In this video SOS President Dave McDowell shares some good news (East Breakwall) and some not-so-good news (water level).

After the video was recorded, the US Army Corps of Engineers issued the latest water levels update and a warning:

HIGH AND POTENTIALLY RECORD HIGH WATER LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT SIX MONTHS. FLOOD PRONE AREAS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN VULNERABLE.

Lake Ontario water level is 246.13′, which is an inch higher than it was a month ago (supposed to be going down), 16 inches higher than it was last year on November 22nd and 19 inches higher than its long-term average water level for that time of the year. The lake level is expected to drop ONLY 2 INCHES by December 22.

Sarah Delicate from United Shoreline Ontario (USO) shared with us this letter from Mike French, a licensed Professional Engineer:

Hi Sarah,

I’m a resident of the Toronto Islands and have been on the forefront of our battle with high lake levels and flooding. I have written a couple of mitigation reports for the City of Toronto and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority specifically targeting the Toronto Islands. 

Your group might be interested in my most recent report (attached) that forecasts flooding next spring. I have been studying the lake data and have looked at 5 different forecast scenarios through to Dec 2020. Even if we have an average year next year, it looks like we will have more flooding, unless the IJC increases the outflows until Dec.

I’m starting to share this document with other groups and would love any feedback to pick apart or substantiate my findings.

Best Regards,

Mike French, P.Eng.

11 Channel Ave.

Toronto, ON

Great Lakes Forecast from Oct 2019 – Dec 2020 

Conclusion: All of the Great Lakes are experiencing higher RNBS due to climate conditions. The combined RNBS contribution to supply in the upper Great Lakes will keep a continuous high inflow into Lake Ontario at least through 2020.

The IJC is following the Plan 2014 regulation for Lake Ontario and have started to reduce outflow through the Moses-Saunders Dam to match the prescribed L-limit flow, but this flow will not drop Lake Ontario enough to compensate for the spring change in supply. If the upper Great Lakes levels were close to their historic average and next spring’s RNBS is somewhat average, then the system L-limits will work, but the current formula fails to take into consideration the flow potential of the upper Great Lakes.

From the Plan 2014 Compendium Document: “The Board may also use the information acquired through the adaptive management strategy to propose to the Commission modifications to the plan should it learn over time that conditions (climatic, socio-economic or environmental) have changed enough such that the plan is no longer meeting its intended objectives or improvements to the plan could realize increased benefits.”

This is a case where the Board must intervene and modify the flow limits to reduce the Lake Ontario levels down to ideally 74.5m before the next cycle begins, otherwise the lake will be faced with another catastrophic flood in spring 2020.

74.5 meters = 244.4226 feet , or 74.5 meters = 244.4 feet

It’s Not Just Weather: Plan 2014 e-learning Series

The following video series provides an excellent description of Plan 2014. It discusses how we got here and how it’s working. It also points out how the River Board and the IJC are not following the plan the way it is written. You will find these videos to be an easy watch and will help to bring some insight and facts into the discussions of high water.

Part 1. This 4 minute video gives a high level overview of the regulation of Lake Ontario, the International Joint Commission, and how outflows are set.

Part 2. This 8 minute episode shows the differences between Plan 1958DD and Plan 2014 while explaining the Higher Highs, the Lower Lows, and the Trigger levels that MUST be reached before they deviate from the plan.

Part 3. What is the The F Limit? Plan 2014 F-Limits are designed to provide “balanced” flooding upstream (Lake Ontario) and downstream (Montreal) of the Moses-Saunders dam, primarily in cases of high Ottawa River flow in Spring. It is responsible for 1.4 feet of the 2019 high water level. This is a technical presentation – please pause and review the graphs as helpful in understanding, as understanding the F-limit is critical.

Part 4. What is the The L Limit and Why is it important? Part 4 of the eLearning Series “It’s not just weather! Understanding Plan 2014” explains the “L-limit”. This is a technical presentation – please pause and review the graphs as helpful in understanding, as understanding the L-limit is critical.

In apparent violation of Plan 2014, the L-Limit provides relief to shipping by reducing the outflow at the dam. As the IJC reduces the outflow to accommodate shipping needs, it holds the lake level high through fall, thereby increasing the risk of severe flooding in the spring. This choice by the IJC appears to be in violation of their own rules, Criterion H14, which states that they must provide ALL possible relief to the RIPARIAN OWNERS upstream and downstream during high water levels.

Part 5. What was Known in Advance. This module explores the damning language of Plan 2014, where shoreline damage and flooding was fully expected and predicted, though grossly underestimated. It also looks at some of the media and government websites that acknowledge the probability of wide spread flooding under the new regulation Plan. Yet, despite knowing this in advance, Municipalities, Emergency Responders, Shoreline Businesses and Residents were NOT informed, putting them in harms way under a new risk paradigm. This risk has born out 2 out of 3 years since the implementation. The social, economic and environmental cost is immeasurable, yet there has been no protections or indemnities.

