WWF Canada Blog:
Fresh Water

News, views and analysis from our team as we work to create solutions to conservation challenges facing our planet.


A wave of support for Plan 2014

This week, the International Joint Commission (IJC) took a monumental and courageous step forward in restoring and protecting the health of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  After 14 years of study, public consultation (which drew more than 5,500 public comments), dialogue, and modeling, the IJC has proposed a new plan to regulate the flows and levels of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

Lake Ontario sunset, Ontario, Canada. © Frank PARHIZGAR / WWF-Canada

Lake Ontario sunset, Ontario, Canada. © Frank PARHIZGAR / WWF-Canada

The IJC found that Plan 2014 provides the best response to the range of issues that must be considered in regulating the water levels and flows of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system. The plan will mitigate much of the harm done to the shoreline environment by existing regulations, while striving to maintain the benefits to other interests and users throughout the system.

WWF-Canada has been on the case since 2011 and has consistently advocated for an approach to managing this important region that is balanced and restores the health of damaged aquatic ecosystems.  We worked with you to show the broad-based support for the plan and heard stories from people who use and celebrate our natural heritage.  Senator Runcimen, for example, spoke to us about why this effort is important and released his own statement of public support for the IJC recommendation.

Waves crashing over rocks in the St. Lawrence River, Quebec, Canada. © Lori LABATT / WWF-Canada

Waves crashing over rocks in the St. Lawrence River, Quebec, Canada. © Lori LABATT / WWF-Canada

The IJC now waits for a response from both the Canadian and American Federal Governments.  WWF-Canada is urging Canada to support this important development.  If this critical opportunity to conserve some of our most important and beloved waters is lost by the delayed implementation of Plan 2014, the next opportunity may not arise for decades.