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New York Water Week

May 4th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

This week is New York Water Week and we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pure Waters Act. In 1965 New York led the way with the most comprehensive water pollution control program at the time. Over the past five decades, New York’s water resources have become cleaner due to the pollution controls put in place and the funding made available to municipalities to protect their waters.

Water Week is a time to celebrate water stewardship, because everybody is needed to help take care of our waters. We encourage you to learn more about our valuable water resources and join the effort to restore, preserve and protect them.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Brown

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AG: Microbeads pass through water treatment sites nationwide

April 28th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Published: Monday April 27, 2015 by the Watertown Daily Times

A new study of dozens of water treatment facilities across New York indicate micro­beads, minuscule plastics found in many grooming products, are slipping through safeguards and entering area waterways.

Of the 34 treatment sites tested, 25 — or 74 percent — were found to be discharging microbeads.

The study, commissioned in late 2014 by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, was released Monday.

“Today’s report confirms that from Lake Erie to the Long Island Sound, microbeads … are finding their way into waters across New York State,” he said in a statement.

In Northern New York, water samples in Potsdam and Westport turned up microbeads, while samples in Chateaugay and Lake Placid did not.

Groups such as Save the River have said microbeads have made their way up Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River.

The plastics can connect with longstanding industrial chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls and poison small organisms like zooplankton, which leads to negative effects across food chains.

Mr. Schneiderman has pushed the state Legislature to ban products containing the items, noting last year that 19 tons of the microbeads are washed into waterways in New York annually.

The plastics can affect the environment for centuries, Mr. Schneiderman said.

Items in which the plastics can be found include toothpaste, soap and facial cleansers. Consumers can determine if their products have microbeads by looking for ingredients such as polyethylene or polypropylene.

The plastics are used as an alternative to natural abrasives like ground walnut shells and sea salt.

Multiple companies, including Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, have already committed to phasing out the products within the next few years.

On Wednesday, a bill banning the plastics in New York passed the state Assembly.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand also introduced legislation last year to address microbeads, but the bill was unsuccessful.

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Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Releases Report on Microbeads

April 21st, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a first-of-its-kind report demonstrating that microbeads are systematically passing through wastewater treatment plants across New York State and entering bodies of water.

The study, conducted by the Attorney General’s office with the help of Dr. Sherri Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, examined samples provided by 34 municipal and private treatment plants across the state. The study, Discharging Microbeads to Our Waters: An Examination of Wastewater Treatment Plants in New York, detected microbeads in 74% of the samples, across plants of various sizes, treatment types, and locations. The report is accompanied by five fact sheets detailing regional findings in Western New YorkCentral New York, the Mid-HudsonNorthern New York and Downstate.

The Attorney General’s Microbead-Free Waters Act (S3932-2015, A5896-2015) would prohibit the distribution and sale of personal cosmetic products containing microbeads less than 5 millimeters in size. The bill has been greeted by widespread expressions of support from the environmental advocacy, scientific and sport fishing communities across New York State.

AG Report NNY Page 1

AG Report NNY Page 2

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Thousand Islands shipping halted after sugar freighter runs aground

April 21st, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

Published by the Watertown Daily Time on April 21, 2015

“Shipping along the St. Lawrence Seaway has been halted after a freighter carrying sugar ran aground under the Thousand Islands Bridge early Monday.

Lt. Brian T. Hillman, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard based in Buffalo, said the 621-foot-long freighter, named Juno, called for help about 1 a.m. Monday. No cargo or fuel was spilled into the waterway, he said, and no crew injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard said Monday evening the vessel was listing slightly to port with 18 feet of water in the forward peak of the vessel.

The ship, flagged in the Bahamas, was heading toward Toronto. It is owned and operated by Polska Zeg Luga Morska, P.P., a subsidiary of the O’Brien’s Group. The pilot was fully licensed.

