The international organization that deals with shared waterways between the U.S. and Canada is seeking public input on designing a study to mitigate future flooding on Lake Champlain and the Canadian river it flows into.
The International Joint Commission formed the International Lake Champlain - Richelieu River Plan of Study Workgroup after record spring floods in 2011 did tens of millions of dollars in damage.
A draft plan released this week offers three options for studies to be presented to the IJC. WorkGroup U.S. Co-Secretary Stephanie Castle says the flooding was the worst ever seen and strategies must be developed now due to future uncertainties.
The three study options vary in intensity and would cost between five and fourteen million dollars. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Program Manager and Workgroup U.S. Co-Chair Jenifer Thalhauser says data is needed to determine why the flooding occurred and how future events could be mitigated.
Vermont Fisheries Biologist Brian Chipman, the Vermont member on the Workgroup, says the flooding was a unique event and the goal is to evaluate potential mitigation measures to lessen future flooding impacts.
New York Congressman Democrat Bill Owens met with officials of the International Joint Commission shortly after the 2011 flooding asking that they update flood plans for the basin. Owens is pleased that the drafts have been released for public review.
Congressman Owens says because these are considered international waterways, the regulation, implementation and funding would be the responsibility of the U.S. and Canadian federal governments.
A link to more information on the draft Plan of Study and upcoming public meetings is available here.