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Save The River Appoints New Outreach Coordinator, First Focus Promoting Catch and Release Program

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lee

Save The River announced today that Lindsey Leve has joined the staff as its Outreach Coordinator to promote their growing educational and advocacy programs.Leve Photo

Lindsey brings extensive experience and background promoting programs and events for various not-for-profit organizations. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona. She has spent every summer in the Thousand Islands on the River with her family and is very familiar with the area. Currently she is a summer resident of Wintergreen Island and a winter resident of Fisher’s Landing.

Executive Director Lee Willbanks said, “We are extremely pleased to have Lindsey join the staff. She will be using her knowledge and enthusiasm for the River community to promote Save The River’s Catch and Release programs and volunteer outreach. The timing couldn’t be better as we are finally seeing the ice leave and everyone is getting ready to be on the water.”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of an organization that has played such an important part in protecting the River. And I’m really looking forward to being in at the beginning as the Catch and Release program expands from Muskies to Bass and other species,” stated Ms. Leve.

In 2013 Save The River began the effort to expand it’s successful Muskellunge Catch and Release program to include bass as part of the continuing effort to improve the quality of the St. Lawrence River fishery and to ensure a healthy, sustainable aquatic and economic resource.

Since 1987 more than 1,000 muskies have been caught and released. In addition to muskies, the Thousand Islands section of the River has traditionally supported one of the best bass fisheries in New York State. Historically, this fishery has been a major factor in the growth of tourism on the River.  However, today the River environment is far different from what early tourists experienced 100 years ago.

Catch and release fishing has become a globally accepted and duplicated practice to ensure plentiful game fish populations. Releasing a greater proportion of bass caught by anglers is one approach that can be used to reduce the mortality of adult fish and allow more bass to survive. The bass population in the River will benefit if anglers restrict their take of fish to only that which they will consume that day while releasing the rest.

Save The River believes a successful catch and release program, with significant numbers of anglers participating, will result in a more sustainable and larger number of adult bass in the River. Improving the quality of the River’s fisheries is good economic and tourism policy as well as an appropriate fishery management strategy.

After all according to Lindsey, “a bass is too valuable to catch only once.”

Long Awaited Report Released on How to Stop Asian Carp

January 17th, 2014 | Posted by Lee
Take Action to Keep Asian Carp Out of the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence River.
Long Awaited Report Released on How to Stop Asian Carp
The much anticipated Army Corps of Engineers’ report identifying options to stop the spread of Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River waterways has been released. The “Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study” (or GLMRIS) lays out the financial and environmental costs of eight (8) different options for dealing with a range of potentially environmentally and economically devastating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River from Mississippi River waterways.
Citizens from around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin have made it clear to decision makers — the U.S. Congress — of the need to move forward with the most robust solution for the Lakes and our River – physical separation from the Mississippi River system. Actions that do not move us toward this goal are just distractions that further delay this desperately needed permanent solution.
Take Action! This is a critical moment in our fight to stop Asian Carp:
·         Attend a public meeting and make a comment supporting separation (click here for dates and times). Be sure to scroll down to get to the list of meetings. You will need to register to speak.
·         Attend the webinar scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st from 4:00pm to 7:00pm CST. To attend the webinar click here up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Web Access ID: c3lrc02p1. After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented.
·         and, please provide comments on the GLMRIS website before the March 3rd deadline!
Points to Make:
·         The most effective solution is “physical separation,” or restoring the natural divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and creating barriers elsewhere.
·         We must recognize the real threats associated with aquatic species introductions in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. These waterborne invaders can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year to human health, commerce, recreation and the environment. Separation is the only surefire way to stop that from happening.
·         Urge Congress to move forward the strongest permanent solutions presented in the report, including either:
o    Option 5: Lakefront hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at four locations along the lakefront of Lake Michigan, or
o    Option 6: Mid-system hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at two mid-system locations.
For more information check out:
the Alliance for the Great Lakes page on the threat from Asian Carp; and
the editorials supporting physical separation from around the basin on the Healing Our Waters website.
Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Take Action to Keep Asian Carp Out of the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence River.

The much anticipated Army Corps of Engineers’ report identifying options to stop the spread of Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River waterways has been released. The “Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study” (or GLMRIS) lays out the financial and environmental costs of eight (8) different options for dealing with a range of potentially environmentally and economically devastating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River from Mississippi River waterways.

