Do you agree or disagree that Perinton & Fairport have an Erie Canal Embankment Safety Issue

5 (83.3%)
0 (0%)
Don't Know
1 (16.7%)
Don't Care
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: January 01, 2020, 03:13:09 pm

Author Topic: What did opposing Canal Embankment Safety accomplish for Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton Residents?  (Read 200 times)

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US


Recently someone asked the ECNA how much the new Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) could change the landscape along the Erie Canal over the original Embankment Restoration Project (ERP). Of course the question was stated much differently... it was more like this

"How much has the STCC's OPPOSITION in Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton (BP&P) to the Erie Canal Safety Program cost it's residents?"

The answer is astounding...all gathered from the paperwork submitted so far by the Canal Corporation on it's State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) analysis. You see the issue is that the REMOVAL of BP&P from the original Project allowed the Canal Corporation to also RECONSIDER the original scope of the Embankment safety work and rethink how far it's safety program should extend.

They changed it quite a bit. Here's the original EERP Planned Work with the map of the areas affected and a table with total acreage affected

If you look at the numbers here's how these three villages broke down in the EERP plan

Brighton - 3.5 miles of Erie Canal passes through the Town and the original work would have affected 15 acres total
Pittsford - 4.5 miles of Canal pass through the Town & Village, the original work area was 13.5 acres
Perinton - 8.25 canal miles in the Town of Perinton & Village of Fairport total, by far the most of any Town, and 16 acres were affected

Here is what the new Embankment Integrity Program has for "proposed & potential" development land areas.. Maps and figures are from the released information on the Canal Corp Dam Integrity Website - http://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/index.html

And here's a summary comparison of Affected Acreage by Town/Village between the Original & the Current Canal Embankment Repair Plans

That's right... there is an additional 1413 acres of ADJACENT canal land that has now fallen into the new Canal Public Safety Program known as EEIP in the Towns of Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton (including Villages of Pittsford & Fairport)

And who can residents thank for this extra attention to safety?

There is a group that is responsible for this increase in potentially cleared embankments, they can be thanked for insuring public safety is first & foremost in Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton. Who is that group you ask? It's Facebook's Stop the Canal Clear-Cut (STCC) led by Fairport's own... Ms. Agte, Ms. Maier & Ms. Gouldthorpe & Ms. Meuwissen

Next time you see these concerned citizens be sure to thank them for talking your Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton Town Leaders into bringing the NYS Canal Embankment Safety Project to Court and having the original work stopped in 2018. This canal safety work could have been done by now for you all, but it's apparent that it's only just begun. Residents may want to rethink their votes in the upcoming Town & Village elections. While they are doing that the same residents may also want to rethink who they choose to speak for them with the NYS Canal Corporation.

The STCC Leaders certainly should not be speaking on behalf of the residents in Towns & Villages of eastern Monroe County. What's happened so far, using the STCC rhetoric of ignoring safety to keep "shade" appears to have had unforeseen consequences and unintended results.

After all, shade falling on someone may not kill them, but the dangerous tree creating that shade falling on them just might do the trick.

The folks... the numbers don't lie. There are 1000 more football fields worth of potential canal embankment repairs on the slate for eastern Monroe County. Surely the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group wasn't trying to ADD more trees to be cut down, but they sure did a great job accomplishing that very feat.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 01:57:09 pm by Doug K »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
An Update on Perinton & Fairport Erie Canal Safety
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 03:09:54 pm »
Can you believe this Stop the Canal ClearCut (STCC) Group these days?

They seem to not like the fact that have been called out PUBLICLY for their continued persistence ignoring BOTH the safety of their own community as well as their own ignorance in understanding why recent NY State Canal Corporation work, aptly named the Earthen Embankment INTEGRITY Program, is understood to be a Public Safety program. That EEIP program, being drafted by the Canal Corporation, will REPAIR the many unsafe dams that line our sections of the NYS Barge Canal System as well as across the state.

You see this Stop the Canal Work group & leaders just don't want to talk about safety at all. Their answer is no danger, no unsafe embankments... leave the canal alone... there is "nothing" wrong with it. The embankment safety concern is all made up by the NY Canal Corporation to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars... all just a bunch of hogwash. The NYS Canal System IS falling apart...and this group wants to simply ignore that fact to try and “save the trees” causing the unsafe dam problems in the first place.

These leaders are saying this after almost TWO years of being told they are wrong by everyone from the NY State Governor down, to us, the “broadcasters” in the ECNA. The STCC and its Leadership are still denying any canal embankment safety concerns exists to this day.

Even though…

Even though the NY Canal Corporation and their parent, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), have been working diligently to correct the issues with the UNSAFE DAMS that some State Agencies were told about more than FIVE years ago.

