Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
For more information contact:
Brian Smith, Associate Executive Director, 716-831-3206, bsmith@citizenscampaign.org


U.S. and Canada seize once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore the health of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River

Buffalo, NY—Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) is applauding today’s announcement that the U.S. and Canadian federal governments have officially adopted Plan 2014 for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Over fifty years of regulation forcing unnatural water levels and flows has devastated the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River environment. Plan 2014 represents a modern, balanced approach that will work with nature to restore the health of the lake and river, while continuing over 50 years of shoreline protection.

“Today we say goodbye to the antiquated plan from last century, and welcome a modern, balanced plan that will provide immense benefits to the health of the lake and river and the people that depend upon them,” said Brian Smith, CCE Associate Executive Director. “Plan 2014 is a historic achievement that will provide unparalleled environmental benefits to the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River watershed. We applaud the U.S. and Canadian governments for seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore the health of our lake and river.”

CCE has worked for more than a decade to advocate for a new plan, and conducted a massive grassroots outreach campaign to educate the public and garner support. Working collaboratively with numerous partner organizations, more than 36,000 expressions of support from the public were generated for Plan 2014, with over 25,000 of those generated by CCE. CCE recently traveled to Washington D.C. with partner organizations to deliver the expressions of support to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

“Speaking with tens of thousands of New Yorkers in communities along the lake and river, we found overwhelming public support for a modern plan to restore the health of the lake and river,” continued Smith. “Today’s adoption of Plan 2014 is a long-awaited victory for all New Yorkers and for the future of our Great Lakes.”

The benefits of Plan 2014 include, but are not limited to, restoration of 64,000 acres of wetlands along the lake and river, rebound in populations of fish and wildlife such as the Northern Pike and Black Tern, a $5.3 million annual increase in hydroelectric power production; a $9.1 annual increase in recreational activity along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, and continue over 50 years of significant shoreline protection.


Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by bsmith  12/8/16