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Save The River Honors its Volunteers

August 11th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

2017 Volunteers & two of the Volunteers of the Year – Ron Daly (left) & Bill Taddeo (right)

On a beautiful summer day at the Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp, many of Save The River’s over 250 volunteers came together to share stories, celebrate their good work to protect the River, and to honor this year’s Volunteers of the Year – the men, women and students who have sampled the water quality at area swimming holes since 1998 – our Beach Watch Volunteers.

Save The River has many well-subscribed and robust volunteer programs – Common Tern Restoration, Riverkeeper & Jr. Riverkeeper, Shoal marking, Catch & Release, event support like Run for the River™ and others, and our many educational programs – and the volunteers for each are superstars. As we have said before, ‘Volunteers are the heart, soul and muscle of all we do to protect the St. Lawrence River.” But this year – a year with a few challenges where the water meets the shore – we chose to honor our Beach Watch volunteers.

  • This year we honor our volunteers for their long time involvement with the Beach Watch Program:
    • Jean and Ron Daly, monitoring Lake of the Isles since 2008
    • Ben Giardina, monitoring Lake of the Isles since 2015
    • Mary Mitchell, monitoring Scenic View Park since 2013
    • Maria Purcell, monitoring Potter’s Beach since 2008
    • Bill Taddeo, monitoring Wilsons Bay since 2014
    • Dick Withington, monitoring Round Island since 2007

What was true in 1998, when we introduced the program in a letter to local municipalities, is true today, when the results of our monitoring efforts are reported internationally, “Everyone loves to visit the ‘local swimming hole’ on a summer day on the River. Public dock areas, riverfront parks, and island beaches make for great swimming and sunning, digging in the sand or turning over rocks to find other River inhabitants sharing the same spot.” What we didn’t say explicitly then, but what we are all very aware of is that we all want the water we play in to be fishable, drinkable and swimmable. So we test once a week, rain or shine, for 9 weeks in the summer.

Over the years Save The River has worked in partnership with several associations including: Round Island Association, Lake of the Isles Association, the Thousand Islands Land Trust and property owners on and near Wilson’s Bay. Results are published weekly on our webpage, social media and in the Swim Guide website and app.

 

About Save The River® / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper®

Since 1978 Save The River, a community-based membership not-for-profit organization, has been the leading environmental organization fighting for the ecological integrity of the St. Lawrence River. Its mission is to preserve, protect and restore the River now, and for generations to come. It delivers educational programs to students and adults about the River, its fragility, and the importance of protecting it. Save The River is committed to being a forceful advocate for policies and programs that promote clean water protections and to resist those that eliminate or weaken them.

Please consider volunteering and becoming a member of Save The River to support our education programs and advocacy for a healthy St. Lawrence River.

Contact us at: info@savetheriver.org, or (315) 686-2010

Join or donate at: www.donate.savetheriver.org

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Join Us

October 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Join us in our work to protect, preserve and restore the St. Lawrence River now and for future generations.Value

We do this by educating children about the River, and how to live with and sustain it and the creatures that depend on it being healthy. And we work for policies that will protect it from invasive species, toxic chemicals and untreated waste dumping, microplastics and an outdated dam management plan that has decimated tens of thousands of acres of wetlands and species.

But to do it well and to reach even more children and adults and bring about meaningful policy change we need a community of members that is large, vocal and supportive.

We need you! Please join Save The River today and become a partner in our effort to pass on a healthy St. Lawrence River for generations to share.

Click here.

Thank you.

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Thank You! Fresh Sound Grant Match Met – Exceeded!

October 13th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

You Did It

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Clarkson University

August 25th, 2015 | Posted by admin
About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Considered one of the nation’s premiere
environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to
restore the earth and human communities while
creating a positive future for the next generation.
This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Save The River & Clarkson University Present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Saturday, September 12, 2015

3-5pm

Clarkson University Student Union

About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Poster for Social Media

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Happy Birthday Haas!

August 18th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Haas Cover

Happy Birthday Haas!
One year ago Save The River published Juliane Flora’s children’s book Haas the Great Blue Heron: The Beginning of an Adventure and since then over 400 copies have been purchased and an exciting curriculum has been created.
Students throughout the North Country are enjoying their connection with the great blue heron and the River by reading Haas the Great Blue Heron and participating in Save The River’s In the Schools program.
Thanks to all who have supported Save The River’s education program with their purchase. Haas the Great Blue Heron is available at www.amazon.com and at Save The River.
Let us know what you think! We welcome your comments by writing a Customer Review on Amazon at http://ow.One year ago Save The River published Juliane Flora’s children’s book Haas the Great Blue Heron: The Beginning of an Adventure and since then over 400 copies have been purchased and an exciting curriculum has been created.

