The Purpose Of The Moses-Saunders Power Dam

The Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, often known as the Moses-Saunders Power Dam, stands on the Saint Lawrence River that straddles the international boundary between Canada and the United States.

It is situated between New York, Massena, and Cornwall, ON. The dam provides water to the nearby St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project (912 MW) and R.H. Saunders Producing Station (1045 MW) hydroelectric power generating units.

The Purpose Of The Moses-Saunders Power Dam

The Moses-Saunders Power Dam fulfilled several functions, including those listed below.

1. Hydroelectricity And Commercial Navigation

While these were the direct objectives, after high water levels in Lake Ontario in the 1940s and early 1950s, mitigating the consequences of floods and the development’s effects on towns along the St. Lawrence River were also crucial.

2. The Lake St. Lawrence Reservoir

As a result of the construction of Moses-Saunders Dam, a vast region directly upstream of the structure was flooded to form Lake St. Lawrence, the dam’s reservoir.

3. A Deeper, Wider River

The St. Lawrence Seaway project needed channel enlargements, dredging, and the creation of different channels across islands, in addition to building the canals and locks we see today. This made it possible for bigger vessels to navigate the Saint Lawrence River between the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes.

4. Protection From High Water Levels

The canal enlargements also made it possible to release more water from Lake Ontario than was technically feasible before the project. This crucial feature of the project offers more protection from Lake Ontario’s high waters than was previously achievable.

Lake Ontario’s discharge control is governed by agreements between Canada and the United States.

You can view a gallery of images here.


St Lawrence Cruise Lines offers a range of superb cruise options, and you can also visit the Moses-Saunders Power Dam. For more details, please contact us.