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Beach Watch: Weeks 3-5; July 15, 22, and 29

July 31st, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Catching up on recent Beach Watch results: so far this summer, all Save The River sites that have submitted samples have passed! Read below for specific results for each week.

Week 3 Beach Watch results from samples taken on Monday, July 15, 2019 showed that the seven locations that submitted samples all passed: Potters Beach had an E. coli bacteria colony level of 2.0 per 100 milliliter (ml), Lake of the Isles and Round Island both had a level of 3.0 per100 ml, Wilson Bay at 6’ depth had a level of 3.1 per 100 ml, Frink Park had a level of 4.1 per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 3’ depth had a level of 7.4 per 100 ml, and Scenic View Park had a level of 186.0 E. coli bacteria colonies per 100 ml. A new sample site was added in Week 3: The Cove at Thousand Island Park was tested and showed an E. coli bacteria colony level of 14.8 per 100 ml. All of these levels, including Scenic View Park, are below the New York State Health Department limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per a 100 ml sample of swimming water.

Week 4 Beach Watch results from samples taken on Monday, July 22, 2019 showed that the six locations that submitted samples all passed: Lake of the Isles and Frink Park both had an E. coli bacteria colony level of less than 1.0 per 100 ml sample of swimming water, Potters Beach had an E. coli bacteria colony level of 1.0 per 100 milliliters (ml), The Cove at Thousand Island Park showed an E. coli bacteria colony level of 6.2 per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 6’ depth had an E.coli bacteria colony level of 9.6 per 100 ml, and Scenic View Park had a level of 14.6 E. coli bacteria colonies per 100 ml. Round Island did not have a sample submitted in Week 4 but did have a sample taken for Week 5 (July 29); results will be available on Save The River’s social media later this week.

The Week 5 Beach Watch results from samples taken on Monday, July 29, 2019 showed that the seven locations that submitted samples all passed: Frink Park, Round Island, and Lake of the Isles all had a level of 1.0 E. coli bacteria colony per 100 milliliters (ml) sample of swimming water, Scenic View Park had a level of 7.3 E. coli bacteria colonies per 100 ml, The Cove at Thousand Island Park showed an E. coli bacteria colony level of 8.5 per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 3’ depth had a level of 9.8 E. coli bacteria colonies per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 6’ depth had an E.coli bacteria colony level of 10.9 per 100 ml, and Potters Beach had an E. coli bacteria colony level of 20.1 per 100 ml sample of swimming water. All of these levels are well below the New York State Health Department limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 ml sample of swimming water.

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Beach Watch: Week 2 – July 8, 2019 Results

July 16th, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

The Week 2 Beach Watch results from July 8, 2019 showed that the five locations that submitted samples all passed: Frink Park, Lake of the Isles, and Wilson Bay at 3’ depth all had E. coli bacteria colony levels of less than 1.0 per 100 milliliters (ml), Round Island had a level of 1.0 per 100 ml, Wilson Bay at 6’ depth had a level of 2.0 per 100 ml, and Scenic View Park had a level of 6.3 bacteria colonies per 100 ml. All of these levels are well below the New York State Health Department limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 ml, making all of these locations safe for swimming. A sample from Potters Beach was not taken on Week 1 and Week 2 due to a lack of volunteer availability, however, a sample has been taken for Week 3 (July 15) and results will be available later this week.

Save The River’s Beach Watch program aims to test the water quality of six local beaches and popular swimming destinations to ensure a safe swimming environment. Water quality is monitored by testing the levels of E. coli bacteria, which in high amounts can cause illness. E. coli is a common indicator used for testing of fecal contamination in waterways and is the recommended indicator in fresh waterways. Results are expressed in the number of bacteria colonies found in a 100 milliliter (ml) sample of swimming water. The New York State Health Department has set a swimming water quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 milliliters of water for a one-time sample and 126 colonies for an average result over five weeks.

With the help of volunteers, six swimming locations are tested every Monday for nine weeks from July 1 through August 26. The six testing sites are Frink Park in downtown Clayton, Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Round Island in Clayton, and Potters Beach on Grindstone Island. Weekly monitoring results are posted on Save The River’s social media, at their 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton storefront, and on the Swim Guide mobile app and website (theswimguide.org). This year the Beach Watch program is managed by summer intern, Molly Russell.

If a New York State swimming beach fails a water quality sample, the beach will close until it passes a resample test. However, Save The River monitors the Beach Watch program on a volunteer basis and has no authority to close the swimming areas we sample. The results are used to highlight areas of concern and inform landowners and stakeholders of potential health risks. When there is a situation of high bacteria, Save The River submits those results to local and state authorities for their use and action.

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Beach Watch: Week 1 – July 1, 2019 Results

July 3rd, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River’s Beach Watch program aims to test the water quality of six local beaches and popular swimming destinations to ensure a safe swimming environment. We do this by testing the levels of E. coli bacteria, which in high amounts can cause illness. E. coli is a common indicator used for testing of fecal contamination in waterways and is the recommended indicator in fresh waterways. Results are expressed in the number of bacteria colonies found in a 100 milliliter (ml) sample of swimming water. The New York State Health Department has set a swimming water quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 milliliters of water for a one time sample and 126 colonies for an average result over five weeks.

This year marks the 20th season of our Beach Watch program. We test six swimming locations with the help of volunteers every Monday for nine weeks from July 1 through August 26. Our testing sites are Frink Park in downtown Clayton, Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Round Island in Clayton, and Potters Beach on Grindstone Island. Weekly monitoring results are posted on our website, at the Save The River office, on our social media, and on the Swim Guide mobile app and website. This year the Beach Watch program is managed by summer intern, Molly Russell.

Our Week 1 results from July 1, 2019 showed the three locations we were able to obtain samples from all passed. Frink Park and Lake of the Isles both had levels of only 1 per 100ml and Scenic View Park had levels of 13.4 per 100 ml, all of which are well below the 235 per 100 ml maximum. A sample from Wilson’s Beach was unable to be taken this week as the access road is closed due to high water levels.

If a New York State swimming beach fails a water quality sample, the beach will close until it passes a resample test. However, Save The River monitors the Beach Watch program on a volunteer basis and has no authority to close the swimming areas we sample. The results are used to highlight areas of concern and inform landowners and stakeholders of potential health risks. When there is a situation of high bacteria, Save The River submits those results to local and state authorities for their use and action.

We still need a volunteer for Potters Beach to help us obtain samples so we can ensure safe swimming conditions in all six of our locations! Volunteers collect samples Monday mornings and bring the sample to Save The River by 9:15 am. If you would like to learn more about this volunteer opportunity or if you are willing and able to volunteer, you can email Patricia Shulenburg at Patricia@savetheriver.org or call the storefront at (315) 686-2010.

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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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