Tribe Calls for Timely Implementation of the Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014
Nov 14, 2016
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (“Tribe”) applauds New York Congressional leadership for their support of the Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014 (“Plan 2014”) and calls upon the International Joint Commission (“IJC”) to move quickly on its implementation.
For the last 50 years, the Tribe has worked diligently to negate the environmental impacts of regulated water levels on the St. Lawrence River, historically known to the Mohawk people as Kaniatarowanneneh (meaning “Great River”). Initially expressing our support for the Plan in 2013, we have continued to work on creating and fostering increased awareness on how the delay in the implementation of Plan 2014 is threatening already endangered wetland habitats, meadow-marsh vegetation, and important wildlife.
“Environmental considerations were not part of the planning process when the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam and shipping channel were built in the 1950s. As a result of outdated dam operations, three great nations have suffered from significant losses to the Upper St. Lawrence River’s globally-significant biodiversity and habitat,” said Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper & Executive Director, Save The River.
“The Mohawk people have lived along the St. Lawrence River since time immemorial and we serve as important environmental stewards of Mother Earth,” stated Ken Jock, Environment Division Director, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.
Tribal Chief Eric Thompson added, “The Tribe looks forward to continuing this tradition by being an important governmental partner in the implementation of Plan 2014, restoring the ecosystem health of over 60,000 acres, and identifying funding sources to negate the impacts of shoreline erosion.”
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will continue working with our environmental partners Save The River, American Rivers, Congressional leadership, and the IJC to implement Plan 2014.
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The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.