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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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Save The River’s 29th Annual Winter Environmental Conference

December 8th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

 

Save the date! Or, better yet, sign up and lock in your attendance now.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 9: August 28

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 31, 2017) – Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis. This is the last week for sampling and we’re pleased tor report all locations sampled on August 28, 2017 have passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at five swimming area: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles N/A 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 1.0
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 2.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A 1.0
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 1.0

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water. The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria. Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations. Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 5: July 31

August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 5 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River this summer from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  This summer Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at five swimming areas: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Samples collected on Monday, July 31st from Wilsons Beach, Potter’s Beach, and Lake of the Isles all passed.  After bring retested on August 2nd Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay passed as well.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles PASS 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 2.0
Round Island No Sample N/A
Scenic View Beach PASS  Resampled on August 2nd   45.7
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 1.0
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 5.2

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River are tested for E. Coli bacteria. Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

High levels of bacteria can cause health problems such as rashes and gastrointestinal illnesses and are most dangerous for the very old, very young, or anyone with a compromised immune system.  In order to reduce the risk of bacterial related illnesses never swallow swimming water and wash hands after swimming and before eating.

Save The River makes the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 4: July 24

July 27th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 4 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.  Due to this season’s high water not all beaches usually sampled each year can be sampled now.  However, all beaches sampled on July 24, 2017 passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers will collect water quality samples at five swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles PASS 5.2
Potter’s Beach PASS 52.1
Round Island N/A No Sample
Scenic View Beach PASS 62.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 62.4
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 36.8

 

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

 

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria.  Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations.  Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

For more about this year’s high water, visit Save The River’s webpage, www.savetheriver.org.

 

Save The River’s summer intern, Heidi Pearson, poses outside the Save The River office with week 4 results for Beach Watch.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 3: July 17

July 20th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 3 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.  Due to this season’s high water not all beaches usually sampled each year can be sampled now.  However, all beaches sampled on July 17, 2017 passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers will collect water quality samples at five swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles N/A No Sample
Potter’s Beach PASS <1.0
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 10.9
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A No Sample
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 1.0

 

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria.  Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations.  Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

For more about this year’s high water, visit Save The River’s webpage, www.savetheriver.org.

A calm Monday morning at Potter’s Beach, where Save The River’s volunteer, Maria Purcell, takes a weekly water sample. (Photo Credit: Maria Purcell)

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2017 Beach Watch Week 2: July 10

July 13th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 2 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.  Due to this season’s high water not all beaches usually sampled each year can be sampled now.  However, all beaches sampled on July 10, 2017 passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers will collect water quality samples at five swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles PASS 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 3.1
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 3.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A NO SAMPLE
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 37.3

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria.  Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations.  Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

For more about this year’s high water, visit Save The River’s webpage, www.savetheriver.org.

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No Wake Zone within 600 feet of Lake Ontario or St. Lawrence River shorelines!

July 2nd, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Use Caution! Be Respectful!

Boat around others’ docks, boathouses, and property like you want them to boat around your’s.

Please share this widely.

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Scientists tell Oswego paper, “Plan 2014 not to blame for Lake Ontario flooding”

June 30th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

In another well-researched and well-sourced story, this one in today’s Palladium-Times by reporter Seth Wallace, the paper asked “nearly a dozen experts on geology, biology, meteorology, other earth sciences and international law”,

Did Plan 2014 cause the flooding?

The answer,

Without exception the answer came back the same: No, Plan 2014 did not cause the flooding.

The article also sheds new light on the strength of claims being made by some of the state’s elected officials that Plan 2014 is to blame for this year’s high water.

“The Palladium-Times made multiple requests this week to both [Rep.] Katko and Tenney’s offices to provide any data they had received from any expert that showed evidence of Plan 2014 as the cause of the flooding.

Both offices were either unwilling or unable to produce such evidence.”

As we have said all spring, the solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred. Instead we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.

The full article is worth a read.

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We cannot stress it enough, if you are going to go on the water . . .

May 18th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Use Caution! – it’s the hazards at or just below the surface that will get you (not the ones like this that are clearly visible).

Be Respectful! – Boat around others’ docks, boathouses, and property like you want them to boat around your’s.

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