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The seaway, which will replace the existing smaller canal, also is of interest to conservationists. Fishermen have a scheme for using it to help eradicate the lamprey eel menace in the Great Lakes. These eels have been killing the fish to such an extent that total war has been declared against them. Progress has been made in checking them at the spawning beds (OUTDOOR WEEK, June 25), but many eels keep attaching themselves to the bottoms of ships and hitchhiking their way into the lakes.
Under this scheme a little of the St. Lawrence electricity would be used to give the hull of each steel ship a jolt at some point before it enters the new lake. The fishermen say this shock would cause the eels to drop off the ships and thus help stop the menace. This scheme is still in the talking stage, and it remains to be seen whether it would work. However, it does demonstrate the interest of the various groups who keep approaching the Power Authority with new ideas.
All of these ideas for preservation of the recreational and esthetic values of the region would be of little value if pollution of the water resulted from the coming of new industries. Mr. Moses said that industries which locate along the river will be required to adhere to certain standards to preserve the lake and river for recreation.
"We shall insist that these industries construct facilities which will not detract from the beauty of the river, so that there will be no pollution of water or air and no residual damage to communities and residents along the river," he said. "As to landscaping, we shall see to it that there are no eyesores, dumps and disfigurements to mar one of the great streams of the world."
To assist in attaining these goals, Mr. Moses has a Committee on Reforestation, Parks and Recreation, composed largely of officials of the various New York State park commissions. Although their plans have been made, most of the work of restoration cannot be done until the dams are completed. Meanwhile, seedling trees are being grown by the New York State Conservation Department for later planting on spoil banks.
With construction approaching the halfway mark, the St. Lawrence Power Project has turned out to be a national attraction. Sightseers come from all over to indulge in the fascination of watching other people work. Never have sidewalk superintendents been treated so royally. At vantage points around the project, overlooks have been set aside where visitors may park their cars and look out over the growing dams and the clattering machines.
Bus tours of the 40-mile area are arranged, and when the groups descend from the buses at one of the overlooks a pleasant young man with a portable amplifier explains the work in progress at that point. Maps showing where to go and what to see around the project are handed out.
Near one of the overlooks, visitors enter a building which is a big show in itself. In the entrance corridor there are illuminated maps showing the main features of the project. Next the visitors watch a diagrammatical movie which explains what is being done to the great river and how the power will be distributed. Finally the visitors enter a sort of grandstand confronting a row of closed-circuit television sets.
The cameras feeding these sets are located right down in the construction areas which are closed to sightseers. But they can stand in front of TV to their hearts' content watching the swarms of men, the big cranes, trucks, rollers and other machines at their work. It is a far cry from the little peek holes provided in board fences where sidewalk superintendents usually crane necks to see what is going on.