The Duluth Seaway Port Authority and the Chamber of Marine Commerce both hailed a decision Friday not to open the Moses-Saunders Dam wider to increase the flow of water out of Lake Ontario, via the St. Lawrence River.
High water levels in Lake Ontario earlier had prompted officials to boost the outflow at the dam to 10,400 cubic meters per second, and there had been calls to release even more water so as to lower Lake Ontario, where water levels remain about 2.8 feet above recent historical norms, stirring fears of erosion.
Shipping concerns had warned that opening the Moses-Saunders Dam any further would disrupt vessel traffic and potentially cause navigation buoys to be swept away. The Chamber of Marine Commerce predicted such a move could deal upwards of $1 billion in financial damage to the U.S. and Canadian economies.
But on Friday, the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board chose to maintain current outflow levels at the dam located between Massena, N.Y. and Cornwall, Ont. The same body is expected re-evaluate the situation again next Friday.