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Register for the 30th Winter Environmental Conference

January 3rd, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Click Here for the Winter Environmental Conference Registration Form

Send us your completed registration form either by postal mail (409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY, 13624) or by email (kendall@savetheriver.org); we can also process your registration over the phone, call us at (315) 686-2010. 

This year we celebrate the 30th year of this important annual event. Thirty years of gathering to hear from national and regional policymakers, scientists, opinion leaders, students, and teachers about the topics of critical importance to the health of the St. Lawrence River. At this year’s conference, you’ll learn about the diversion of Great Lakes freshwater, research on American eels, the threat of Asian carp, plastics in our water, and research of mercury cycling in St. Lawrence River wetlands. We will also be premiering our short film, It’s Hard to be a Tern. We hope that you will join us in Clayton on the first Saturday of February! Please register by Friday, January 25, 2019.

SPEAKERS

  • Peter Annin Author of The Great Lakes Water Wars, originally published in 2006, revised and updated edition published in 2018. Director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.
  • Dr. John Casselmann Adjunct professor of biology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario whose research focuses on American eels, a species whose population declined so greatly in recent decades that they are classified as an endangered species in Ontario.
  • Chad Lord Policy director of Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, a group of more than 150 environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation organizations all working toward restoring and protecting the Great Lakes. Chad will discuss the threat of Asian carp and the current work being done to prevent their spread into the Lakes.
  • Dr. Sherri Mason Professor at SUNY Fredonia, pioneered the first-ever survey of plastics pollution in the Great Lakes. Her findings led to the federal ban on plastic microbeads in consumer products like toothpaste, face wash, and more.
  • Elaine Tack spent her 14-year broadcast journalism career reporting in Chicago, Cleveland, and Las Vegas. She is well-known in the 1000 Islands for her generosity in using her time and talent to create films for local organizations.
  • Evie Brahmstedt, Ph.D. Student at Clarkson University, will discuss her research in mercury cycling in wetlands, with a focus on the St. Lawrence River.

SCHEDULE

  • 9:30 am: Registration and morning coffee; 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Presentations (break for lunch from 12:00 – 1:00 pm); 4:00 pm: Cocktail reception with cash bar. The final schedule with the order of speakers will be released in January.

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Save The River has reserved a limited block of rooms at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel starting at $119 per night. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100. This discount rate is guaranteed through January 9.

*NEW THIS YEAR – LIVE STREAM*

  • For those who are unable to make the trip to Clayton, we will be hosting a professional live stream of the conference. The hyperlink to the live stream will be shared the week of the conference. In order to support this exciting new offering, please consider making an additional contribution of $25.

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How to Make a Gift of Stock

December 18th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Thank you for considering a gift of stock to Save The River. The following instructions will provide you and your broker/financial manager with more information on how to make the gift.

  • Please write a letter to your broker and instruct them that you wish to make a gift of stock to Save The River. Please provide your broker with the following information and specify how many shares of which stock and to which fund you are donating it to. Be sure to have your broker include your name as the donor.
  • RBC Wealth Management – DTC # 0235 Save The River Account # 30951020
  • Please have your broker forward copies of your letter to each of the following so that an appropriate gift acknowledgment can be sent to you:

Mrs. Patti Kittle
RBC Wealth Management
19485 US Route 11
Watertown, NY 13601
Fax: (315) 788-6964

And

Linda Wright
Save The River
409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
Fax: (315) 686-3632

If you need further information on the transaction, please call Patti Kittle at RBC Wealth Management, (315) 788-4200.

Thank you again for supporting Save The River!

Gifts of Stock Instructions – Save The River

Categories: Blog,Donate,News
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Save The River Appoints Executive Director

August 24th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River announced today that John Peach has been appointed to serve as the executive director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper. Peach had been serving as the interim executive director since mid-June while a search committee received applications from potential candidates. Peach previously served on Save The River’s board of directors for nearly two decades.

“John was the obvious and overwhelming first choice as the new executive director. His years of experience in not-for-profits along with his love of our River made him an easy selection,” said Jeff Garnsey, president of Save The River’s board of directors. “John brings with him the energy to guide our organization as well as hands-on experience to make the tough decisions required by the position.”

