effectively no way to prevent Lake Ontario from once again reaching the record high levels seen this year. In fact, they said it's bound to happen again. But, they think there may be ways to reduce the amount of damage the flooding caused along the shoreline.

Disabilities No Longer A Barrier To Great Lakes

Oct 7, 2017
Veronica Volk, Great Lakes Today

GREAT LAKES TODAY - Julie Cataldo is strapped into a harness as she sits in her wheelchair just a few feet from the edge of the Erie Canal. A hydraulic lift hoists her from the chair and swings her out over the water.

The lift lowers her into a kayak, and its operator adjusts her seat.

This is Cataldo’s second time in a single kayak, and in a few minutes, she’s cruising alone down the Canal near Rochester, N.Y.

Environmental Groups Slow To Seek Out Minorities

Sep 25, 2017
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Part 1 of a series

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The environmental movement started more than a century ago.  Theodore Roosevelt was known as the conservation president, and there’s a famous 1903 photo of him with the Sierra Club’s founder. 

Payne Horning, Great Lake Today

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - Hurricanes in the southern U.S. have captured the nation's attention -- and federal aid. That's a concern in New York, where lawmakers are still seeking federal funds to help residents and businesses after months of flooding along Lake Ontario. 

Veronica Volk, Great Lakes Today

GREAT LAKES TODAY - Last year, 72 dams across the US were demolished; hundreds more were removed in the past ten. Most dam removals are part of an effort to restore rivers and the animals that live there. 

Chris Caya, WBFO

BUFFALO (WBFO) - The Niagara Falls Sewage Treatment plant is under a microscope once again. State regulators are investigating a second discharge from the plant into the lower Niagara River.  

Veronica Volk, Great Lakes Today

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - This spring's heavy rain in the Lake Ontario region had quite an impact on homeowners, but it also affected the water offshore. The rainfall overwhelmed sewage systems in cities around the lake, and pushed tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water. 

Did Great Lakes Just Get Another Invasive Species?

Aug 15, 2017
EPA

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - A new non-native species has been found in western Lake Erie, the EPA said Monday. It's named Brachionus leydigii. And it's a type of zooplankton, which means it could be food for lots of fish. But the EPA isn't sure whether little ol' B.l. will be harmful -- or helpful -- to the Great Lakes. The agency says there isn't enough scientific evidence to know yet. 

The decision to lower outflows from Lake Ontario is being criticized by shoreline residents who are suffering from flooding, but some are defending the move, saying safety of those on the St. Lawrence Seaway was on the line.

The International Joint Commission (IJC) reduced discharges from Lake Ontario by only 4 percent last week. Still, that was enough to make a major difference according to those on both sides of the Moses-Saunders Dam.

Researchers are trying to document the summer of high water on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. They're asking shoreline residents and local officials to fill out an online survey.

This year's flooding along Lake Ontario has taken a toll on municipalities, exhausting their resources and threatening their infrastructure. That's the case in Oswego where the city recently took an inventory of the destruction caused by the unprecedented water levels.

Beth Adams, WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Lake Ontario's water level is down a foot from its peak in late May, but still more than 2 feet above normal for this time of year. The U.S.-Canadian government body that regulates the lake levels says it will start to gradually reduce the outflow of water from the lake to the St. Lawrence River.  

The government body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario is reducing the outflows to the St. Lawrence River. The International Joint Commission (IJC) says water levels have dropped rapidly, down 12 inches since the peak in late May. That's drawing some criticism from shoreline residents who say the move is premature.

In a long-awaited report, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says new measures are needed to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.

The report says the current defense at the Brandon Road lock in Illinois – an underwater electric barrier – should be beefed up. The Army Corps' recommended plan would add water jets and complex noises – like the underwater recordings of a boat motor.

On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing a study detailing the best ways to prevent Asian carp from getting into the Great Lakes.

A document outlining the study says the current defense – an underwater electric barrier – should be beefed up. The recommended plan would add complex noises – like the underwater recordings of a boat motor.

BUFFALO (WBFO) - It is now an international incident - and soon to be a possible criminal investigation. Canada and the Niagara County Legislature are calling for further investigation into the sewage dumped into the Niagara River over the weekend.  

Niagara Falls Blob Violated State Regulations

Aug 3, 2017
Twitter/@MaidOfTheMist

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The recent black, odorous wastewater discharge near the base of Niagara Falls violated New York regulations, a state official says. But it's unclear whether any fines will result. 

The first woman to lead the Coast Guard district that covers the Great Lakes is retiring Wednesday.

In the two years Rear Adm. June Ryan has been commander of the 9th District, the winters have been mild. And there hasn’t really been a need for much ice-breaking – what she calls the Coast Guard Great Lakes' greatest challenge.

But she says there’s another challenge – one she’ll continue to fight for, even after she retires. It comes with increased recreational boating on the Great Lakes, especially people using kayaks and canoes.

For a lot of people and business around Lake Ontario, flooding put summer on hold. Now that the water is going down, businesses are coming back, including an amusement park on one of Toronto's harbor islands.

For months, the closure of the Toronto Islands has put their main attraction -- the Centreville Amusement Park -- on hiatus. Now, after 80 days, the islands are open to the public again.

Shawnda Walker is the director of marketing for the park. She says they've been preparing for this day for a long time.

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - State lawmakers say help is finally here for the property owners who have experienced damage from flooding along Lake Ontario this year. Community leaders are organizing residents as the state prepares to distribute the recovery funding.  

BEN THORP

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - Despite a White House proposal to eliminate $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the House Appropriations Committee voted late Tuesday to fully fund the program through September 2018. 

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - As high water levels start to recede along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the question remains: could something have been done to stop flooding that has devastated much of the shoreline? 

REP. JOHN KATKO / FACEBOOK FILE PHOTO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Several New York representatives are joining the calls for the federal government to declare the flooding along Lake Ontario a disaster. The move would bring federal funding and assistance to the recovery process. 

$300 Million Fund For Great Lakes Faces Key Vote

Jul 18, 2017
Minnesota Public Radio

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - On Tuesday, environmental advocates will be watching closely as a Congressional spending committee considers a $300 million restoration program for the Great Lakes. 

Lakeshore Officials Appeal For Federal Flood Relief

Jul 14, 2017
WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Elected officials from lakeshore communities are asking Gov. Cuomo to request the president declare areas hit hard by flooding a disaster, so federal funds can go to help residents.  

CONSTELLATION ENERGY GROUP

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The historically high water levels in Lake Ontario this year have threatened homeowners, municipalities and nuclear power plants - almost triggering emergency action at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility in Oswego County. 

Lawmakers Move To Restore $300 Million For Great Lakes

Jul 13, 2017

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) - Congress has taken its first step to ensure that Great Lakes restoration continues in 2018 – contrary to President Trump's budget plan. On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee released the 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, which includes full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. 

USGS Scientsts, FEMA Assess Lake Ontario Flood Damage

Jul 13, 2017
Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - U.S. Geological Survey scientists are installing equipment along the shores of Lake Ontario to better monitor water levels and understand the impact from this year's flooding. 

Was Asian Carp Near Great Lakes Just A Scare?

Jul 11, 2017
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

(GREAT LAKES TODAY) There's some good news from Illinois, where an Asian Carp was recently caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan. In two weeks of intensive, follow-up monitoring, no bighead or silver Asian carp were found, a regional monitoring group says.   

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