Dam embankment!

The Canal Authority has launched a program to clear-cut brush and trees from certain parts of the canal shoreline. The Oxbow section an important part of this project from a safety angle because of the numerous properties under the embankment.

Here are the maps of the Oxbow designated areas.  You can see all 65 maps here

In these photos, note all the houses between the canal and Jefferson Rd. They are in potential danger if this dam is breached.

The Vegetation box line point looks exactly like where this ‘dam’ breached many years ago.

1918_widewaters_embankment_2 copy

In this photo, note that the cottages are already  around ‘the lake’ but there is no lake,  because it’s already breached, hence the huge pile of rubble circled. Noting the size of the people on the dam, I’d estimate its overall height to be about forty feet. We know that the canal is at least twenty five feet deep here, and fresh water pressure is 0.43 psi per foot = 10 psi.  That’s enough to bore a hole in an earthen dam.


Looking south now, you can see the electricity pylons and the remains of the washout rubble. I suspect this photo was taken after the breach was repaired.

Here are the objectives of The Canal Authority.

Project Overview
Canal embankments along elevated sections of the Erie Canal in Orleans and Monroe counties will be restored to their design condition by removing trees and brush at 56 locations covering about 145 acres. Their removal will restore the integrity of the embankments and improve the Canal Corporation’s
ability to properly manage their condition, keeping the communities that surround the canal safe from potential flooding due to structural failures.

Tree Growth on and Adjacent to Dams

NYDEC Report on Trees on Dams and Embankments.

Canal Authority Deputy Director John Callaghan says ” It’s all about safety!”  “Inspectors can’t see if there are any problems such as leaking or rotting from the canal.”   Read more here.
The President of the Canal Authority Gil Quiniones told her “we will not sacrifice safety in the interest of aesthetics.”
As seen on  Elizabeth’s Agte’s Facebook page.
I wondered why the canal had not been drained this year, and guess that it’s to do with this project. Perhaps they can spot leaks as they remove vegetation?
I will also mention that The Canal Authority has thoroughly researched their operation, and obviously sought legal council. On the other side I see just a lot of hot air and zero experience.  The Boy Scouts and I have been the victims of The Environmental Quorum all this year, as they harassed the Scouts, taking Paparazzi photos of them working, and attempted to get them into trouble. I’ve had this group banging on my door, shouting abuse at me for cleaning up The Oxbow. They have even told people we were spraying Roundup down the Oxbow. Completely untrue.
Here’s a notice they posted on a tree in The Oxbow.
Check out this disaster and note the similarities!
Torrential rain soaked the Welsh Slag Heaps of Aberfan back in 1966. It became so wet, the entire mound slipped and buried 114 children at a school.
Here’s the Aberfan rubble, it looks very similar to the rubble that the dam-embankments of the Erie Canal are made of. If the dam wall gets too soggy this could happen in Fairport, and with the amount of water in the canal, the devastation could be ten times worse than Aberfan!
We even have a school right in the path of where the last canal breach occurred.





Jumping Worms – whoever heard of such a thing?

A few weeks ago, I was transplanting some perennials along my shoreline and as I was digging, I saved the worms for fishing in the canal later.

I was quite surprised at the energy of these little rascals as they thrashed about.  Once pronged with a hook, they almost took off. I thought the fish would love these, and I was right, and caught a couple of fish fairly quickly.

The trouble is the worms are an environmental nightmare for our area, as they devour all the humus  and nutrients required by indigenous plants.




Jumping worms are PROHIBITED by the New York State Dept. of

Environmental Conservation. Prohibited invasive species cannot be knowingly possessed with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce.

Do NOT buy or use jumping worms for bait, vermicomposting or gardening .

Only sell, purchase or trade compost that was heated to appropriate temperatures and duration following protocols for reducing pathogens .

Clean compost, soil and debris from vehicles, personal gear, equipment, and gardening tools before moving to and from sites .

Dispose of all live worms in the trash or place them in a bag and leave out in the sun for at least 10 minutes. Then throw bag away.