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Posted by: Doug K
« on: January 23, 2023, 09:41:24 am »

It appears that a few others in our area are finally hearing AND understanding the message about Erie Canal Embankment Safety

Here's another post in reply to Ms.Maiers "tree rant" on the Rochester beacon

And this post on the Beacon that strongly refutes Ms Maiers "fear-mongering" that the Erie Canal is being "sterilized" as she put it.

Funny how Ms Maier and her Facebook group call out the Canal Corporation (and parent New York Power) for "creating fear" about the current condition of the waterway, and it's earthen impoundments, but not one person accused Ms Maier of "over exaggeration" when saying that the Canal Corporation was killing all life along the NYS Canal System.

That's what sterilization means... look it up.

Maybe Facebook should start "sterilizing" their radical, mis-information spreading, grassroots groups, who think ignoring public safety is a good idea for New York?

Wouldn't that be a welcome change
Posted by: DEK
« on: December 29, 2022, 01:10:40 pm »

On December 29, 2022 at 1:06 pm - Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Just an after thought for ALL to consider, who may be reading Ms. Maier’s comments and think she may be “qualified” to speak on the topic of Invasive Vegetation growing along the canal, as she is in the Biology field, or that is what the Rochester Beacon claims in her Bio.

Even though Canal Embankment Integrity work is about Earthen Dam Safety, not Saving the Trees, as some people think.

Ms. Maier has taken a great liberty here, with her use of terms, stating that the Erie Canal Embankments will be STERILIZED with the work that is meant to improve their safety and “inspectability” for the Canal Corporation.

As a Biology “expert” she must know what that term means.

Here’s the definition according to the online Encyclopedia Britannica:

Sterilization (biochemistry) – Sterilization, which is any process, physical or chemical, that destroys all forms of life, is used especially to destroy microorganisms, spores, and viruses. Precisely defined, sterilization is the complete destruction of all microorganisms by a suitable chemical agent or by heat, either wet steam…


Did you read that part? Does Ms. Maier really BELIEVE that statement herself?

That is entirely UNTRUE, and the New York Canal Corporation has NEVER stated that will be the result of the Embankment Integrity program.

They are NOT destroying all life along the Erie Canal Embankments.

In fact the EEIP Maintenance Manual, released recently by the NYS Canal Corporation, does specifically state where turf grass will be grown, where wildflower beds can be planted and when ornamental grasses and other barrier plants will be used and where THOSE plants will be grown.

The only thing that will NOT be allowed to grow, is all termed “invasive vegetation”, and it’s made up of overgrown trees that do not belong on Earthen Dams, according to the Federal & State Laws. It also includes any and all invasive plant species like Japanese Knotweed and Amur Honeysuckle, they are NOT native, they ARE invasive and they PREVENT proper dam inspection and identification of embankment safety issues.

No folks, that choice of words being used by Ms. Maier is simply the telltale sign of a frustrated canal trail user, who is still in denial about the REAL condition of the Erie Canal, and wants to sensationalize this Canal Maintenance Program into something “evil”.

Using the word Sterilization is just Ms. Maier fanning the flames of her social media “protest group” that she labels as grassroots, yet they oppose the grass being planted that will restore canal embankments to their original state and original safety rating levels as they will be “just like new”.

Perhaps Ms. Maier should brush up on here terms & definitions before she passes along anymore mis-information to her social media group, or the community she lives in.

As someone in the Biology field she may want to start with the CDC Website, which defines the difference between Sterilization, Disinfection and General Cleaning.

If she actually read this website then she might tell her group (more accurately) that the ONLY thing happening to Erie Canal Embankment is a CLEANING of debris and other organic/inorganic material that is causing all of the safety issues described by the Canal Corporation’s Embankment Handbook.

But that wouldn’t get nearly as much attention as using the word STERILIZATION…

Would it?

And it wouldn’t serve Ms. Maier’s hidden agenda here…. would it?
Posted by: Doug K
« on: December 28, 2022, 11:23:40 am »

This was the very FIRST reply to Ms. Maier's recent rant on the Rochester Beacon

Josh Jochem Porte on December 22, 2022 at 1:03 pm said:

Let me respond with some common sense and scientific fact.

I was brought up in The Netherlands. Came here at age 12 but have been back multiple times to see family. I would say that the Dutch have mastered the science of building dikes. Since a large section of land is below sea level, dikes are paramount in keeping the water level under control. There are zero trees, growth in these dikes. I will leave it up the the reader as to why, but trust me, it is done for a reason.

If the water is flush with the land level, no problem. If the land level is below the water level (as in Bushnell’s Basin) there is a dike that holds back the water.

Trees and the like are a danger to the integrity of any dam.

Look at the pictures from Holland and, if still in doubt, contact the experts in keeping water at bay, the Dutch

Thank you Mr. Porte, that's the same view as the NYS Canal Corporation, the New York Governor and State Comptroller, and most if not ALL experts in Dam Safety worldwide.

No Trees on Earthen Embankment Dams
Posted by: Doug K
« on: December 28, 2022, 11:17:06 am »

Another reply posted to the Rochester Beacon

Sadly, once again, Ms Maier refuses to acknowledge the solitary fact that the entire program on embankments is centered on public safety.

While she continues to deny the facts about dam science that the Canal Corporation has laid out in their latest Embankment Manual, these embankments sink further into disrepair.

They are after all MAN MADE STRUCTURES that were used for commercial navigation, and like all srructures, they need maintenance, inspection and repair.

But not in Ms Maiers world.

She and her Facebook group have labeled the discussion about dam repair and public safety… “fear mongering”, and simply IGNORE any conversation about how the Erie Canal has become a public safety issue for New York State.

