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Plan 2014 Ltr to Agencies 8-14

Plan 2014 Ltr to Agencies 8-14

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Alliance for the Great Lakes ▪ Audubon New York ▪ Buffalo Audubon Society ▪  

Buffalo‐Niagara Riverkeeper ▪ Citizens Campaign for the Environment ▪ Clarkson University ▪ Council 
of Canadians ▪ Ducks Unlimited, Inc. ▪ Ducks Unlimited Canada ▪ Environmental Defense ▪ FLOW ▪ 
Freshwater Future ▪ Groupe d’éducation et d’écosurveillance de l’eau ▪  
International Water Levels Coalition ▪ Lake Ontario Waterkeeper ▪ Izaak Walton League of America ▪  
National Parks Conservation Association ▪ National Wildlife Federation ▪  
Natural Resources Defense Council ▪ The Nature Conservancy in New York ▪ Nature Quebec ▪  
New York League of Conservation Voters ▪ New York State Conservation Council ▪  
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters ▪ Save The River ▪ Sierra Club ▪  
Thousand Islands Land Trust ▪ Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council ▪ Trout Unlimited ▪  
World Wildlife Fund Canada ▪ Central Westchester Audubon Society ▪ Delaware‐Otsego Audubon 
Society ▪ The Edge ▪ Four Harbors Audubon ▪ Genesee Valley Audubon Society ▪ Huntington‐Oyster 
Bay Audubon Society ▪ Milwaukee Riverkeeper ▪ North Shore Audubon Society ▪ Onondaga Audubon 
Society ▪ Saw Mill River Audubon Society ▪ Southern Adirondack Audubon Society 
July 18, 2014 
The Honorable John Kerry 
Secretary of State 
U.S. Department of State 
2201 C Street,  NW 
Washington, D.C. 20520 
Dear Secretary Kerry: 
We write to you today on an issue of fundamental importance to the economy and quality of life of the bi‐
national Lake Ontario‐St. Lawrence River watershed, and the Great Lakes region. 
Since 1960, the levels of Lake Ontario and the flows of the St. Lawrence River have been regulated by a dam in 
the St. Lawrence, based on pre‐computer era technology and methods.  In 2001, in response to widespread 
dissatisfaction with the current regulation plan, the International Joint Commission (IJC) embarked on a five‐
year, $20 million process to develop a new plan in consultation with nearly 200 representatives of the interests 
affected by regulation.  The IJC posed a question:  Is it possible to develop a new regulation plan that is good for 
the economy and outdoor recreation;  that repairs some of the environmental damage caused by the stifling of 
the lake’s natural ebb and flow under the current regulation plan; and that maintains the protections for 
shoreline property that regulation has provided?  After 13 years of exhaustive study and bi‐national consultation 
with stakeholders and the general public, supported by state‐of‐the‐art simulation of the impacts of alternative 
regulation plans, it is clear that the answer to this question is Yes – all of these objectives will be accomplished 
by Plan 2014, which has recently been proposed by the IJC as the new regulation plan. 
Plan 2014 will increase production of hydropower by the dams in the St. Lawrence River, and maintain the 
benefits that regulation of the River and Lake has provided to international shipping.  By restoring some of the 
natural fluctuations in water levels, while avoiding extreme high and low levels, Plan 2014 will restore the plant 
and animal diversity of coastal wetlands with minimal public investment and dramatically increase opportunities 
for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.    While there may be a small increase in the cost of maintaining break‐
walls on Lake Ontario to slow erosion, the net total value of protection for coastal property provided by Plan 
2014 will top $25 million annually for the developed shoreline properties in both countries that are in close 
proximity to the Lake or Upper River, or at low elevation.  Plan 2014 will maintain the protections from flooding 
of coastal property that current regulation has provided, as well as safeguard water quality and outdoor 
recreation on the Lower River and in Montreal. 
We have attached to this letter some of the expressions of growing support for Plan 2014 by thousands of 
citizens and numerous organizations in the region.  We urge your agency to lend its support for this once‐a‐
generation opportunity to combine sustainable shoreline management with ongoing economic benefit.  If such 
an opportunity is lost due to delayed implementation of Plan 2014, the next opportunity may not arise for 
National, regional and state/provincial organizations
Joel Brammeier  
President & CEO 
Alliance for the Great Lakes 
Erin Crotty 
Executive Director 
Audubon New York 
Loren Smith 
Executive Director 
Buffalo Audubon Society 
Jill Jedlicka 
Executive Director & Riverkeeper 
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper 
Brian Smith 
Associate Executive Director 
Citizens Campaign for the Environment 
Anthony G. Collins 
Clarkson University 
Emma Lui 
National Water Campaigner 
Council of Canadians 
Ducks Unlimited, Inc. 
David Brakhage, Director of Operations 
Great Lakes/Atlantic Region 
Ducks Unlimited Canada 
Mark Gloutney, Director 
Eastern Region  
Tim Gray 
Executive Director 
Environmental Defence 
Liz Kirkwood 
Executive Director 
Jill M. Ryan 
Executive Director 
Freshwater Future 
Nathalie Piedboeuf, M. Sc Biologie 
Directrice générale /Executive Director,  
G3E: Groupe d'éducation et d'écosurveillance 
de l'eau,  Quebec 
William Schebaum  
International Water Levels Coalition 
Mark Mattson 
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper 
Les Monostory,  
NYS Division, Izaak Walton League of America 
Cortney Worrall 
Regional Director, Northeast Regional Office 
National Parks Conservation Association 
Andrew Buchsbaum  
Regional Executive Director 
National Wildlife Federation 
Lawrence Levine 
Senior Attorney, Water Program 
Natural Resources Defense Council 
Stuart F. Gruskin 
Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer 
The Nature Conservancy in New York 
Marc Hudon 
Chair, Water commission, 
Nature Quebec 
Marcia Bystryn 
Executive Director 
New York League of Conservation Voters 
Charles Parker 
New York State Conservation Council 
Ron Urban  
NY Trout Unlimited 
Matt DeMille, M.Sc. 
Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services 
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters 
Lee Willbanks 
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper 
Executive Director  
Save The River 
Paul Flansburg 
Chair of the Great Lakes Committee 
Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter 
Jake Tibbles 
Executive Director 
Thousand Islands Land Trust 
Grenetta Thomassey, PhD 
Program Director 
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council 
Jack Imhoff 
National Biologist,  
Director of Conservation Ecology 
Trout Unlimited 
Elizabeth Hendriks 
Director, Freshwater Program  
Chapters and local 
Lisa Curtis 
Central Westchester Audubon Society 
Andrew Mason 
Delaware‐Otsego Audubon Society 
Suzanne Moynihan, SSND 
The EDGE: Education Dreams for a Green Era 
Susan Krause 
Four Harbors Audubon 
June Summers 
Genesee Valley Audubon Society 
Stella Miller 
Huntington – Oyster Bay Audubon Society 
Ivan J. Hack Jr. 
President, Headwaters Chapter 
Izaak Walton League 
Jill Crafton 
Chair, Great Lakes Committee 
Izaak Walton League 
Cheryl Nenn 
Milwaukee Riverkeeper 
Jennifer Wilson‐Pines 
North Shore Audubon Society  
Paul Richardson 
Onondaga Audubon Society  
Anne Swaim 
Executive Director 
Saw Mill River Audubon Society 
Kate Kremer 
Great Lakes Committee Chair 
Rochester Regional Group,  
Sierra Club 
Jason Goldsmith 
Conservation Chair 
Southern Adirondack Audubon Society 

Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Ducks Unlimited and other 
conservation and outdoor sports organizations 
Letter to Gov. Cuomo, New York State Conservation 
Fact Sheet, Plan 2014 
Summary of Support 


April 23, 2014

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York
Executive Chamber
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We applaud your recent focus on the importance to New York State’s economy of hunting,
fishing, and other forms of wildlife recreation. Your support for outdoor recreation is well-
placed – hunters and anglers contribute over $3.6 billion each year in direct trip expenses,
exclusive of equipment, to the local and state economy. Hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing
are integral to our quality of life as New Yorkers.

We write to you today to call your attention to an issue of fundamental importance to the 14,000
members of Ducks Unlimited in New York State and the nearly 14,000 members of the
organizations co-signing this letter, and to all citizens of the Great Lakes watershed. For over 50
years, the ebb and flow of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been regulated under
the increasingly restrictive rules of Plan 1958DD, which prescribes the flow of water through the
Moses-Saunders Dam at Massena. This altered flow has had significant effects on our
environment and local economy, since stabilizing the water levels from year to year has turned
our coastal wetlands into monocultures of cattails. The damages of this restrictive regulation are
clear in the declines of sentinel species such as the black tern, northern pike, and of course

The International J oint Commission has recently proposed a new regulation plan – Plan 2014 –
which restores some of the lake’s natural variability in water levels while restraining the extreme
high and low levels that may lead to economic damage. Plan 2014 reflects the input and
recommendations from hundreds of stakeholders; the plan does an excellent job of balancing
concerns for wetlands and shoreline rebuilding, sustaining economic uses such as boating,
shipping and energy development, and providing the critical framework for emulating more
closely the environmental conditions that make this region so productive for fish, wildlife, and
people. In particular, we note the economic benefits of the increase in hunting, fishing, and
wildlife viewing days that Plan 2014 will bring, which are conservatively estimated to be worth
$4.0 - 9.1 million annually to the State’s economy.