Part 6. This module focuses on The Treaty of 1909 and the legal framework supporting the implementation of Plan 2014, and questions several apparent violations that injure the riparian homeowner, shoreline municipalities and business owners.

Part 7. Frank Sciremammano’s testimony. In 2017, the New York Senate held a hearing regarding the devastating flooding of 2017, and Frank Sciremammano was called to testify. Frank was the longest serving American member of the IJC board, serving since 1995. Frank was also an original member for the whole lifetime of IJC study group tasked with proposing a new regulation plan for Lake Ontario. Frank was dismissed from the board in 2018. (25 mins)

In order to cause the IJC to REPEAL or MODIFY PLAN 2014, many things need to happen.

THE LEAST WE ALL CAN DO, if we are not happy with the current plan, is to spend a little time and contact our representatives that, in turn, could vote to make the changes or influence the IJC in other ways so that they stop flooding us.

Sodus Point Federal & State Representatives to Contact:

Here’s a Sample Letter to Write to Your Representatives

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP. TOGETHER WE’LL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Help to Fight the IJC in Court

DONATE to Legal Fund

President of Save Our Sodus Dave McDowell discusses pressing issues for SOS:
– Water Level in Lake Ontario and Plan 2014
– East Breakwall separating Lake Ontario from Sodus Bay repair status
– Water quality in Sodus Bay

If you live or have business around Sodus Bay, on the waterfront OR NOT, we know that you understand the importance of having our beautiful Sodus Bay clean, free of harmful invaders, be it fish, vegetation, and even some human visitors. Your your ability to enjoy the bay and the property and business values around the bay are directly affected by the conditions of the bay.

We also know that you do try to do your best to keep the Bay clean and your property protected in a way that doesn’t damage the bay.

This Sodus Bay Waterfront Owners’ Guide was put together to remind you of different practices, some are obvious, others aren’t, that you can do to keep our Bay clean, and the shorelines protected.

Please download it to your device, read, and apply the recommendations. If you think of someone else that might benefit of the suggestions in this guide, please share.

Thank you so much for doing your part.

Small hinges swing big doors.

Small efforts by everyone around the Bay make a Big Difference!

Please click on the image below to download the guide:

Sodus Bay Waterfront Owners Guide

What’s the status of Breakwall repair? Will we be flooded in 2018? What’s going on on the South end of the Bay?

Watch the video below where SOS President Dave McDowell answers all of those questions.

Sodus Bay East Breakwall Damage – Photo Gallery

Hover over images to preview in color. Click on any image to enlarge. Once you click on an image to enlarge it, a gallery window will open.  The requested album cannot be loaded at this time. Error: OAuthException Code: 10, (#10) This endpoint requires the 'manage_pages' permission or the 'Page Public Content Access' feature. Refer to https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/review/login-permissions#manage-pages and https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/review/feature#reference-PAGES_ACCESS for details.

After April 2016 Storm on Sodus Bay and Lake Ontario, which caused a BREACH between Charles Point and Crescent Beach, SOS has made a few videos showing the breach and the alarming conditions of the East Breakwall.

The videos are arranged in a playlist and will play one after another.

Sodus Bay Shoreline Maintenance is Vital for the Bay

Both the breach and the East breakwall conditions underscored  the importance of maintaining Shoreline Resiliency if the Bay is to remain the BAY and not become a part of Lake Ontario.

Since the initial videos were published, SOS has discovered that in 1986 a Study was conducted by the Army Corp of Engineers which was followed up by a report 1988. Watch the video below where Dave McDowell, President of SOS discusses it and talks about the next steps.

The army Corp has estimated that they need $250,000 for the Design of the East Breakwall Restoration project and has been requesting the money in their annual budget requests to Congress for at least the last 4 years.

These moneys have not been appropriated by the Congress yet.

Our contribution of $125,000

Our contribution of $125,000 in cash would help ensure the project gets underway quickly. We have no time to waste because the devastation that will be caused by the failure of the breakwall will be significantly more costly to remediate.

Do you CARE about Sodus Bay? Please DONATE to East Breakwall Restoration TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

After we published the videos about the breach and the condition of the East Breakwall on Facebook, a few people asked: Why Do We Need East Break Wall and Sand Bar? Good question! Dave McDowell, President of Save Our Sodus, answers it in this video. Please watch, share, support.

In case you haven’t seen our video showing the condition of the East Breakwall in Sodus Bay, please watch it below, share and support us.

A lot of Sodus Bay summer residents and fans were away at a time we had a major storm on April 3-4 of 2016. You can read about it in this post and watch the video below that we recorded a few weeks later.

Not much that we are aware of, and that was the reason we wanted to make the videos in the first place. Watch Ed Leroux, former SOS President share it with you in the video below.

The SHORT answer to that question is two-fold.

1. The Breach is on the private property and Breakwall is on the public property.

2. There has been a push for the East Breakwall restoration during the last four years. We believe that us coming together as a concerned community and raising initial money for the Design of the Restoration of the East Breakwall would STIMULATE the project and expedite it significantly.