A PERSON WHO IS DROWNING CAN'T DO THIS.
CAN'T CALL FOR HELP. CAN'T WAVE TO ATTRACT ATTENTION.
volume - influx & outflow / water quality / water level
CAN'T CALL FOR HELP. CAN'T WAVE TO ATTRACT ATTENTION.
As required by its new 50-year license to operate the US portion of the St. Lawrence – FDR Power Project, the New York Power Authority has constructed two Sturgeon spawning beds in the river and documented successful spawning of Lake Sturgeon.
Female Sturgeon can live 150 years, and make excellent indicators of eco-system health. They are also an endangered native species whose habitat was dramatically altered by human activities, pollution, the construction of dams and other factors.
No data as to the extent of Sturgeon spawning activity on the sites prior to the construction of the new beds was made available. Each of the NYPA-designed spawning beds consists of ten thousand square feet (100 x 100) of pea gravel, with boulders positioned as current breaks at the downstream ends. The beds are positioned both above and below the Iroquois Dam near Waddington, NY.
Iroquois Dam is principally used to control water levels, and the ability to raise or lower its 32 gates is one of the principal reasons Lake Ontario is the only great lake where the water level can be controlled by man.
NYPA used a Canadian firm to conduct the study.
Upstream, in Lake Ontario and throughout the Great Lakes, Sturgeon numbers are reportedly increasing without the aid of new spawning areas. The recovery is credited, in part, to the proliferation of zebra and quagga mussels, which appear to be benefiting many benthic (bottom-feeding) species including Sturgeon.
Update: A full report on the project, including the pre-existing conditions on the two sites, was published today (07/08/2010) by Waterpower Magazine.
The "Great Lakes Task Force", a Northeast-Midwest group of US Senators, has formally asked the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to order the Army Corps of Engineers to begin a study on ways to re-seperate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River watershed. In a letter signed by thirteen senators, including Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillebrand of New York, and equally notably, both senators from Illinois, the task force officially asked for the first step needed to finally solve a states rights problem that dates back more than 100 years.
Environmental groups and Great Lakes advocates are hailing the letter as a major step toward isolating the Great Lakes from other US watersheds. Here's what Great Lakes on the Ground had to say.
It's a no-brainer.
“While we’re all talking,” said Notre Dame biologist David Lodge, “the fish are swimming.”
Indeed they are. When Lodge’s biologists reported late last year that water samples taken a few miles inland of the lakeshore contained carp DNA, and other tests indicated the presence of the DNA in Lake Michigan itself, it became clear that the electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal would not be enough to stop the migration.
Federal officials had the scientific evidence on which to base immediate action, yet other than some fiddling with poison and nets, nothing is being done. Procrastination might be a time-honored tradition among bureaucrats, but why does the inability to make a decision always seem to pop up at the exact moment when any delay at all geometrically increases the chances of something bad happening? One is forcefully reminded of the Emperor Nero, who also liked to fiddle around.
Has no one in the Army Corps heard the adage, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?”
Of course, everyone has, and when the physical evidence becomes irrefutable, there will be so many spears and arrows flying around Washington, we'll be mistaking our legislators for porcupines.
Meanwhile, while we fiddle, Lodge’s words may be prophetic. The carp are poised to swim in Lake Michigan and all indicators say they’ll like it just as much as the 200 other foreign invaders already there waiting to welcome them.
Yesterday’s Milwaulkee Journal Sentinel reported that Attorneys General from five of the seven Great Lakes states (excluding New York and Illinois) say the Federal government isn’t doing enough to stop the migration of Asian carp into Lake Michigan. In a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the AGs claim the government’s “response is not commensurate with the urgency and magnitude of the threat.”
WHERE IS CUOMO?
As the Chicago Locks are in Illinois, the absence of its signature on the complaint to the Corps of Engineers is understandable. But where is New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo? Too busy readying things for next week’s announcement of his run for governor? So it seems. If the fish enter Lake Michigan, political opponents will certainly be interested in Cuomo’s silence on a subject that could drastically affect New York’s interests on Lake Ontario, which is downstream of the other lakes and sure to see the arrival of the invaders soon after they populate Lake Michigan.
David Lassman/The Post Standard - 2001
Thirty-three years after the finalization of the US Clean Water Act in 1977*, most American cities have completed changes and are in compliance. But for Oswego, New York, at the east end of Lake Ontario, and for other waterfront cities on rivers adjoining the Great Lakes, the process has been more difficult.
There has been progress. Oswego completed the major components of its east side separation project in 2003, and then, on July 25, 2006 , after 28 years of remedial actions, the Oswego River Basin became the first of 43 Great Lakes sites to be delisted as an Area of Concern by the EPA. Now, another four years later, the city itself, which straddles the mouth of the Oswego River where it empties into Lake Ontario, will be coming into compliance too. Under the terms of an agreement announced May 13 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Oswego will commit an additional $87 million to complete the separation of its West side sewage and storm water systems.
The Oswego River, second only to the Niagara in volume of flow into Lake Ontario, divides Oswego into east and west components connected by two bridges. This division necessitated two completely seperate and independent projects - and a cost roughly twice that faced by other communities.
Add to that the age of its infrastructure - Oswego was first settled in 1780 and is located on the sloping east and west banks of a river gorge, and compliance became of necessity a long term process.
In the early years, as the old city grew, the river made a convenient dumping point for sewage, and sewage flowed down the slopes to end there. Add the fact that on the west side the sewers, most of them circa 1850, were in worse condition than expected, and the formula for cost overruns was complete.
As begun, the west side separation project consisted of the construction of a 4 MGD treatment facility a few feet above lake level and approximately one mile west of the river - discharging its treated water into the turning basin at the west end of the harbor breakwall - and a pumping station at the foot of the slope near the river mouth. Collection laterals parallel the river, one for storm runoff, the other picking up most of the existing sewer terminals and feeding the pumping station, which then pushes it up and over the slope to the treatment plant on the far side.
But the west side project, stressed by major cost overruns on the east side project, was never finished, finally petering out before the majority of the west side separation lines, roughly from route 104 and south, could be installed.
© 2010 Lake Ontario Observer
At the same time, new west side loads were added - residential development on the southern fringes of the city, new high and middle schools, expansion at SUNY Oswego and sewage agreements with the town of Oswego – and it soon became evident that any good-sized precipitation event would overwhelm the system and result in uncontrolled discharges into Oswego Harbor, according to a 2008 article quoting a water department supervisor. There have even been instances where the sewer gratings on Water Street were "blown off" by the tremendous pressure of rainwater during stormy weather.
The new agreement will correct the situation by rerouting storm and snow melt runoffs. This will permit the existing facilities to function for the first time as originally designed.
*The CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained. EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls discharges. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.