We think that Plan 2014 will enhance the resiliency of natural shorelines, helping to protect
property owners by building shorelines during occasional periods of lower levels. In our
perspective, everyone wins in a compromise solution that addresses the needs of each interest.
Plan 2014 provides a science-based, reasonable, and logical balance for managing water levels
into the future.

The International J oint Commission’s effort to develop a new regulation plan that is more
environmentally and economically sound than the current plan, 1958DD, has engaged the State
of New York, provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and hundreds of representatives of public and
private interests during the past 11 years. Plan 2014 is the excellent result of this long and
inclusive effort, and now we have a once-a-generation opportunity for sound water management
into the future. To move forward, the IJ C needs the support of each government, and we look to
you for leadership. Thank you for your attention to this request.


J oe Nicosia
NY State Chairman
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Ron Urban
New York Trout Unlimited

David R. Simmons
Onondaga County Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs

David Wahl
Lake Plains Waterfowl Association

Frank Cean
Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition

Les Monostory
President, New York State Division
Izaak Walton League of America

Phone 315-894-3302 Fax 315-894-2893 Email nyscc@nyscc.com

April 24, 2014

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York
Executive Chamber
New York State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

Hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation are important to New York, its
people and the many visitors who come here to enjoy them. We appreciate the support
and emphasis you've given these areas through your plan to open New York State; and
in turn, we all benefit from the $9.2 billion of direct economic activity generated that you
referenced in your budget address.

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is an international organization created by the
Boundary Waters Treaty signed by Canada and the United States in 1909. It prevents
and resolves disputes between the United States and Canada under the 1909 Boundary
Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and
objective advisor to the two governments. The IJC has released its 2014 proposal for
managing water levels and flows that will continue to contribute to the ecological health
and the economic and social well-being of the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River

The New York State Conservation Council is now asking for your leadership in support
of IJC Plan 2014 which would restore some of Lake Ontario's natural water level
fluctuations that existed prior to 1958 while preventing the extreme highs and lows that
caused damage. This would promote better ecological health to Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence system. The State of New York, International Joint Commission, United
States, Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and about 180 representatives of public and
private interests have worked for 11 years to develop Plan 2014. It is a collaborative
effort that is more environmentally and economically sound than the current system.
The new proposal balances concerns for economic uses such as boating, shipping and
energy development with the need to restore shoreline marshes and their associated
wildlife habitat. While all stakeholders will not get everything they would like, everyone
will gain. It is a logical science-based proposal to managing future Lake Ontario water
levels for everyone's benefit.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Page 2 April 24, 2014

For over 50 years, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River flow and levels have been
regulated through the Moses-Saunders Dam at Massena by Plan 1958DD. Reduction
in water level fluctuations through Plan 1958DD have caused major changes to Lake
Ontario's shoreline marshes with the most significant being the undesired large stands
of cattails. This restricts hunters’, anglers’ and wildlife viewers’ access. Even more
important, habitat for native species of fish and wildlife has declined. For example,
northern pike, an important predator and popular sport fish, show a significant decline
due to loss of spawning areas. Muskrats, nature’s aquatic engineer, a valuable
furbearer and important part of the complex food chain, have decreased. Black tern
and waterfowl numbers also have been negatively affected by these changes.

With an accepted IJC Plan 2014, associated growth in native species is conservatively
estimated to add between $4 and $9 million through increased hunting, fishing, wildlife
viewing and outdoor recreation. We are requesting your support for this new regulation,
Plan 2014.



A. Charles Parker

cc Basil Seggos, Deputy Secretary for the Environment

PLAN 2014
Shaped over thousands of years by the natural ebb and flow of water, the 650-mile coastline of Lake
Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River constitutes the largest coastal environment in Quebec, Ontario
and New York State,.

