From Jennifer Nalbone
Great Lakes United
ACTION: Great Lakes Navigation System
Dear friend of the Great Lakes,
Please take a moment to review HW 260# regarding the
Corps proposal to study physical expansion of the Great
Lakes commercial navigation system.
Habitat Watch outlines the concerns with the expansion
plan, and a concerted US/Canada effort to stop the GLNS
review, including a recent letter sent to Congress and
the Corps that was sent by 51 Great Lakes organizations.
This letter is attached for your review.
Please also take action, as outlined in HW #260.
Call your senators and representatives today and
ask: 1) Funding for the Corps feasibility study be eliminated
in the FY03 Water and Energy Appropriations. 2) The
Water Resources Development Act include provisions for
an independent study of the Great Lakes Navigation System
review. Your calls and letters are needed now and until
session ends in October!
(For folks in NY Representative Jack Quinn's district,
let Rep. Quinn know that you support his leadership
role in calling for independent review.)
Thank you for your efforts,
Jen Nalbone, GLU
Habitat Watch # 260
Great Lakes United September 8-September 14, 2002
Binational organizations oppose the Corps Great Lakes
Navigation System review Organizations across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence
River region sent a letter to the U.S. Congress and the
Army Corps of Engineers urging them to “halt this present
Great Lakes Navigation System Review.” The 51 organizational
signatories said they “stand ready to assist the Corps
with projects that restore our wetlands and fisheries,
clean up the toxic hot spots and ensure that our waters
are safe to drink, swim and fish,” but, “this proposal
runs counter to the discussions and planning underway
throughout the region to mobilize efforts to restore the
Concerns with the Corps plan to
“improve” Great Lakes commercial navigation by physically
widening and deepening connecting channels, locks and
species: More, larger ocean-going vessels entering the
basin would increase the frequency and diversity of exotic
species introduced into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
Hundreds of millions of cubic yards of sediments, much
of it contaminated, will be dredged during the project.
Dredging and disposal of contaminated sediments on this
scale is unprecedented. In biologically rich and shallow
aquatic ecosystems like Lake St. Clair, the potential
for environmental destruction is dramatic.
Senior St. Lawrence River pilots say islands bordering
the current ship channel in the Thousand Islands region
would have to be blasted to accommodate larger vessels.
waves: Impacts of operating larger ships include larger
surge waves that will increase shoreline erosion, property
damage and water turbidity, reduce sunlight penetration,
and degrade wetlands.
levels: Changes to water flows threaten lake levels and
shoreline habitat. The alternative is installing compensating
works to mitigate changes in water flow-- which would
create zones of dead water and threaten fish and other
Potential impacts to property owners and resource-dependent
communities add overwhelmingly to the economic downsides
of the project.
studies: Previous Great Lakes commercial navigation expansion
studies have concluded that expansion is economically
participation: Thirteen of the fifteen locks on the St.
Lawrence River are in Canada, Canadian funds are needed
for the study to fully proceed, yet Canada remains uncommitted
to the project.
Check out the letter at: http://www.lakeontariokeeper.org/lok/index.cfm?DSP=content&ContentID=5376
ACTION: Call your Senators and Representatives
on the Great Lakes Navigation System review In the U.S., funding in the fiscal year 2003 Energy
and Water Development Appropriations would enable the
Corps to begin the first year of the full 6-8 year Great
Lakes Navigation Feasibility study. The multi-year feasibility
study is based on the options and recommendations outlined
in the Corps initial draft “reconnaissance study.”
Returning from recess this month, the U.S. House Appropriations
Committee has approved $2-million for the Corps feasibility
study in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations.
In a Senate subcommittee, $700,000 was marked up for the
study. Differences between the House and Senate appropriations
will have to be resolved in conference. Although appropriations
for the feasibility study slowly proceed, many Great Lakes
congressional members are wrestling with whether and how
to address the GLNS review controversy this year.
Your input is critical in the next few weeks! Please let
your Senators and Representatives know that you want to
of funding for the Great Lakes Navigation Feasibility
study in the FY03 Energy and Water Development Appropriations.
for an independent review inserted into the pending Water
Resources Development Act. Ask that a review 1) Perform
an independent analysis of the economic justification
and environmental impacts of Great Lakes Navigation expansion
as proposed in the Corps reconnaissance study, and 2)
Independently assess the full range of options for Great
Lakes commercial navigationand prioritize particular ways
to operate commercial navigation compatibly with Great
Lakes ecosystem protection and restoration.
Please call the Congressional switchboard and ask for
your Senator and Representative at (202) 224-3121. For
a few commercial navigation options compatible with Great
Lakes ecosystem protection and restoration, go to: www.glu.org
and check out GLU’s letters to the Corps and the Honorable
Minister David Collenette.
Great Lakes United’s Habitat and Biodiversity
task force produces Habitat Watch with support from the
George Gund Foundation and GLU coalition members. The
task force is committed to protecting natural areas, wildlife,
and strong conservation laws across the Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence River ecosystem. To join the coalition, subscribe,
or send stories, contact GLU at: (716) 886-0142; fax:
(716) 886-0303; or email: email@example.com.
Past issues of Habitat Watch can be found at: http://www.sustain.org/Bulletins/index.cfm
Habitat and Biodiversity Coordinator
Great Lakes United
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Cassety Hall- Buffalo State College
Buffalo, NY 14222
ph: (716) 886-0142 fax:-0303
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