“My passion is that Save The River remains strong in our work to protect the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education, and research,” said Peach. “Now that Plan 2014 has been approved and is in operation, it will allow Save The River to focus on key river issues such as plastics in the River and water column, the very real threat of aquatic invasive species including Asian Carp, pollution from river municipalities, residential sewages, and agriculture run-off, and the threat of diversion of our precious fresh water. Save The River’s In the Schools and On the Water programs placed 950 students and 37 educators out on the River this year for hands-on scientific education. Our Common Tern restoration program in conjunction with Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) saw a record-breaking number of Tern chicks banded. Our Beach Watch water quality analysis of six swimming sites is now its twentieth year, and our shoalmarkers continue to guide River boaters safely around many of the area’s most treacherous shoals.”

John joined Save The River’s board in 2000 and has served in several key roles including as president from 2004-2007, on the executive committee, and most recently as treasurer leading the finance committee. He is an active volunteer in Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring program and shoal marking program and will continue his work in these programs while serving as executive director. Prior to his retirement several years ago, Peach worked as an international business consultant in fields including arts, oceanographic research, environmental, and pharmaceuticals. He and his wife Pat call Huckleberry Island near Ivy Lea home for a significant portion of the year; their children and grandchildren represent the fifth and sixth generations of family living in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River region.

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Save The River Remembers Ken Deedy

August 16th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River remembers Ken Deedy, Board of Directors Emeriti

Ken Deedy served on the Board of Directors from the mid-80s to 90s, a pivotal time in Save The River’s history as the organization developed dynamic programs engaging River residents and established a stable financial foundation with a permanent home in Clayton. Ken was an earnest and enthusiastic member of Save The River, someone who saw the big picture and was full of ideas for synergistic collaboration.

“I was very fortunate to come to know Ken over the last twenty years. He was one of the most intense individuals I’ve ever met when speaking about protecting our beloved Thousand Islands. Always generous with his time and money, he was usually in the lead on any project that benefited The River,” said John Peach, Executive Director of Save The River. “So it was no surprise to us when we learned that one of Ken’s final acts of generosity was to create the ‘Kenneth Deedy Environmental Internship Fund’ to benefit the work of Save The River, Thousand Islands Land Trust, and Minna Anthony Common Nature Center and ensure that these organizations continue to work together for the common good of The River.”

The Board and staff of Save The River are humbled and inspired by the example set by Ken in his work to protect the St. Lawrence River.

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2018 Run for the River™ 5K/10K Results

July 28th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Congratulations to all of our runners and walkers! Save the date for next year: July 27, 2019.

Click here for the complete 5K results

Click here for the complete 10K results

 

5K Award Results

Top 3 overall female 5K runners:

  1. Connie Hammaker (21:24)
  2. Lesley Vars (23:17)
  3. Lisa King (23:52)

Top 3 overall male 5K runners:

  1. Duncan Stuard (18:16)
  2. Luke Riddoch (18:35)
  3. Bill Monroe (18:50)

Top 5K finishers by age groups:

Male 13 and under – Finn Kosich (19:31)

Female 13 and under – Lee McKinley (24:52)

Male 14-19 – Jon Baker (21:44)

Female 14-19 – Olivia Riddoch (27:34)

Male 20-29 – Jake Esformes (20:24)

Female 20-29 – Heather Valdez (24:24)

Male 30-39 – Robert Gigliotti (18:54)

Female 30-39 – Shannon Main (24:26)

Male 40-49 – Ronald Bertram (22:52)

Female 40-49 – Tammy McCall (25:32)

Male 50-59 – Timothy Percy (20:51)

Female 50-59 – Mary Ann Haigh (25:48)

Male 60-69 – Paul Preston (24:25)

Female 60-69 – Nancy Carestia (24:13)

Male 70+ – George Gustafson (34:20)

Female 70+ – Donna Jamison (51:03)

10K Award Results

Top 3 overall female 10K runners:

  1. Meredith Kennedy (41:44)
  2. Anne Reilly (44:40)
  3. Roxanne Marmion (45:43)

Top 3 overall male 10K runners:

