Public Hearings on Lake Ontario – St.Lawrence River water level regulation proposal

Ted Hsu
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Some of my constituents have been telling me about low water levels in Lake Ontario this past year. But the real story is in the upper Great Lakes. Water levels there were recently the lowest ever recorded. This impacts the environment, the economy, and day-to-day life. You can read a bit about the problems with the historical lows in Great Lakes water levels here.

Photo credit: Sierra Club Ontario

Photo credit: Sierra Club Ontario


The International Joint Commission (IJC) is an organization based in Canada and the US to deal with trans-boundary and shared water issues. The Great Lakes water levels are a major issue for the IJC, and the organization has been working for over a decade to evaluate different methods for regulating water levels and water flow in all of the Great Lakes.

The IJC has now released a breakdown of their proposal for Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River regulation, and you can see it here.


The IJC is holding public hearings on their proposal, so they can hear testimony from those who would be affected by the proposed changes. Anyone can attend the public hearings, and you can register as a witness when you arrive. Witnesses are chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are given the floor for three minutes. As a witness, you are also able to bring a written statement, including pictures or other supporting documents, but the IJC asks that you bring 8 copies of printed materials. The nearest public hearing to Kingston and the Islands will be held on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in Alexandria Bay, NY. The meeting will be held at Bonnie Castle on the St. Lawrence River, at 31 Holland St, Alexandria Bay, NY.  If you are interested, I encourage you to attend and perhaps even act as a witness.

If you aren’t able to make these hearings, they will be recorded and the record of proceedings will be put online at the IJC’s website. You are also welcome to submit written statements through the IJC website or by mail until August 30, 2013.

These hearings are a great way to share your perspective and learn from others!

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