Even though every Federal & State authority & publication on the topic of Earthen Dam Safety says that trees do not belong on the outboard or inboard slopes of any dams. Go look at this video on Erie Canal Safety prepared SPECIFICALLY for the Town of Perinton & Fairport Village.


Even though outside experts, contacted directly by the Stop the Canal ClearCut LEADERS has told them that the Canal Embankment are indeed Earthen DAMS and as such need to be cleared to insure the dam structure isn't further compromised. When confronted by experts they sought out themselves, they quickly closed their Facebook Page in response..it has since reopened


And then along come Mike Caswell and Doug Kucmerowski to try and steer them to the truth, a truth that they so ardently try to avoid. Here's what the ECNA has always been saying, which is that the Canal Corporation is correct about safety.

The NYS Canal Embankments are a danger...they do need to be cleared, all of them that are raised over neighboring properties.


We also took the recent STCC "update" made by one of the Stop the Clear Cut Leaders, Ms. Maier, and showed why the status quo has not changed. That was not received well, no doubt because they could not argue with the logic or truth we presented.


ATTENTION Perinton ! Your Next Door App has been hacked!

This ignorance of safety by the STCC also has become an issue on Nextdoor Fairport where Mike Caswell has tried to warn others in his community about Erie Canal Safety. But Mike's message isn't allowed on Nextdoor, too controversial to say people, the public, is in danger from within the community by mis-guided citizens.

Too much controversy for Nextdoor, which seems to want to run like Sesame Street,,sunny days and all friends. Not like any REAL neighbors who talk openly about issues that matter and try to resolve them for the benefit of the ENTIRE neighborhood.

Instead Nextdoor Fairport has been taken over by a group of people who only want ONE side of the discussion allowed, their own side. They have rigged the Next Door communication system, have their friends in key positions to dictate what you read and who gets their view posted on topics that matter to everyone in Fairport.

This one group is trying to drown out the voice of Mike Caswell, one of the few trying to save Fairport from another types of drowning… like from an embankment breach and canal flood.

And who is this group who have kidnapped NextDoor Fairport?

Why it's the Stop the Canal Clear Cut Group from Facebook and their leader/co-founders.. Ms Agte and Ms Maier.

They once again have cried foul, ONLY because the truth has left a mark on their egos , and they are very upset they have been treated so "badly". They have worked to suppress and remove any and all dissenting comments from Nextdoor and those in opposition to their “Erie Canal crusade”.

The truth is that the STCC & it's Leaders have not been treated any more badly than they have treated Mr. Caswell...by calling him a Liar and creating an atmosphere where safety & truth takes second place to ego & opinion. Mike Caswell should be thanked for his persistence to insure his community is kept safe, not chastised by those who can’t fathom the issues of embankment safety in the first place.

The STCC & it's Leaders have not been treated any more badly than they have treated the NY Canal Corporation...calling them liars & incompetent to fix their own safety issues. Nothing could be further from the truth, even worse, this group criticizes those who are trying to fix the safety issues when their ONLY defense to the safety question is to just ignore it…at the peril of the portions of the community living below these aging dams.

The STCC & it's Leaders have not been treated any more badly than they have treated the Governor of NY State... calling him a liar in note after note stating they still can’t understand the issues with Erie Canal Safety. Same Complaint, same reply…but they still just don’t want to believe they are so wrong about safety. It’s our money they are wasting.

You see anyone who doesn't subscribe to the same belief that the Erie Canal is a "Safe Canal", the one promoted & pedaled by the STCC Group, is eventually labeled a liar at some point by their Leadership of Maier & Agte.

Then the rest of the members, like Meuwissen, Donk & Gouldthorpe & Gallagher, all jump on saying how everyone is wrong except them. Those same STCC Leaders are trying desperately to pedal this to ALL of the Town & Village Leaders

(Just a hint, leaving three towns, a total population of well over 115,000 souls in DANGER from unsafe & overgrown dams, that still aren't cleared, is treating MANY MANY people badly.)


Perinton & Fairport Village residents should wake up and tell these Stop the Canal Cutting group "NO THANKS in all caps.

Do it by banning their divisive & dangerous rhetoric before something does happen, an embankment failure being the worse case scenario. If that happens we will hear from the STCC group, pointing blame and saying the Canal Corp’s response to safety issues wasn’t fast enough. This from the same group who stood in the way of safety… and worked with three towns to sue a State Safety Project. You see they seem to complain just to hear the sound of their own voices it seems.

Fairport & Perinton residents should stand in unity against this ill-fated group and do it before our unsafe Erie Canal Dams become just another of our country’s FAILED earthen embankment statistic, along with the catastrophic floods that follow.Floods that would level much of Perinton & Fairport New York , and may someday be talked about on the national evening news if nothing is done to fix our State's aging canal embankment structures.

