About this time each year a 2.7-kilometer ice boom consisting of 22 spans (floating steel pontoons) is installed at the mouth of the Niagara River at Fort Erie. These spans are anchored to the bottom of the river and connected by steel cables. This boom reduces the amount of ice entering the river and flowing over Niagara Falls. Since this boom was installed annually since 1964, it has helped to maintain the flow of water for hydro-electric power production.
Usually this boom is removed by April 1st.
The installation of the boom is authorized by an international organization known as The International Joint Commission. The cost to maintain and operate the boom is shared by Ontario Power Generation and The New York State Power Authority.