But 50 years of regulated water levels - originally
designed to benefit hydroelectric power generation and
shipping - have significantly altered the lake and river’s
natural habitats and processes and reduced critical
natural services for people.

Today, the International Joint Commission (IJC) and the
governments of U.S. and Canada have an historic
opportunity to exercise principles of sound water
management for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence
River – improving the resiliency of our shores, ensuring
the survival of birds, mammals, and fish, and benefiting
the region’s residents and businesses.
Developed with the construction of the Moses-Saunders Dam in the 1950s, the current regulation plan for
Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River has reduced the range of water levels to the point of causing
extensive damage to coastal wetlands that perform services like filtering water, providing habitat for fish
and protecting communities from floods.
A new approach that achieves a balance of benefits for all interests is currently being proposed. This new
plan, called Plan 2014, was formulated over the course of ten years with the input of hundreds of
stakeholder representatives and scientists from government agencies, academia, NGOs and industry in
New York, Ontario, and Quebec. A diverse coalition strongly supports Plan 2014 because it will increase
the overall health of coastal habitats and provide greater economic opportunities for people.
Plan 2014 will also enhance the resiliency of natural shorelines, helping to protect property owners in a
changing climate.
Expressions of Citizen Support Environmental, Conservation
and Sportsmen
Businesses & Community
 7,945 CCE petition signatures
 3,065 CCE letters
 1,379 The Nature Conservancy Save The
River’s petition signatures
 1,082 Audubon New York petition signatures
and letters
 600+ Save The River telegrams
 452 comments to IJC
 200 anglers and hunters to Gov. Cuomo
 Coalition led by Audubon New York, Citizens
Campaign for the Environment, The Nature
Conservancy, Save The River and WWF—
 Conservation groups include National Wildlife
Federation, Environmental Advocates of NY,
Onondaga Audubon Society, Izaak Walton
 Sportsmen groups include Ducks Unlimited,
Trout Unlimited, Lakeplains Waterfowl
Association, Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition,
New York State Conservation Council
 Business Council of the State of New York
 Alcoa
 Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson
 Cornelius Murphy, Jr. Ph.D. President of
SUNY College of Environmental Science and
expressions of Citizen Support

organizations signed a letter of support
businesses signed a letter of support


Plan 2014 will replace over 50 years of water level management, which has significantly altered the
environment of the Lake and River and dramatically reduced habitat diversity. A healthy environment is
the cornerstone of our economy and prosperity. Plan 2014 will enhance the quality-of-life benefits for all
citizens of the lake and river watershed. It also will directly benefit migrating and nesting waterfowl, key
wetland habitats, and beaches and dunes, which provide millions of dollars every year in outdoor
recreation, flood control, and water filtration services.
Here are just a few indicators that signal an environment in trouble:

The Wet Meadow Northern Pike Black Terns
The wet meadow is a major component
of coastal wetlands, and its status tells
us a great deal about the condition of
the wetland ecosystem as a whole.
The Northern Pike is the top predator
in coastal marshes. Their reduction
affects the entire food chain and
Marsh-nesting birds like Black Terns
depend on diverse marshes
interspersed with open water for
nesting. New Yorkers spend $660
million each year on trips within the
state for wildlife viewing.
Current Regulation: -50%
Plan 2014: 40% Increase from
current conditions
Current Regulation: -70%
Plan 2014: 39% Increase from
current conditions
Current Regulation: -80%
Plan 2014: 16% Increase from
current conditions

The economy of the Great Lakes region depends on the health and beauty of its ecosystems. A 2007 cost-
benefit analysis by the Brookings Institution demonstrates that each dollar of restoration brings two
dollars of benefits to the economy of the Great Lakes region.
Hydropower Recreational Opportunities Shorelines
Hydro-electricity production will increase
under Plan 2014. This low-cost power
supports jobs in New York State.

