City of Oswego and Brookfield Team Up to Improve Public Safety at Varick Hydropower Dam on Oswego River

 Free life jacket loaner program available for city residents and visitors

OSWEGO, NY (April 17, 2013) – The City of Oswego and Brookfield Renewable Energy Group join forces to remind anglers and other water recreation enthusiasts that mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones exist below the Varick Dam on the Oswego River. As a service to visiting anglers and recreationists, the City of Oswego is making available various sizes of U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type III life jackets for free daily rental through the City’s Life Jacket Loaner Program.

The City of Oswego and Brookfield established the PFD zones in June 2012 in an effort to improve public safety around the Varick Dam. These mandatory zones are clearly indicated on signage in the Oswego River and visually monitored via video security cameras. Individuals not wearing a personal flotation device are prohibited in these zones, and those failing to comply with these requirements are subject to prosecution for trespass. It is also prohibited to remain in or enter into the PFD zones — whether wearing a PFD or not — following the activation of the siren or while the red warning light is illuminated, indicating water flow changes nearby the Varick Dam and powerhouse.

To help residents and visitors adapt to the new PFD requirement, the City of Oswego introduced a new Life Jacket Loaner Program in September 2012. The Program offers free daily rental of U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type III life jackets in children, youth and adult sizes. Life jackets are available for loan to the general public at the City’s Wright’s Landing Marina (315) 342-8186 or by contacting the City of Oswego Fire Department (315) 343-2161. Borrowers must sign a waiver form and present a valid driver’s license. Children under the age of 18 require permission and signature of a parent or legal guardian. Borrowed life jackets must be returned by the end of each day to their original location. Excluded from the Life Jacket Loaner Program are passengers and crew of commercial ships as well as chartered fishing boats that arrive/depart from Oswego.

Oswego River Safety Measures

The public is advised to stay away from other dangerous areas such as intake and water conveyance structures, gates, powerhouses and electrical substations. In addition, everyone is advised to obey all warning signs, sirens, buoys, booms, barriers, lights and fences. River hazards are extremely dangerous and could result in permanent injury or death.

Lettered 911 river markers are provided on both sides of the Oswego River from the Varick Dam to its confluence with Lake Ontario to aid and assist rescue personnel when responding to an emergency. Rescue throw bags and rings are stationed at key points on the river. Rescue stations and ladders are available at key points within the river to also aid with exit. Take the time to learn about daily river conditions before recreating. If you are unfamiliar with the river, review USGS Streamflow information or ask someone with local knowledge.

 About the City of Oswego

Oswego is known as the Port City of Central New York and is “a Great City on a Great Lake.” Oswego’s beautiful waterfront is complemented by the maritime theme found throughout the city. Oswego boasts a diverse industrial base and a New York State Empire Zone designation, making it attractive to business. For additional information visit

 About Brookfield Renewable Energy Group

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX: BEP.UN) operates one of the largest publicly-traded, pure-play renewable power platforms globally. Its portfolio is primarily hydroelectric and totals more than 5,800 megawatts of installed capacity. Diversified across 70 river systems and 11 power markets in the United States, Canada and Brazil, the portfolio generates enough electricity from renewable resources to power more than three million homes on average each year. With a nearly fully-contracted portfolio of high-quality assets and strong growth prospects, the business is positioned to generate stable, long-term cash flows supporting regular and growing cash distributions to unit holders. For more information, please visit