  1. Jason McElwain (36:22)
  2. Jeff Lapierre (37:10)
  3. Patrick Farrell (42:11)

Top 10K finishers by age groups:

Male 13 and under – N/A

Female 13 and under – N/A

Male 14-19 – Owen Stevens (50:51)

Female 14-19 – Kassidy Roberts (1:12:54)

Male 20-29 – Nicholas Clemente (42:29)

Female 20-29 – Brittany Hains (52:54)

Male 30-39 – Ben Sears (45:58)

Female 30-39 – Danielle Kuebler (45:47)

Male 40-49 – Mike Strasser (48:09)

Female 40-49 – Kerri Crandall (49:39)

Male 50-59 – Charles Flynn (42:31)

Female 50-59 – Beth Labulis (53:08)

Male 60-69 – N/A

Female 60-69 – Nancy Werthmuller (54:02)

Male 70+ – N/A

Female 70+ – N/A

 

 

 

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Save The River Announces Interim Executive Director

June 11th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River announced today that John Peach has been appointed to serve as the executive director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper in an interim capacity until a new director has been hired. John has resigned from his position on the board of directors to serve in this interim role. The search process for the next executive director has already begun, overseen by a search committee chaired by Diane Leonard, secretary of the board.  

“We are pleased to have John stepping into this leadership role while we search for our next executive director,” said Jeff Garnsey, president of Save The River’s board of directors. “His experience as a long-time board member and active volunteer ensures that we will continue the progress we’ve made during Lee Willbanks’ time as executive director. John will provide continuity for our projects while we focus on finding the right person to join our organization.”

“My passion is that Save The River remains strong in our work to protect the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education, and research,” said Peach. “Summer is a busy season for us with many of our programs and events taking place in the next few months, including the celebration of our 40th anniversary. I look forward to representing our organization and will be available to our members and communities both at the office and out on the River.”

John joined Save The River’s board in 2000 and has served in several key roles including as president from 2004-2007, on the executive committee, and most recently as treasurer leading the finance committee. He is an active volunteer in Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring program and shoal marking program and will continue his work in these programs while serving as executive director. Prior to his retirement several years ago, Peach worked as an international business consultant in fields including arts, oceanographic research, environmental, and pharmaceuticals. He and his wife Pat call Huckleberry Island near Ivy Lea home for a significant portion of the year; their children and grandchildren represent the fifth and sixth generations of family living in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River region.

The complete executive director job description and application instructions are available here.

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Save The River Executive Director Departing

May 16th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River announced today that after six years of leadership Lee Willbanks will be departing his position as Executive Director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper at the end of June.

Willbanks joined Save The River in June of 2012 and played a critical role in significant achievements for the organization including:

    • Oversight of the advocacy enactment of Plan 2014;
    • Creation of Bass Catch & Release program;
    • Expansion of the In the Schools program;
    • Strengthened relationships with fellow Waterkeeper organizations and elected officials; and
    • Led member engagement in the advocacy effort to ban Microbeads in New York State.

“I have loved the responsibility and challenge of being the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and working with the staff, board and volunteers to advance Save The River’s mission to protect and preserve the River,” said Willbanks. “After six years of hard fought accomplishments I am looking forward to other ways to engage with this great River, starting with a lot of delayed boating.”

“I have enjoyed working with Lee during his tenure at Save The River. His depth of knowledge and passion for both regional and global environmental issues have allowed us to reach beyond the ends of our docks and impact the entire St. Lawrence River basin. He will be sorely missed,” said Jeff Garnsey, president of Save The River’s board of directors. “Our board is committed to supporting our dynamic staff team during this transitional period. Our priority is to find the best individual to fulfill Save The River’s mission to protect the Upper St. Lawrence River.”

The search for new leadership will begin immediately; a position description is available here. Interested individuals should submit application materials by June 1, 2018.

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Senate Protects St. Lawrence River & Great Lakes

April 26th, 2018 | Posted by Lee

Senate Votes to Protect the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes: Defeats Vessel Incidental Discharge Act

Last Wednesday, after a tremendous outpouring of opposition led by Save The River members and many others across the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence region, the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 (S.1129). This bill contained a harmful provision, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), that would have weakened rules protecting clean water and shift the oversight of ballast water discharge from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Coast Guard.

