New York

Use ice-breaker to reduce river ice dams

Alternative solution to ice jams


The March 25 article, “State plans $500k study of ice jams,” indicates the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will fund another study of the Mohawk river basin. The “ice jam flooding” presentation by Professor John Garver at the Mohawk Watershed Symposium was awesome and indicated to me how the 2012-2016 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda to “promote flood hazard risk reduction” and the draft 2018-2022 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda item to “understand and predict the hazards associated with ice jams through monitoring” needs action, not study.

Recently, it was reported the Unified Military Affairs Council and several federal and state government representatives emphasized how the Naval, Army and air military facilities in our region influence our economy and protect our communities. In addition, the DEC and the state Canal Corporation have responsibility regarding water resources in the basin. Even though DEC has two water resource research vessels located in the Great Lakes, the Canal Corporation has a fleet of 100 vessels throughout the canal system.

Is it possible for the military affairs supporters to request the U.S. Coast Guard lease one of its 65-foot ice-breaker tugs to the Canal Corporation and DEC to prevent ice jams in the Mohawk Basin? Also, is it possible for the Mohawk Basin municipal governments, academic institutions and non-profit conservation agencies to make a request to the Regional Economic Development Councils to obtain money?

I think an ice-breaker tug would keep a water flow channel open in the winter to prevent ice jams. It could be equipped with water resource technology to research water quality for fish, wildlife and humans; monitor inappropriate chemical discharges by municipalities and businesses; and locate sediment build-up. Meanwhile, they could be developing an education-and-training program for a workforce to protect lives and our resources.

Michael McGlynn


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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