Citizens from around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin have made it clear to decision makers — the U.S. Congress — of the need to move forward with the most robust solution for the Lakes and our River - physical separation from the Mississippi River system. Actions that do not move us toward this goal are just distractions that further delay this desperately needed permanent solution.

Take Action! This is a critical moment in our fight to stop Asian Carp:

· Attend a public meeting and make a comment supporting separation (click here for dates and times). Be sure to scroll down to get to the list of meetings. You will need to register to speak.

· Attend the webinar scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st from 4:00pm to 7:00pm CST. To attend the webinar click here up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Web Access ID: c3lrc02p1. After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented.

· and, please provide comments on the GLMRIS website before the March 3rd deadline!

Points to Make:

· The most effective solution is “physical separation,” or restoring the natural divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and creating barriers elsewhere.

· We must recognize the real threats associated with aquatic species introductions in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. These waterborne invaders can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year to human health, commerce, recreation and the environment. Separation is the only surefire way to stop that from happening.

· Urge Congress to move forward the strongest permanent solutions presented in the report, including either:

o Option 5: Lakefront hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at four locations along the lakefront of Lake Michigan, or

o Option 6: Mid-system hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at two mid-system locations.

For more information check out:

Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Save The River’s Winter Raffle!

January 15th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

This winter Save The River is raffling off a beautiful Common Goldeneye that was hand-carved and painted by Glenn Sweet of Alexandria Bay.  Glenn is a 3rd generation waterfowl carver who has been carving for 40 years and created this piece from locally sourced pine and acrylic paint. Thank you Glenn for your generous donation!

Raffle for web

Click Here to get to a printable entry form. Just fill out all the contact information and return it with your payment to:

Save The River
409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

We will fill out the tickets so you too can be entered to win this exclusive, hand carved Common Goldeneye and support Save The River.

Drawing to be held on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Winter Environmental Conference.

Good luck and Thank You for Supporting Save The River!

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Maude Barlow, water rights advocate, keynote at Winter Conference

January 14th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

BarlowMaude Barlow, internationally renowned activist, author and advocate of the principle that water must be held as a public trust, will be the keynote speaker at Save The River’s 25th annual Winter Environmental Conference.

Ms. Barlow, is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, founder of The Blue Planet Project, a founding member of the International Forum on Globalization, and a Councilor with the World Future Council.

Regarding the Great Lakes, The Blue Planet Project website states, “In order to protect the waters of the Great Lakes for future generations, we must establish a new narrative that recognizes the lakes a living commons, public trust and protected bioregion.”

In 2005 Ms. Barlow was one of the “1000 Women for Peace” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received the Right Livelihood Award. She was awarded the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, and in 2009 received the Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environment Achievement Award. That same year she received the prestigious Lannon Cultural Freedom Fellowship, known as the “Alternative Nobel” given by the Swedish Parliament.  In 2011 she received the Earth Care Award, the highest international honor of the Sierra Club. Ms. Barlow is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates.

In 2008 Ms. Barlow was named the first Advisor on Water to the United Nations where she advised the 63rd President of the General Assembly for two years.

Her passion and concern for the future of water rights is evident in this video: Water – Maude Barlow

Ms. Barlow is the bestselling author or co-author of 16 books, including the international bestsellers Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water and most recently Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever.

To learn more about the public trust doctrine as it relates to water and Ms. Barlow’s contributions visit www.onthecommons.org/magazine/water.

Conference registration:

Registration is open until January 31, 2014

To register call 315-686-2010 or download the invitation, fill out your information and mail to Save The River: 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624

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Speakers announced for the 2014 Winter Environmental Conference

December 10th, 2013 | Posted by Kate

2014 Winter Environmental Conference banner

The 25th Annual Winter Environmental Conference will be held Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, New York. Each year the conference provides attendees the opportunity to hear from and engage with knowledgeable and recognized speakers about topics of significance to the health of the St. Lawrence River.

The upcoming anniversary conference will feature two women with unique and critical perspectives on the current and future uses and protection of the River.

Maude Barlow, is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of The Blue Planet Project. She is the recipient of numerous environmental awards and has served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. Ms. Barlow is the author of the international bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water and, more recently Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, considered a call to action to create a water-secure world.

Betty Sutton, is the tenth Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Since being sworn in August 2013, Administrator Sutton has traveled the length of the Seaway meeting with a range of stakeholders. She has spoken frequently about the need to balance the economic interests of the shippers, industries and ports who use the Seaway with the environmental impact of those uses on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes.

Additional speakers will update attendees on emerging science about water quality issues in the Great Lakes and River, and share news about critical River fisheries and Save The River’s In the Schools program.