If S.1129 with the VIDA amendment had passed, the health of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes would have been put in serious jeopardy with the threat of new aquatic invasive species introduced via ballast water discharges. Learn more here.

Your calls and emails were enormously important in defeating this harmful legislation. Thank you!

Join us in thanking the Great Lakes region Senators who voted to block this bill from going forward; call the Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 or send a message of thanks via social media (sample message below):

Thank you [insert your Senator(s)] for voting to protect our #StLawrenceRiver, #GreatLakes & #CleanWater by opposing VIDA! This bad bill would have weakened #invasivespecies protections. @SaveTheRiver member.

Senators to thank:

Minnesota – @AmyKlobuchar and @SenTinaSmith

Wisconsin – @SenatorBaldwin

Illinois – @SenatorDurbin (Sen. Duckworth did not vote either way)

Michigan – @SenStabenow and @SenGaryPeters

Ohio – @SenSherrodBrown

New York – @SenGillibrand and @SenSchumer

Since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, ocean-going freighters carrying contaminated ballast water have introduced 100+ aquatic invasive species to the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, round gobies, and the fish-killing VHS virus have caused irreparable environmental and economic damage to the River and the entire Great Lakes regions.

For 40 years Save The River has been the voice for the St. Lawrence. We will always stand to protect the health of the River but we can’t do it without your support.
Stand with us as the voice for the St. Lawrence River by becoming a member or making a donation today.

 

A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained upon request at 409 Riverside Dr, Clayton, NY 13624 or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, 19th Flr, New York, NY 10005

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Water levels slightly lower than this time last year.

March 28th, 2018 | Posted by Lee

Water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are currently slightly lower than they were at this time last year.

Last year the Lake and River went on to set record highs in May, June and July due to a succession of unprecedented, intense rainfall events throughout their watersheds. This lead many property owners and politicians to intensely criticize the newly enacted Plan 2014 and the International Joint Commission (IJC) for not doing more to alleviate the problems high water caused.

In contrast, at this time in 2012 the levels were higher, higher even than last year, but as the region experienced an unusually dry spring and summer, levels on the Lake and River went down and stayed lower than average for the rest of the year. This lead many property owners and politicians to intensely criticize the (IJC) for not doing more to alleviate the problems low water caused.

What was missed by the critics in 2017 and 2012 and in every extreme water level year (high or low) since 1958 is the fact that no management plan will give us the tools to fine tune the levels of waterbodies as vast a Great Lake or to control the outcome of natural events – rain, snow, wind – that influence them.

The only constants across the years, other than the criticism of the water levels plan in place at that time, are the variability of the weather and the challenges of accurately predicting it long term. One other notable constant – the reminder that we need to plan carefully how we utilize the shoreline of these vast, dynamic waterbodies.

The editorial board of the Watertown Daily Times​ has a good take on the current management of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River levels in a Sunday editorial.

The editorial board acknowledges that, while it is still too early to predict where the water level will be this summer, there is no doubt that the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) in . . “following the recommended practices of Plan 2014 in overseeing outflows this winter . . .have allowed for a more orderly discharge of water in a manner that ensures safety.” The ILOSLRB has done this while achieving the goal of the Plan of “Improving the health of these waterways and creating an environment more suitable to wildlife will benefit all of us.,” as the editorial points out.

On a lake and river so clearly affected by intense and highly variable weather it sounds like they are doing a difficult job well.

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Celebrate World Water Day with Save The River

March 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

On March 22 we celebrate Water World Water Day. This year’s #WorldWaterDay focuses on how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

Did you know that an estimated two-thirds of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900 as a result of human activity? Wetlands naturally filter toxins and sediments from water and help protect against floods by trapping and slowly releasing surface water, rain, and snowmelt.

Nature-based solutions like restoring wetlands, reconnecting rivers to flood plains, and planting trees to replenish forests are sustainable and cost-effective methods to fight the effects of climate change. The answer is in nature!

At Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper we’re all about a swimmable, drinkable, fishable St. Lawrence now and for generations to come. Join us! Click here to become a member or make a donation today. 

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Clayton, NY 13624

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