The Greece Community Center was standing room only as lakeshore residents and their supporters gathered for the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Alliance membership rally.
“We’re very angry, and we’re mad because this is a man-made disaster,” Lou Thomassetti of Greece said.
Steve Hicks of Greece lost his home on Edgemere Drive to flooding in 2017, and hasn’t been able to move back in since.
“My home is trashed. My break wall is getting done after over two years, but I can’t live on a break wall,” Hicks said.
The alliance wants to launch a class-action lawsuit and criminal legal action against the International Joint Commission. They blame the IJC and its Plan 2014 for destruction of land and property along the lake due to flooding.
“It’s going to be an uphill battle. I didn’t go into this expecting that it wouldn’t be," Lake Ontario-St.Lawrence River Alliance President Jim Shea said. "But I’m in this for the long run. We’ve got a very dedicated, smart group of people that are going to pursue this and we aren’t going to give up.”
Residents were gathered by members of the group Repeal 2014 who was out to gather more signatures for a petition demanding the White House to take action against Plan 2014. It has already garnered more than 17,000 signatures.
“You can see the erosion along the shoreline. You can see the damage it’s doing to the environment," George Tobin, with the organization said. "It’s impacting businesses, tourism, it’s really devastating along both Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.”
Hicks says he’s been fighting a losing battle for years.
“I’ve already gone through the system of going to Albany myself and talking to numerous people, from Congress people who don’t call me back,” he said.
But seeing everyone gathered at the meeting gives him hope that something will be done.
“That’s what I live with every single day, but when I see people gathered together who have come from all over, not just Greece, now I know the word is getting out and there is strength in numbers,” Hicks added.