What a tragedy that would be folks, sadly one that is being encouraged by the rantings of the STCC, who seem to have a different agenda than the safety of New York residents.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 02:17:40 pm by Michael Caswell »

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US

If it hasn't sunk in yet to those living on the east side of Monroe County, the thought that your canal embankments will remain littered with dead, dangerous trees is fast becoming a fleeting memory.

Time marches on and the NY Canal Corporation is working diligently on their General Inspection & Maintenance Guide for Embankment Integrity. That will be completed for review sometime in the next few months and all of this will make out local news cycle once again. Some will be trying to fight against the much needed safety changes in the spirit of "environmentalism" and others will be supporting the safety improvements that the NYCC & the State of NY have said are long overdue.

What will change is that the whole embankment clearing process will now be "legal". The group fighting against the work has asked for a State Environmental Quality Review as part of their earlier lawsuit and it has been done... those papers went on record in October of 2019. That SEQR review and subsequent documents now spell out exactly what has to happen... and why.

The next section of the SEQR form, goes on to layout the 4 basic GUIDELINES that will be followed as part of the Canal's Earthen Embankment Integrity Program or EEIP as it's called. This is what will drive any and ALL embankment work in the future... including what happens in Perinton, Brighton, Pittsford...and all other towns & villages along the Canal System in NY.

And the NY Canal Corporation has ALREADY stated their desired method to clear their embankment safety problems away. It was stated on their EEIP Webpage that was created just for this Integrity Program...at the request of both it's Neighbors, and those opposing the canal clearing work. If anyone is thinking that the Canal Corporation can shirk it's responsibilities of maintaining Public Safety along the NYS Canal System they have spelled out their plans very well here:


Now to the SUBJECT of this Posting... Perinton's Role in this Embankment Integrity Program work.

Well it's quite simple if you think about it. The original embankment project that was called Embankment Restoration ran from Lockport to Lyons but three towns fought to be removed from that work.. and did manage to do that.  The result of that effort...

Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton have now become Ground Zero for the initial startup of the new Embankment Integrity PROGRAM.

And there is no stopping due to Environmental Review Paperwork...it's done.

So once again these three towns get to chose again how they receive and if they will accept public safety initiatives, being run by a NY State Agency, that is correcting overdue maintenance issues on one of the oldest man-made canals in the country. These towns can fight against the methods of embankment repair in ignorance or they can understand and accept that this is the only way to fix unsafe dams...

In the end Perinton residents can fight against a Public Safety Program or chose to support it, but remember...

The canal embankments are still unsafe.
The canal embankments can't fix themselves.
The canal embankments condition can only worsen with time.

The ECNA has only one thing to say... Chose Wisely This Time.

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
As I've said before... being an Engineer is a curse at times and also a benefit. Here's a little bit of information from the Erie Canal Neighbor's Association Forum... after some annual January house cleaning. Just a little "supporting data" for my statement in the last post about Perinton being the "Center of the Universe" for the new Canal Embankment Integrity Program... numbers don't lie.

We have 10 Main Forum Boards with topics ranging from General Information to NY Canal Corp Announcements. We have Forum Boards dedicated to the new Embankment Integrity work as well as the original Dam Remediation project known as EERP.. when Restoration was the "keyword". We have discussion boards for Adopt a Trail, some that help Canal Neighbors & Property Owners near the Canal. There's no more than 25 posts in most forum boards, with a couple exceptions.

We have 2 Forum Discussion Boards in the ECNA that are dedicated to Perinton specifically, where the real battle for canal embankment safety is still being waged. There is a group opposing this Canal Embankment Integrity Program stating there is no safety issue and trees help keep the dams in place. We created a discussion board dedicated to opposing these ridiculous claims by their nickname here.. The STCC.

We also have an ECNA forum board dedicated to the Town of Perinton & Village of Fairport that is a general embankment discussion board. It's also used to link posts to the Nextdoor Fairport app, where Mr. Caswell occasionally places some information on Canal Embankment Safety.

What the DATA says:
We have literally thousands of posting views... there is a counter for each post visible on this ECNA Forum App. What's really amazed us lately is that the two Perinton-centric discussion boards represent about 50% of all ECNA Forum views total. It's obvious that Perinton is listening to the messages.. both the support of Embankment Safety and also the voices from the STCC who oppose changing the canal, even for public safety reasons.

The picture below shows the Top 10 Posts from each of these two forum boards... really amazing. If you want to know what to read first regarding this Erie Canal Embankment Program.. these posts most likely say it all.

Go figure huh?