Lt. Hillman said Coast Guard and company crews are investigating the cause of the stoppage, assessing damage to the vessel as they wait for a salvage team that is en route.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Levi A. Read, based in Cleveland, said three ships were stopped because of the Juno’s grounding.

He said the Juno might not be able to leave the area until Wednesday, and the crew will stay on board the freighter in the interim.

Monday afternoon, environmental group Save the River noted the Juno was the second grounding of the just-launched season, and criticized the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. for listing the waterway as “Highway H2O.”

“If the shippers want to share the use of this river with the rest of us, they must exhibit their ability to do it safely,” D. Lee Willbanks, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “Too much is at stake for the environment and our communities who rely on a healthy river.”

On April 3, the bulk carrier CWB Marquis went aground near Beauharnois, Quebec, Canada, after hitting a large ice floe.”

From WWNY Channel 7 News: Ship Aground Near TI Bridge

April 20th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

Kelly Martelle Juno aground

“The St. Lawrence Seaway is closed to commercial traffic after a freighter ran aground under the Thousand Islands Bridge near Alexandria Bay early Monday morning.

It happened just after 1 a.m.
The Juno is registered in the Bahamas and is carrying a load of sugar.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mark Weidman tells 7 News nothing was spilled and there has been no environmental damage.

Coast Guard and Seaway inspectors are on board.”

http://www.wwnytv.com/…/Ship-Aground-Near-TI-Bridge-3006316…

We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Juno as we learn more.

Photo Credit: Kelly Martelle

TI High School’s SAFE Club supports Ban the Beads campaign

April 15th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

TIHS Microbeads TI Sun

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Save The River Opposes Pre-Season Catch & Release

April 8th, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public input on allowing pre-season catch and release of bass in eastern Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Currently this practice is not allowed.

The bass fishery on the St. Lawrence River needs your help!
Act today: Write to the DEC opposing the proposed regulation changes by April 15th, 2015.
Comments can be submitted to Frank Flack

email: fmflack@gw.dec.state.ny.us
or mailed to

Frank Flack, Fisheries Manager, R6
NYSDEC
317 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
Let the DEC know why you oppose the proposed catch & release season for bass. Every letter counts!

Points to make:

  • The bass population is still declining
  • Bass and eggs are too vulnerable during their spawning period
  • Round gobies are present and pose a significicant threat to bass nest
  • Nest success may declie 50-70% with angling on the guarding males
  • The potential damage to the already low bass population could cause irreverible damage to our world class fishery

Background

slides for eblast

Save The River has worked for over 36 years to restore and protect the health of the St. Lawrence River, and, as the Riverkeeper, to make certain it is swimmable, fishable and drinkable now and for the future. For the health of the bass fishery, the professional, amateur and casual angler, and for the economic health of the communities that line the River and depend on its health, we oppose pre-season catch and release for bass.

Bass populations in the River and eastern Lake Ontario have steadily declined since the late 1980s and recent assessment information from New York and Ontario suggests that bass populations are, at best, stable, and, at worse, still declining. Studies also show that bass growing faster and getting bigger by a given age, but that there may be fewer of them in older age classes.  This means that some bass are reaching the legal size limit before they have a chance to reproduce and help grow the population.

The catch and release season under consideration for bass in the St. Lawrence River or eastern Lake Ontario will occur during the time when males are protecting eggs and fry. This will create a situation where they are being pulled off the nest at the critical stage when they must aggressively defend their nests from predators such as gobies.

Studies have shown that gobies consume an average of 2,000 eggs per nest from the nests of Smallmouth Bass when the guarding male is removed. With estimates of billions of gobies in the nearshore areas of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, they have become serious egg predators for a number of resident species, including smallmouth bass.

Be sure to let the DEC know by April 15th that we need to protect the bass fishery.

Every day is World Water Day

March 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Lindsey

Great Lakes St Lawrence River from space

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

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Partners with WWF-Canada to implement Plan 2014

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.Pretty Pic

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.

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St. Lawrence River Institute-Research for Protection and Rehabilitation of the 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.

SLRI Pic


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