Healthier Lake and River wetlands will
support stronger populations of native
fish and wildlife, improving the area’s
hunting, angling, and wildlife-viewing
opportunities. The Nature Conservancy
estimates economic benefits, just from
improved wildlife recreation, of $4.0
million - $9.1 million per year.
Compared to the cost of protecting
properties from erosion under
unregulated conditions, Plan 2014 is
estimated to save property owners on
the lake $25.2 million dollars a year. This
may be $2.2 million less than current
savings, but the figure remains very
$5.3 M
Every year in additional generation
$9.1 M
in increased net economic value
$25.2 M
in savings when compared to no regulation

© 1986 Panda symbol WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund). ® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark.
Growing Support for Plan 2014

15,083 Expressions of Citizen Support for Plan 2014
 11,370 Expressions of Support for Plan 2014 in response to Citizens Campaign for the
7,945 individuals signed on to CCE’s petition in support of Plan 2014 and 3,065 individuals wrote
letters to Governor Cuomo and the IJC.
 1,379 Individuals Signed The Nature Conservancy/ Save The River Petition In Support Of
Plan 2014
This growing list of supporters wrote the International Joint Commission in support of Plan 2014.
 1082 Individuals Joined Audubon New York in support of Plan 2014
1054 individuals signed on to Audubon’s letter of support and 28 individuals provided their own
supportive letters.
 452 Supportive Comments Submitted to the IJC
As of September 25
, 2013 the IJC posted 452 comments in support of Plan 2014. As a point of
comparison, only 366 comments were submitted in opposition to Plan 2014 and over 10% of
these negative comments came from just one individual.
 600+ Telegrams
Over 600 telegrams were sent to Governor Cuomo in support of Plan 2014.
 200 Hunters and Anglers Expressed Support for Plan 2014
200 anglers and hunters wrote Governor Cuomo supporting Plan 2014 because of the increased
opportunities for hunting and fishing offered by this forward-thinking approach to water levels.
Business, Community Leader Support Letters
 Business Council of the State of New York
“The Business Council of the State of New York support the approach contained in Plan 2014
and call for its approval.”
 Alcoa
“We concur with others in the North Country that it is imperative a plan be adopted by the
International Joint Commission that takes into account environmental considerations and the
concerns of the public, while at the same time maximizing hydropower production.”
 Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University
“We encourage the development of a planned regional approach to management of the St.
Lawrence River that supports the production of renewable energy and gives full consideration of
the economic, environmental, recreational and hydropower production concerns.”

 Cornelius Murphy, Jr. Ph.D. President of SUNY College of Environmental Science and
“As you and others recognize, these issues- environmental considerations, public concerns
regarding recreational uses and hydropower- are closely linked to the economy of this region. It
therefore follows that a St. Lawrence River water level management plan should consider these

Business, Environmental, Conservation and Sportsmen Organizations Letters of Support

 Sign-On Letter of 35 Businesses Who Support of Plan 2014
This growing list includes: Admirals’ Inn, Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce, Big M Market,
Capt. Thomson’s, Resort, Chez Paris, Clarence Henry Coach, LLC, Clayton Guides Association,
Classic Island, Tours, Chalk’s Marina & Boat Sales, Chaumont Yacht Club, Coyote Vision,
Gamble Distributors, Garlock’s Lumber and Hardware, Magical Swan, Martin’s Marina & Motel,
Northern Marine, Paul Norton Canvas, Riley’s by the River, River Wellness Center, Riverbank
Gallery, RJ Marine, Schermerhorn Harbor, Seaway Slips & Cottage Rentals, Wagoner’s Sales &
Service, The Ship Motel, Sign Man Charters, St. Lawrence Pottery, London and District Labour
Council, Uncle Sam Boat Tours, Van's Motor Marine Inc. and Wright’s Marine

 Sign-On Letters of 42 Environmental, Conservation and Sportsmen Organizations Who
Support of Plan 2014
This growing list includes: Alliance for the Great Lakes, APT Environment, Audubon New York,
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, Buffalo Audubon Society, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper,
Canadian Environmental Law Association, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Coalition for a
Nuclear Free Great Lakes, Don't Waste Michigan, Environmental Advocates of New York, Flow
for Water, Freshwater Future, Genesee Valley Audubon Society, Great Lakes United, Great
Lakes Committee of the Izaak Walton League of America, Hamilton Naturalists’ Club,
International Institute of Concern for Public Health, International Water Levels Coalition, Izaac
Walton League of America, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, National Wildlife
Federation, Nature Abounds, The Nature Conservancy, New York, Lake Ontario Fisheries
Coalition, The Ohio Wetlands Association, Onondaga Audubon Society, Lake Plains Waterfowl
Association, New York State Conservation Council, Quinte Watershed Cleanup Inc., Royal
Botanical Gardens, Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter Great Lakes Committee, Provincial Council of
Women of Ontario, Save The River – Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, Thousand Islands Land
Trust, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Trout Unlimited, New York, Ontario Nature, Union Saint-
Laurent Grands Lacs, The Wege Foundation, Welland Riverkeepers and WWF-Canada

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