In this video Save Our Sodus’ President Dave McDowell talks about the likely flood, the Coalition Fight Plan 2014, East Breakwall, and urges all waterfront property owners to prepare…

Water Level of the Great Lakes on January 17, 2020

On January 17, Lake Ontario water level is 246.19′, which is 1 inch higher than a month ago, 9 inches higher than a year ago at that time and 19 inches higher than a long-term average for that time of the year. By February 17 the lake level will go up 4 inches.

Source: The US Army Corps of engineers.

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#FightPlan2014 Blog Posts

Your Photos and Videos of the Flood Damage are Requested for the FLOODING DOCUMENTARY

In collaboration with the Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance, Solon Quinn Studios, is producing a documentary video on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, flooding affecting our region, community, and homes.

PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEO of damage from the flooding and be sure to let us know the location of your images and videos in the naming of your files. (for example, name your image or video file of the damage to Arney’s Marina in Sodus Bay in 2019 “SodusBayArneys2019”)

What is happening and what has happened is ethically wrong, criminal in nature and heartbreaking.

It’s time for everyone who has experienced this nightmare to be given a voice, a platform from which to be heard and space in which to share their stories.

We plead for anyone and everyone who has been affected by this disaster to reach out and share their photos, videos, and thoughts (video and cell phone video preferred) to help us let the world know the wrong that is being done.

Your submissions are greatly appreciated and this production will hopefully be released for all to share and see sometime in Spring 2020.

Thank you for your time and contribution to this cause.

Thank you,

Dave McDowell

Fight Plan 2014 Campaign Progress Report


“JOINING FORCES, FIGHT PLAN 2014” CAMPAIGN – launched December 19,2019

On December 19, the presidents of United Shoreline Ontario and Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance as well as Ed Leroux of Save our Sodus, began a media campaign aimed at raising awareness and further donations for the efforts all three are undertaking to take the fight to Washington and Ottawa. They held a press call with 10 press outlets and began doing interviews in print, online, radio, and TV to elevate the publicity around their effort.


They have partnered together in this effort, and intend to pursue a strategy of supporting each other in all efforts to fight plan 2014 going forward. 
They now have a growing media list which is being maintained, a gmail address:, and are actively soliciting new members and donations to fund the next steps of their cause.

Their efforts are being facilitated by Jessica Stone, a former White House correspondent from Washington, D.C. who is also advising on media and lobbying/litigation strategy. 


Three ways you can help:
  1. Share the information with all your friends that care about Lake Levels and the health of Sodus Bay. Email, Facebook, Twitter.
  2. Contact your representatives NOW, because thousands of letters and emails received in one week have more “punch”. Click on the “Addresses and Sample Letter” button below.
  3. Donate to the Legal Fund. Click on “Donate to Legal Fund” button below.

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Donate to the Fight Plan 2014 Fund

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#FightPlan2014 Blog Posts


DECEMBER 19, 2019

LAKE ONTARIO — It could all happen again — only worse.

Decimated property, damaged homes and businesses, lost income, a reduction in tourism and business revenues, destroyed habitats for wild and protected species, and reduced public recreational space along the water.

Now, three lake-based community groups are joining forces to fight back:

** Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance (LOSLRA)

** United Shoreline Ontario (USO)

** Save our Sodus (SOS)


• We have formed a technical working group of engineers on both sides of Lake Ontario to examine, vet and
challenge the data which the International Joint Commission relies on to make its decisions about water levels.

• We are joining together for a series of rallies in the new year across the Province of Ontario and the State of
New York.

• We are working together to fund-raise and recruit additional members to our cause.

• We distribute news updates, and chances to participate in activism on both sides of the lake to our members
and interested parties.


“While climate has brought the water into the lake, it is the unbalanced policies of Plan 2014 that keeps it in the lake,” said USO president Sarah Delicate. “These policies favor ‘downstream’ over ‘upstream’ and industry over the shoreline. The result is ongoing damage and severe risk to families, businesses, communities, and the environment.”

“Plan 2014 was sold by the International Joint Commission (IJC) as “protecting against extreme water levels, restoring wetlands, and preparing for climate change,” said LOSLRA president, Jim Shea. “Water level management is the job of the IJC, and it has failed to protect those along the shoreline and river banks.”

”During the past year, tourist activity was down and boating traffic was down by more than 50%; which endangers both our economic vitality and quality of life — and bodes ill for another upcoming year,” said Village of Sodus Point Mayor and SOS President, David McDowell.


Write to your elected representative: Please check our post for letters you can send via email or snail mail.

DONATE. We need funds to fight the big commercial and political interests behind Plan 2014:


SOS: (tax deductible) or SOS LEGAL FUND to challenge IJC in court.


United Shoreline Ontario’s (USO) objective is to engage governments and private home owners towards the protection of lakeshore homes, families, businesses, emergency responders and municipalities from violent or wide-spread lake surge flooding. This flooding is predicted with the implementation of Plan 2014 and the implications of climate change.

Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Alliance (LOSLRA) is dedicated to fighting for the legal rights of landowners, homeowners, and small businesses along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. We are a 501C4.
Save our Sodus (SOS) is a non-profit with a mission to Protect, Preserve and Improve Great Sodus Bay. We are a 501C3.


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Help Fight IJC in Court

DONATE to Legal Fund

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


The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510


I’m writing you today as a proud resident of Wayne County, NY. I live along Lake Ontario. As you know, we experienced severe flooding in 2017 and in 2019. We contend that the International Joint Commission is violating its own guidelines, specifically, Criterion H14 in Plan 2014 which states as follows:

• In the event that Lake Ontario water levels reach or exceed extremely high levels, the works in the International Rapids Section shall be operated to provide all possible relief to the riparian owners upstream and downstream. (emphasis added)

In the event that Lake Ontario levels reach or fall below extremely low levels the works in the International Rapids Section shall be operated to provide all possible relief to municipal water intakes, navigation and power purposes, upstream and downstream. The high and low water levels at which this provision applies will be established by a Commission directive to the Board.

Although, the IJC and the residents both agree that we experienced “extremely high water levels” in 2017 and 2019, the IJC failed to meet its obligation to give riparians — those of us who live along the lake — “all possible relief.”

As we prepare for the possibility that 2020 will again bring “extremely high water levels,” we are asking for your help to keep the IJC and its associated boards accountable to its own Plan 2014.

We ask you to make sure the rights of land and business owners on the shores of Lake Ontario are not overwhelmed by the financial and political interests of the American and Canadian shipping industries.


Address:  ________________


Help Fight Plan 2014!

DONATE to Fight Plan 2014!

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:


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)

Just like you, SOS has been frustrated with the flooding made worse by the IJC.

SOS supports legal action against the IJC to Repeal or Replace PLAN 2014 to prevent future flooding.

We are raising $100,000 to fight the IJC. Please come to the Action Meeting on October 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Marlins’ Restaurant in Sodus Point, NY.

Please CLICK on the image below to learn more and to help us raise the money for the fight. Your donation is Tax Deductible to you.

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