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
Probably one of the last posts regarding the safety of Perinton's Erie Canal Neighbors that I will be making. The Erie Canal safety message is never going to be heard there, because it doesn't sit well with local "management" there. And I have learned that if management doesn't listen, there's no sense talking or trying to explain a problem or seek a solution.

I've finally come to realize that this communication issue isn't with a Facebook group in Perinton fighting against Erie Canal safety repairs, though they have done a good job at being a "thorn in the side" of the New York State Canal Corporation. No the idea of this group believing they could stop a public safety program, being run by two NY agencies tasked with the job of  protecting NY citizens and keeping them safe, was laughable at best, but a rather sad indictment of the community that supported them.

This Facebook group is dying away, along with the thought that fighting against a Public Safety Program was ever a good idea in the first place.

The real communication problem & total lack of understanding of these Canal Embankment safety problems, lies with the LEADERSHIP of the Town of Perinton and those other towns who just didn't like being the center of attention of this NYSCC Vegetation Management Program. It's the fault of Pittsford, Perinton & Fairport government officials who were stunned when the Canal Corporation made them the CENTERPIECE of their Public Safety efforts to fix unsafe canal embankments across the State. When they saw their community name plastered all over the FIRST presentation of the Vegetation Management Program, they all tweaked and said "Not us, not our community, it's all lies".

Let's go back to the "roots" of this Canal Corporation embankment safety work, the Vegetation Management Program. Here's parts of the Presentation that was given to residents of Pittsford & Perinton in Late 2017... and note who the INTENDED audience has always been. I was at this meeting and spoke up for Erie Canal Neighbor safety, and also to support the program. Maybe the Engineer in me saw the folly of fighting AGAINST public safety a bit quicker than most, it's just something you don't do.

You can view the original presentation on the Canal Corporation website. http://www.canals.ny.gov/vegetation/VM%20Outreach%20Deck.pdf

Many have forgotten how all of this started...

After talking about what happens in the event of a canal embankment failure, and also showing the last one in the modern time of the canal, the NYS Canal Corporation gave a direct notice to Perinton & Pittsford about the danger in their own community. Look at these slides and pictures.

Take a look at where this flood hazard danger is... almost 1/2 of the Town of Perinton, including Brentwood & Crystal Springs neighborhoods. There's an elementary school in the possible flood path, and all that folks in Perinton are concerned about seems to be the ravings of a Facebook group saying "everything is fine, no danger here". Once again it's seems like the messenger did their job, but the people who heard the message just wanted "blood", because they didn't like what was being said about "their towns & villages".

Sadly this presentation was not received the way it should have been by the local governments, or the citizens they serve. So what did the Canal Corporation do? Did they quit and say "oh well we tried to save them"? Nope, they tried to warn the local Perinton community with a video of this embankment safety program on YouTube. That also seemed to miss it's mark as the community & residents are still answering Town Of Perinton survey questions about continuing their "fight against canal safety"

Maybe want to review that video again Perinton...

After all the DANGER hasn't gone away just because of a Facebook group or the denial of your Town Leaders


Here's a last slide mix from that presentation, again it couldn't get any more specific on the safety problem, the root causes, the solutions, and why it was important to the eastside communities to take note of the danger in their midst. Suggest that these communities go and take a fresh look at the whole presentation and think about the safety message the ECNA has also tried to progress.

None of this has changed the important facts:

1) The Erie Canal raised embankments are still unsafe, vegetation management is still needed.
2) The NYS Canal Corporation is still planning on getting their embankment safety work done.
3) The final touches on an Earthen Canal Embankment Clearing Guidebook is almost complete (part of their new SEQR requirements).
4) NYPA has cleared all of the Article 78 hurdles that the Towns of Pittsford & Perinton had thrown in their path as a result of their lawsuit (and maybe from listening to a Facebook group that steered them wrong about suing public safety work.)

What has changed is that maybe the NYSCC will pay closer attention to those who misrepresent the truth in the future on their new EEIP work

What hasn't changed is the simple fact that some eastside government officials will still stick their heads in the sand regarding community safety along the Erie Canal.

These "civic leaders" seem to care more about being on the right side of "social media trends" than on the right side of public safety in their own canal towns & villages.

And that issue my friends can easily be fixed the next time Perinton, Pittsford & Fairport go to the Voting Booths and make their voices heard loud and clear regarding the SAFETY of Perinton, Pittsford & all residents in between.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 09:24:28 am by Doug K »

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Brockport
    • ECNA US
If anyone is thinking that leaving unsafe Erie Canal embankment dams UNREPAIRED in their own communities for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to see how a few local communities FAILED to see the signs of danger and chose to fight against public safety programs aimed at fixing an aging Erie Canal.

Worth a read, especially if you aren't sure about the facts regarding Erie Canal Embankment work.