And Ms Maier pedals her denialism on Social Media channels while many Erie Canal Neighbors, who live below these aging embankments, wonder if the next catastrophic dam breach on National News might happen in their own backyard.

Go to the NYS Canal Integrity Website and read for yourself how badly the Canal System is leaking.

This isn’t about trees or shade, it certainly is not about landscaping and beautification of the Erie Canal.

It’s not about animal Habitat, unless those animals are the humans in danger from an aging, unsustainable NYS Canal System.

It’s really about making the Erie Canal something it is not right now… that would be SAFE for the public living around it.

The Dutch had it right, like most of Europe, they kmow that trees have a place, and it’s NOT growing on earthen Dams & Dikes that hold back water from flooding people & property.

Go read the TRUTH about Erie Canal Embankments.

Thank you for the time.
Doug Kucmerowski
Co-Founder: Erie Canal Neighbors Association

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: December 27, 2022, 05:54:19 am »

A "sterilized" Erie Canal?

That is according to Ms Maier, co founder of the Stop The Clear Cut group (STCC).

Read her post in the Rochester Beacon here

And here is my reply (You may prefer to read the attached pdf file for this reply, as it has active links to relative documents etc.)

There is so much to take issue with Ms Maier's comments here, as once more the truth is obscured by her and the Stop The Clear Cut (STCC) group.

Her 'Citizen Group' was founded by people who have no dam engineering knowledge or qualifications, and certainly do not understand, or want to understand, the incredible danger that over a thousand people live under. They state that trees have never actually caused a breech in the Erie Canal Earthen Embankment Dams, but that is hardly the point, they have caused problems World wide. FEMA, USDA, US Army Corps of Engineers, Association of State Dam Safety officials, NYDEC and others all state quite categorically, no trees on a dam.

Please compare NYPA engineer David Mellen's resume on Linked in
This is a good example of the qualifications of the staff running the Canal Corporation.

It states "accomplished leader with years of operational and engineering experience including design, construction, and maintenance; advanced degree in construction engineering and management; licensed Professional Engineer, State of New York." and then look at the lack of qualifications of the founders of the STCC.

Their only 'qualifications' are obscuring the truth, and coming up with catchy words and phrases, like 'shade is cool' and 'sterilized embankments' etc.
Their most amusing phrase is 'Natural vegetation' referring to the brush and one hundred and fifty feet tall Cottonwoods infesting the embankment dam slopes. There is nothing 'natural' about it, most of the weeds growing are on the NYS illegal plants list.

Their 'legally required environmental review process' (what a joke that statement is) was ordered because Dr. Donald Grey submitted testimony to a Lyons court, stating that trees were desirable on an embankment. He had never even visited the site to see for himself. When I questioned him about this, he recanted his statement because he was NOT told the trees in question were on an earthen embankment dam.
READ >>>

Note also, the statement from Dr David Rosgen, a hydrologist, who the STCC. contacted to gain support. They applied the same 'trick' forgetting to mention the subject was a dangerous, badly maintained earthen embankment dam. When this was pointed out to him, he recanted his original statements. The STCC conveniently want to forget this.

READ >>>

To make matters worse, the canal system was 'designed by amateurs' who had little knowledge of dam design. The United States didn’t have a single college of engineering or any native-born engineers. So we are working with a poorly designed embankment system, further troubled by a complete lack of maintenance.

An obvious design flaw is the steepness of the slopes of the embankment dams. It is well established now that the length of the base of the outboard slope should be two to three times the height, and in many cases here there is less than a one to one ratio. Along the section between 31F and the Oxbow, there is a vertical drop off, even if there was no vegetation, one could not walk down the slope. There is not enough dirt holding up the dam wall. This makes the Phreatic Line susceptible to breaking out and the dam breeching.

Neglect and a lack of funding has allowed huge cottonwoods to grow on these already compromised slopes. They weigh hundreds of tons each and are growing at around five feet each year, some being one hundred and fifty feet tall. They are huge 'sails' in the wind, made worse by the bittersweet vines in the canopy, and are renowned for dropping limbs and being uprooted, leaving huge holes, of which there are many along the canal.
Inspections are virtually impossible, because the undergrowth is so dense. When the area west of Pittsford was cleaned up to allow inspections, they found an additional two hundred leaks. Property owners living under the dams report sump pumps continually running. The dams leak!

Many members of the STCC still do not understand the difference between a dam and a levee.

They try to apply levee 'rules' to dams, and only because trees are an asset on a levee.

There is a reluctance by Mrs Maier. to use the word ‘DAM’ because she knows the rules about dams, so its conveniently left out. Unfortunately, this makes it appear that all embankments along the canal will be just grass, and that simply is not true. An 'Embankment Dam' impounds water and cannot have trees, an 'embankment ' does not have the force of water pressure behind it, and can have trees.

Local Authorities have allowed many buildings, entire villages, to be constructed in the shadows of these dams. It is these people we should all be concerned about, and if you look at the STCC membership, you'll find very few of them living under the threat of flood, they're all above the flood hazard zone.

We, the Erie Canal Neighbors Association, have approached numerous politicians who initially were supportive of the STCC, and once the facts have been presented, many of them have fallen silent in their support. The mayor of Pittsford, a supporter of the STCC was voted out of office recently. What these politicians realised was there is a real danger of people drowning and millions of dollars worth of property ruined.
When certified engineers tell you there is a problem with trees on a dam - A SAFETY PROBLEM - don't you think you should listen and follow their advice?

Michael Caswell

Attached is a copy of this post, but with many expandable links.