Conference Details: (Full Agenda to follow)

9:30 – Registration and morning coffee

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Winter Environmental Conference

4:00 p.m. – Cocktail Reception, cash bar and silent auction

Conference registration:

$40 Registration includes coffee, lunch, and cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres

Registration is open until January 31, 2014

To register call 315-686-2010 or download the invitation, fill out your information and mail to Save The River: 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624

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Tell Congress “Don’t weaken environmental review of Army Corps projects!”

September 18th, 2013 | Posted by Lee
Congressional committee is poised to approve bill undermining environmental reviews of Army Corps of Engineers water resources projects.
Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee released their version of the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA)**. Recently the Senate passed its own version. Both bills contain similar “streamlining” language that would substantially undermine effective environmental review of proposed Army Corps of Engineers water projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act.
These provisions will make it much harder to fight bad Army Corps projects like Seaway Expansion and winter navigation, should they be re-introduced.
The House T&I Committee plans to take up WRRDA tomorrow, September 19th.
Everyone concerned about adequate, appropriate and critical review of Army Corps actions on the St. Lawrence River should contact their representative about the harmful provisions in the bill and about new reforms that should be added to the bill.
We urge you to tell your representative that the harmful environmental “streamlining” provisions must be stripped from the bill to ensure continued protection of the St. Lawrence River and our nation’s other inland waterways.
Please reach out to your Congress person and express your concerns with the House bill.  If your House member is not on the T&I Committee ask them to reach out to the T&I Committee with your concerns.
Here are the basic points to make:
Strike the environmental streamlining provisions in the bill – Sections 101 and 103.
Strike the provision that eliminates the requirement for “reconnaissance studies” – the provision we used successfully to stop expansion of the Seaway – Section 104.
Amend the “Inland Waterways Stakeholder Roundtable” language to require the inclusion of conservation organizations (such as Save The River) – Section 215.
Strike provisions that encourage massive amounts of additional dredging at full taxpayer expense.
Amend the bill to require the Corps to use cost-effective, low impact solutions wherever possible.
Amend the bill to require mitigation consistent with recommendations made by the nation’s fish and wildlife experts pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.
To find your Congress person click here.
Of course, Bill Owens should also hear from all of us since he represents the St. Lawrence River region.
To read the most recent letter from a broad coalition of national and regional conservation groups, including Save The River, opposing environmental “streamlining” click here.
For additional background click here to a read the National Wildlife Federation’s section-by-section analysis of the House bill.
Members of New York’s Congressional delegation on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are:
Timothy Bishop
Richard Hanna
Sean Patrick Maloney
Jerrold Nadler
Feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback you may receive.

Congressional committee is poised to approve bill undermining environmental reviews of Army Corps of Engineers water resources projects.

Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee released their version of the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA)**. Recently the Senate passed its own version. Both bills contain similar “streamlining” language that would substantially undermine effective environmental review of proposed Army Corps of Engineers water projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act.
.
These provisions will make it much harder to fight bad Army Corps projects like Seaway Expansion and winter navigation, should they be re-introduced.


The House T&I Committee plans to take up WRRDA tomorrow, September 19th.

Everyone concerned about adequate, appropriate and critical review of Army Corps actions on the St. Lawrence River should contact theirSeaway Construction representative about the harmful provisions in the bill and about new reforms that should be added to the bill.

We urge you to tell your representative that the harmful environmental “streamlining” provisions must be stripped from the bill to ensure continued protection of the St. Lawrence River and our nation’s other inland waterways.

Please reach out to your Congress person and express your concerns with the House bill.  If your House member is not on the T&I Committee ask them to reach out to the T&I Committee with your concerns.

Here are the basic points to make:

  • Strike the environmental streamlining provisions in the bill – Sections 101 and 103.
  • Strike the provision that eliminates the requirement for “reconnaissance studies” – the provision we used successfully to stop expansion of the Seaway – Section 104.
  • Amend the “Inland Waterways Stakeholder Roundtable” language to require the inclusion of conservation organizations (such as Save The River) – Section 215.
  • Strike provisions that encourage massive amounts of additional dredging at full taxpayer expense.
  • Amend the bill to require the Corps to use cost-effective, low impact solutions wherever possible.
  • Amend the bill to require mitigation consistent with recommendations made by the nation’s fish and wildlife experts pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act.

To find your Congress person click here.

Of course, Bill Owens should also hear from all of us since he represents the St. Lawrence River region.

