March 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
All citizens of the world should have access to swimmable, drinkable and fishable water. And we, along with local, regional, national & international partners are working to restore, protect and preserve the St. Lawrence River, part of the greatest freshwater system on Earth, now and for future generations. Every day is #WorldWaterDay
March 21st, 2015 | Posted by Lee
As we continue celebrating Canada Water Week by highlighting some of our many partnerships and collaborative efforts with Canadian organizations, it is important to acknowledge and salute WWF-Canada.
We have worked with WWF-Canada for many years to implement Plan 2014 – the modern plan that will return more natural levels and flows and create a more resilient ecosystem on St. Lawrence River.
March 20th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
Engaged with St. Lawrence River Institute whose “goal is to set a whole new standard for environmental science: to identify and undertake vital research for protection and rehabilitation of the St. Lawrence River and other freshwater systems; to inspire and motivate young people to get involved in environmental issues; and to provide our community with the information they need to become responsible stewards of our environment.”
Celebrating Canada Water Week and the River we share and love.
March 19th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
Save The River partners with the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative(A2A), now a true multi-national organization, to preserve land and water migratory paths to connect lands and people across the Algonquin to Adirondacks region, to enhance a critical link for biodiversity and resilience in eastern North America.
With the Upper St. Lawrence River the exclamation mark between the two most significant biological reserves in eastern North America, our’s is a natural partnership, with the Riverkeeper serving on the A2A board of directors.
March 19th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
We’re observing Canada Water Week all week highlighting some of our great partners in restoring, preserving and protecting the waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Events are moving rapidly to establish the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River as a carbon corridor for a newly aggressive North American energy industry. This poses the greatest threat yet to these waters. One oil tanker can carry the equivalent product of 225 rail cars or 870 trucks. If a ship carrying oil on the River was involved in an incident, a spill might not be the worse that could happen. In any case the end results would be devastating and the damage unimaginable.
So pleased to partner with the The Council of Canadians and other strong Canadian and U.S. groups to oppose unsafe shipment of volatile and toxic oil on the River.
March 17th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
March 16th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
Know Your H20!* This week is Canada Water Week to celebrate clean water across Canada. For more information and a list of events visit: http://canadawaterweek.com/
*(and we really mean water – swimmable, fishable, drinkable water. Not “H2O Highway”, the Saint Lawrence Seaway’s attempt to turn the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes into the water equivalent of a lifeless transportation corridor)
March 13th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
Albany, NY— Save The River traveled to Albany to urge continued legislative support for the Environmental Protection Fund that could potentially increase the fund to $200 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year from the current $162 million. The Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is a state based fund that supports a variety of programs and jobs to eliminate solid waste, prevent pollution and invasive species, protect clean and water, and connect people with the outdoors.
Save The River attended Environmental Protection Fund Day as part of a statewide coalition, We Love New York. We Love New York is a group of environmental protection groups including Audubon New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and The Nature Conservancy. The coalition is working to continue increasing the EPF budget to eventually reach a sustainable level of $300 million annually. The EPF is fully funded by the Real Estate Transfer Tax, which generates between $400 million and more than $1 billion annually.
“Our River communities will see the benefits of additional EPF environmental funding, including conserving clean water; agriculture, and tourism; improving our community parks and other assets; and positioning our municipalities to become more resilient and reduce risk from storm impacts.” said Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s executive director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper. “Meetings with State elected officials included Senators Patty Ritchie, Joe Griffo, and Liz Kruger, as well as Assemblywoman Addie Russell and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, and were very productive. It is encouraging to see that New York continues to have leaders in Albany that are supportive of efforts to protect water quality throughout the basin.”
Increasing the EPF will create economic activity and revenue, build green infrastructures, protect the environment and clean water and create jobs across New York State. A 2012 analysis by The Trust for Public Land found that for every $1 of EPF invested in land and water protect, there was an economic benefit of $7 returned to New York State from the natural goods and services provided.
Published by the Thousand Islands Sun on March 11th, 2015
March 12th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
New York Times covers issue of water levels on the St. Lawrence River.
“It’s a heartbreaker to watch a big fish like that die because it’s not able to spawn,” says Jeff Garnsey, 3rd generation fishing guide, 7th generation Grindstone Islander and Save The River Board member.
The benefits of Plan 2014 to the River and Lake ecosystem and communities dependent on them are touted by Jeff and others in the article.
“The plan represents an opportunity to return to the rhythms of nature by letting the lake levels fluctuate more throughout the year. The plan’s drafters say this would heal ecosystems damaged by decades of artificial control, including declines in some fish and bird populations, depleted wetlands and the runaway growth of cattails along the coast.”
Sadly the article also points out that shippers, the Seaway and south shore property owners continue to want all the benefits of the current plan, while all the risks are borne by others.
Full article here: Around Lake Ontario, Neighbors Debate a Dam, Property Values and Muskrats
Jeff Garnsey is a third-generation fishing guide along the St. Lawrence River, whose family has lived on the river since the early 1800s. HEATHER AINSWORTH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
March 4th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Washington, DC— Save The River traveled to Washington D.C. with other New York and Great Lake organizations as part of the Healing Our Waters Coalition to meet with elected representatives in an effort to secure sustained funding for improved water quality and programs protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
The meetings, part of the 2015 Great Lakes Days, were focused on restoring cuts President Obama has proposed to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds, and targeting funds authorized for farm conservation programs to priority watersheds in the Great Lakes to deal with excess nutrient runoff. Legislative priorities included passing legislation to authorize the successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative until 2019, allowing EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adopt rules to protect all waters of the US and taking steps to prevent the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.
“Our meetings with the New York delegation included Representatives Chris Gibson and Brian Higgins and the staff of several other members of the House and Senate and were very productive. It is encouraging to see that New York continues to have a congressional delegation that is very supportive of efforts to protect water quality throughout the basin,” said Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s executive director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper.
Even though the River region’s new congresswoman Elise Stefanik was unable to meet, the group led by Save The River had the opportunity to talk with a member of her staff. According to Willbanks, “it was our first opportunity to thank the Congresswoman for her strong support of a modern water levels plan and to raise the broad range of water quality issues facing the St. Lawrence River. Given her leadership on Plan 2014, we are looking forward to working with the congresswoman to ensure that our River, one of North America’s most significant, remains at the forefront of water quality and protection efforts.”
During Great Lakes Days Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Rep. Candice Miller (MI) , with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Louise Slaughter, both of New York co-sponsoring, introduced the Defending Our Great Lakes Act. The bipartisan legislation is an important step in the battle to keep Asian carp and other invasive species out of the Great Lakes. The proposed bill calls for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Area Waterway System to implement short-term invasive species reduction measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam site on the Des Plaines River in Illinois and to secure a plan for a long-term permanent solution to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River.
Published by the Thousand Islands Sun on March 4, 2015