What is Plan 2014?

Under natural conditions water levels in Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence river water system fluctuate widely. Naturally occurring extremes in water levels cause devastating effects to the communities, environment, and local economy.

In the mid 1950’s the International Joint Commission (IJC) was established to manage the levels of Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence river and to prevent extreme fluctuations of water levels. The Commission consists of the representatives from the United States and Canada.

The so-called Plan 2014 is a proposed change in the regulation of Lake Ontario /St. Lawrence River water levels from the existing regulation Plan 1958 D, in place since the institution of the Moses Saunders Hydroelectric Power Dam since mid 1950’s.

After 15 years and over $20 million spent on studies, the International Joint Commission announced in July 2014 it had approved the recommendations presented to them by the most recent “Study Board”.

The current status is that the proposal is pending approval by both US and Canadian governments.

What’s the problem?

If implemented, the proposed plan would result in allowing both higher and lower water levels than the current regulation plan.  While communications released about the plan purport to raise the high water levels by only 2” on average, it is the extremes that are of concern. 

Based on the protocols contained in the plan, so-called “trigger points” would go into effect if water levels reach approximately 12” higher/lower than existing protocols. 

This translates to a high water level of 248.3’ compared to the current control point of 247.3’.  Additionally, the new protocols would allow these higher/lower levels to exist for much longer duration.

At these new proposed levels significant damage could be incurred by property owners, municipal infrastructure (sewer systems) and loss of businesses. 

Additionally, a severe risk exists for breaching our natural barrier, Crescent Beach, which has had overruns occur during water levels of 247.3” or less.  The concern is not the static water levels as much as the velocity of wind and wave action during storm conditions

During longer duration of lower water extremes, marinas and related recreational activity could come to a complete halt for extended periods.

Sodus Point Village (circa 1973)

Sodus Point Village (circa 1973)

“At these new proposed levels significant damage could be incurred by property owners, municipal infrastructure (sewer systems) and loss of businesses.”

The Sodus Bay channel - - date unknown.

The Sodus Bay channel – – date unknown.

What did Save Our Sodus do about it?

  • Attended numerous public hearings

  • Written to state level officials

  • Published numerous articles on our website

  • Sponsored petitions

  • Coordinated opposition efforts

    SOS worked closely with local elected officials and the general public to express our opposition to implementation of Plan 2014.

  • Worked with the IJC board members

    We have also worked with the IJC board members, had them visit Sodus Point and speak with local residents and business owners to give them first hand exposure to the consequences of implementation of Plan 2014.

  • Presented our position for the IJC board

    In 2013, we presented our position at technical hearings held by the IJC board in Oswego.

In closing

Fortunately or unfortunately the decision is now left in the hands of the two governments.

We have received nothing official, only speculation by way of communication on the potential outcome.

While the IJC shut down its acceptance of further comment on the proposal, our government official’s doors are still open to communication.

It is perhaps never too late for the general public to voice their concerns as there has been no date set for a decision to be made.

Please keep coming back to our site because we publish related information as it becomes available.

How Precipitation and Evaporation Affect Lake Levels

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How precipitation and evaporation affect lake levels

Sodus Bay, NY – Trends In Water Quality Report, 2013

SODUS BAY, NY – TRENDS IN WATER QUALITY, 2013 REPORT  was prepared by Rachel Radicello in collaboration with SUNY ESF, Save Our Sodus Inc., and the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The report outlines the current state of the bay and highlights improving or declining trends in water quality.

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Sodus Bay, NY Trends in Water Quality Report, 2013

The Great Sodus Embayment Preservation Plan, 2007

This comprehensive 138 page report addresses the following issues:
  • Management options for Sodus Bay’s weed problem
  • Factors behind the eutrophication of Sodus Bay
  • Bathymetric survey – plotting the bay’s water depths and bottom contours
  • The hydrology of Sodus Bay
  • The influx of pollutants to the Bay
  • Recommended management practices for Sodus Bay and its watershed

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The Great Sodus Embayment Preservation Plan, 2007

To see the maps supporting the Report, please click here.

Useful Terms

An embayment is a shoreline indentation or feature of a larger body of water that creates a unique, defined body of water. Sodus Bay is an embayment of Lake Ontario.

Eutrophication – the ecosystem’s response to the addition to an aquatic system of artificial or natural nutrients, mainly phosphates, through detergents, fertilizers, or sewage.