One year ago Save The River published Juliane Flora’s children’s book Haas the Great Blue Heron: The Beginning of an Adventure and since then over 400 copies have been purchased and an exciting curriculum has been created.

Students throughout the North Country are enjoying their connection with the great blue heron and the River by reading Haas the Great Blue Heron and participating in Save The River’s In the Schools program.

Thanks to all who have supported Save The River’s education program with their purchase. Haas the Great Blue Heron is available at Amazon.com and at Save The River.

Let us know what you think! We welcome your comments by writing a Customer Review on Amazon

And if you buy a copy (or more) the proceeds go to benefit Save The River.

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Only six more weeks to go . . . ,

August 17th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Fresh Sound Grant

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ABC’s of the 1000 Islands limited edition print available

August 10th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

We are pleased to announce our newest collaboration and fundraising effort, a limited edition The ABC’s of the 1000 Islands: Save The River! 18×24 inch art print, with proceeds benefiting Save The River.

This one-of-a-kind art print captures much that is cherished by River lovers, including some special designs indicative of our continued efforts here at Save The River. We have partnered with Karyn Burns ABC’s to offer a limited edition run of 100 prints, printed on high quality Eames Canvas Cover paper,ABCsigned, dated and numbered by the artist Karyn Burns.

In addition to the individual poster purchase option, we are pleased to be also offering framing options for those who are interested. Karyn Burns ABCs has partnered with Syracuse based Gallery 114 to offer a limited edition custom frame, making this the perfect gift to , or of course for yourself. Prints can be shipped throughout the United States and Canada.

Save The River’s education, awareness and advocacy efforts are constant, and with that we are always looking for creative ways to raise awareness and interest in the River and raise funds to support our ongoing activities. That’s why we were thrilled to partner with Karyn Burns ABCs in this unique fundraising campaign. This effort allows us to offer whimsical artwork that reflects the St. Lawrence River and Save The River’s mission, in a unique piece of art created by Karyn just for us.

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Save The River Honors Its Exceptional Volunteers

August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.
While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.
This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their faculty advisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauber and Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.
This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.
With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.
Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

IMG_0443

Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.

While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.

This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their facultyadvisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauberand Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.

This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.

With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.

Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

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Group helps give ‘Haas the Great Blue Heron’ wings, and author returns favor

June 19th, 2015 | Posted by admin

By Tim Lyman

Published: Friday June 19, 2015 by the Watertown Daily Times

CLAYTON — Sometimes, the work you do in college can help your community nearly 20 years down the road. That’s the case with “Haas the Great Blue Heron: The Beginning of an Adventure,” a children’s book in which a father heron eagerly awaits the hatching of his egg near the St. Lawrence River. After a night’s indecision, the father heron names his chick “Haas” after the sound he makes when he is born.

CoverThe book was written by Juliane B. Flora in 1994 and completed in 1996, while she was a student at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., but was never published. It was illustrated with artwork by Ms. Flora’s late mother, Diane Bauer.

Stephanie Weiss, who lives near Fishers Landing, assistant director of Save the River, a Clayton nonprofit dedicated to preserving the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area, has been friends with Ms. Flora “since we were little” and thought it was a good time to share her book with the world. She contacted the author to tell her about a grant Save the River offered that was funded by the Northern New York Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council in Watertown.

Save the River sent a grant proposal to the Youth Philanthropy Council asking for funds to publish the book.

The grant was approved in early 2013, and the book was published in August.

“My intention has always been to publish it,” said Ms. Flora of Clayton, originally of Red Hook. “I worked at Fort Drum; with starting a family and a busy work schedule, life just got in the way.”

“It would not have happened without the assistance of the grant,” she said.

When the publishing project was presented to Save the River’s education committee, Heather White, a board member who is a kindergarten teacher at Sherman Elementary School in Watertown, suggested adding informational inserts to the book to help it align with Common Core standards. That way teachers could write lesson plans on it to use in the classroom. It was decided that Mrs. White would add the information to the book.

