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.

Plan 2014 replaced the regulation Plan 1958 D which regulated water levels of Lake Ontario /St. Lawrence River for almost 60 years, 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 approved Plan 2014 and in January of 2017 it went into effect.

Sodus Point from the Air on May 21, 2017

Please see the photos below to get a better idea of the impact of the recent flooding on our shores. Hover over images to preview in color. Click on any image to enlarge. Make a note of the submerged docks, the sandbags that are “highlighting” the perimeter of Sodus Point, standing water on the lawns, pumps pumping water back to the bay, the absence of boats in the water… what else do you notice in these pictures?

Historic pictures of Sodus Point from the Air - marinas, restaurants... We are happy to have them and share with you.

What’s the problem?

Plan 2014 allows both higher and lower water levels than the previous plan.  While Plan 2014 purports 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 new plan, when the water levels start rising, the outflow can only be initiated after the “trigger points” are reached. The  water levels have to be approximately 12” higher/lower than existing protocols. 

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

HIGH WATER FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME WILL CAUSE DEVASTATING DAMAGE TO SHORE-FRONT COMMUNITIES.

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

The damage to the natural barrier, Crescent Beach, which has had overruns occur during water levels of 247.3” or less, could be significantly increased.  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.

Crescent Beach, Charles Point from the Air on May 21, 2017

Please see the photos below to get a better idea of the impact of the recent flooding on our NATURAL BARRIERS, Crescent Beach and Charles Point, as well as the impact on the Breakwall that shields Sodus Point and Sodus Bay from the impact of mighty Lake Ontario. Hover over images to preview in color. Click on any image to enlarge. When you do, a gallery window will open and you could browse through dozens of images.

Aerial Photos of Charles Point, The Breach, Crescent Beach taken on May 21st by Bob Fratangelo

Sodus Point Village (circa 1973)

Sodus Point Village (circa 1973)

At the new 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.

The Breach from the Air

Crescent Beach and Charles Point are Natural Barriers separating the Great Sodus Bay from the might of Lake Ontario. Please see photos below that show it in 1938, 2014, 2015, 2016 and recent photos of the Breach… Click on any image to enlarge and open a gallery window so that you could see more images.

What did Save Our Sodus do about it?

  • 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.

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.

Please Click on the image to open a PDF file in a separate window or Right Click and Save As to save to your hard drive

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

Please Click on the image to open a PDF file in a separate window or Right Click and Save As to save to your hard drive

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.