Save The River calls for early closure of shipping season

CLAYTON, NY  – Save The River has sent a letter to the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation calling for an early closure to the shipping season in order to increase water outflows before the onset of winter.

In a letter addressed to Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the Great Lakes Seaway Management Corporation, Save The River requested that shipping be closed as of December 1 in order for the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board to increase outflows.

“We are aware that to increase the outflow to the maximum through the next two months causes safety concerns for the shipping industry,” stated John Peach, executive director of Save The River. “However, we have twice, on July 22 and on October 1, called for the Seaway to implement a program of patterning where shipping would temporarily stop for consecutive days to increase the outflows. Twice our requests were denied, so we are left with no alternative but to call for an early closure to the shipping season. We are asking the shipping industry, for the third time, to shoulder their share of the burdens caused by the water levels.”

State and national leaders were copied on the letter including both Jane Corwin, the U.S. Commissioner of the International Joint Commission (IJC), and Pierre Béland, the Canadian Commissioner of the IJC, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Representative Elise Stefanik, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Patty Ritchie, and Assemblyman Mark Walcyzk.

For over 40 years Save The River has been the leading grassroots environmental advocacy organization fighting for the ecological integrity of the St. Lawrence River. Save The River takes an active role in River policy issues by engaging decision-makers, community leaders, residents, visitors and volunteers to make positive change. Every year Save The River works with educators in school districts in the watershed to educate 1,500+ students in a place-based curriculum that stresses age-appropriate aspects of stewardship.