“This book project was a good fit with Save the River’s In the Schools program. It’s a beautiful story of a heron, and with us adding the nonfiction part, it makes a complete package,” she said.

Mrs. White, whose kids are “sixth-generation on Wellesley Island,” has introduced lessons for her class that correlate with the lessons taught in the book. She also built a full-scale model of a heron’s nest for her students, and some children were surprised to see that the nest was bigger than they were.

“Whenever you can add a hands-on experience to a lesson, it helps the student to understand the material,” Mrs. White said.

Ms. Flora decided to donate all the proceeds from sales of the book to the In the Schools program. Launched in 2009, this program introduced a partnership with local schools that educate students about the St. Lawrence River. The program assists with curriculum development and field-trip support.

Kate Breheny of Clayton, Save the River’s program director, said two schools have purchased sets of the book for their libraries: Watertown’s Sherman Elementary and Guardino Elementary School in Clayton.

“By us having the book in our schools, the students are learning about the heron and the organization,” Ms. Breheny said. She said selling the book through Amazon has enabled the nonprofit to reach an “international audience.”

The book was published through CreateSpace, an Amazon company that allows people to self-publish their work online.

Between online sales and school sales, the book has sold 380 to 400 copies, with more sales expected as more people become aware of it.

Ms. Flora plans to write two more books about Haas and hopes to use more original illustrations by her late mother for “The Stormy Adventure” and by Ms. Weiss for “How a Heron Hunts.”

The book can be purchased either at Save the River or Amazon for $10.

Support Save The River’s In The Schools Program Today!

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S.3932, Microbead-Free Waters Act from TI High School’s SAFE Club

June 16th, 2015 | Posted by admin

Dear Leader Flanagan and Chairman O’Mara:

We are writing to express our strong support for S.3932, the Microbead-Free Waters Act. Our club, Student Activists For the Environment (SAFE) chose microbeads as the environmental issue we would focus our attention on this year. We conducted a school-wide campaign to increase awareness of microbeads, because many students use the products with microbeads unknowingly.  We put up posters, created a FaceBook page and a petition supporting S.3932.  We were the only student group to participate in Microbead Lobbying Day in May, traveling to Albany to present our campaign.  Our school district is on the banks of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, so microbead pollution is very real to us.  Our waterways need the protection of S.3932!

According to the Office of NYS AG Eric Schneiderman. “Unseen Threat: How Microbeads Threaten New York Waters, Wildlife, Health, and Environment.” (2014), it is estimated that 19 tons of microbeads enter the wastewater stream in NY annually. A study in 2013 found as many 1.1 million microplastics per square kilometer in Lake Ontario. Since the outlet of the Great Lakes is the St. Lawrence River, all these microbeads are flowing into “our” river!

Safer, non-polluting, natural alternatives can be used as abrasives in personal care products instead of plastic microbeads. “Biodegradable” is a misleading claim.  Biodegradable plastics tend not to actually biodegrade, but instead simply break down into smaller pieces that will remain in the environment for a long time. In addition to being harmful pollutants themselves, microbeads absorb other toxic chemicals once in the environment, including PCBs and DDT, among others. Fish and other aquatic organisms, including birds and invertebrates, have been shown to ingest microbeads.  Once ingested, these pollutants move up the food chain and into our food supply.

The Microbead-Free Waters Act (S.33932) would ensure that all manufacturers eliminate the use of all plastic microbeads in a timely manner, before additional damage is done. The timing of the ban is critical, starting in 2016.    This ban would include so called “biodegradable plastics.”  New York’s Microbead-Free Waters Act would “raise the bar” on the Illinois law, effectively driving the market toward safer alternatives throughout the nation and beyond. The bill already includes compromises to address industry concerns, including an exemption for prescription medications, and providing an extra year before the ban takes effect for products that require FDA approval.

With 37 Senate cosponsors and the near unanimous passage in the Assembly earlier this year, we urge the Senate to schedule a floor vote before you depart Albany on June 17.  This legislation has broad, bipartisan support from senators of every region and across the political spectrum. There is no acceptable reason to keep it from receiving a fair floor vote.

We strongly urge the Senate to pass S.3932 this year, protecting New Yorkers from the negative health and environmental impacts of microbead pollution.

Sincerely,

Student Activists For the Environment (SAFE) Club

Thousand Islands High School

Clayton, NY 13624

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Clayton, NY 13624

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