To read the most recent letter from a broad coalition of national and regional conservation groups, including Save The River, opposing environmental “streamlining” click here.

For additional background click here to a read the National Wildlife Federation’s section-by-section analysis of the House bill.

Members of New York’s Congressional delegation on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are:

Feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback you may receive.

** Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is legislation which provides for the conservation and development of water and related resources and authorizes the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and for other purposes deemed appropriate by the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States.
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Letter Signed by Diverse Coalition Supports Plan 2014

September 5th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

33 environmental, conservation, and sportsmen organizations, including Save The River, other Keeper organizations – the Waterkeeper Alliance, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and the Hudson Riverkeeper, among others – submitted comments to the International Joint Commission (IJC) supporting the full implementation of Plan 2014.

The scientific research behind Plan 2014 clearly establishes the benefits of the plan. More natural rhythms of levels and flows will benefit migrating and nesting waterfowl, key wetland habitats, beaches and dunes, and “canary-in-the-coal-mine” species like the northern pike. The case for Plan 2014 is further strengthened by a growing global body of scientific literature on the consequences of regulating rivers and lakes, and on the benefits of restoring more natural flows.

Read the full letter here.

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Save The River Comments on Plan 2014

August 30th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

From a letter submitted today to the International Joint Commission,

Save The River, the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, representing over 4,000 members and followers, submits this letter to express unambiguous support for the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014 for the regulation of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. . .

Those of us who live, work, play, visit and love the River believe it can be restored and believe the Commission and our federal governments must act to implement Plan 2014 now, because all of us – riparians, non-riparians, boaters, paddlers, hunters, anglers, birders and those who simply want to leave a healthy, vital and thriving River to the generations that follow – have a place on the water.

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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THIS IS IT! Tell the IJC, “ACT NOW!”

August 28th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO VOICE YOUR OPINION!

The public comment period on a new, modern water level plan closes this Friday, August 30th.

It is Critical that You Show Your Support for Plan 2014 – The IJC Needs to Hear from You!

The International Joint Commission is accepting comments until August 30th. You can submit your comment in support of Plan 2014 on its website.

It doesn’t have to be lengthy or eloquent. It can be as simple as “I Support Plan 2014 and believe it should be implemented now.”

We have put together information to help you voice your support for Plan 2014 including sample comments.

Fifty years of human-regulated water levels have significantly altered the St. Lawrence River’s natural processes, damaging the environment by reducing habitat diversity, decimating populations of key native species, shortening our recreational boating season and harming our tourism-based economy.

After years of study and public input the International Joint Commission has put forward a modern approach. Plan 2014 will achieve a balance of benefits for all interests by taking into account the needs of the River and Lake Ontario ecosystem for the first time. When implemented, it will begin to reverse the damage caused by 50 years of destructive regulation, and allow the River and Lake to once again thrive. For more details about Plan 2014 visit Save The River and the International Joint Commission websites.

Many of you are veterans of this fight – we’ve been here before. Over the past year many of you have added your calm voices to the public information sessions, and your signatures on our petition and sign-on letters to the IJC and Governor Cuomo. Those expressions of support – almost 10,000 strong – have gotten us to this point. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore our coastal ecosystems and improve the health of our River and Lake.  But the opponents of any change, although fewer in number, are very vocal in their opposition.

Add your voice to the many others who have already spoken out in support of restoration of the Lake and River ecosystem.

. . . because we all have a place on the water.

IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO VOICE YOUR OPINION!
The public comment period on a new, modern water level plan closes this Friday, August 30th.
It is Critical that You Show Your Support for Plan 2014 – The IJC Needs to Hear from You!
►  The International Joint Commission is accepting written comments until August 30th. You can submit your comment in support of Plan 2014 on the it’s website.
It doesn’t have to be lengthy or eloquent. It can be as simple as “I Support Plan 2014 and believe it should be implemented now.”
We have put together information to help you voice your support for Plan 2014 including tips for attending the meetings and sample talking points to help you craft your comments. Visit Save The River’s Plan 2014 website for more information.
Fifty years of human-regulated water levels have significantly altered the St. Lawrence River’s natural processes damaging the environment by reducing habitat diversity, decimating populations of key native species, shortening our recreational boating season and harming our tourism-based economy.
After years of study and public input the International Joint Commission has put forward a modern approach. Plan 2014 will achieve a balance of benefits for all interests by taking into account the needs of the River and Lake Ontario ecosystem for the first time. When implemented, it will begin to reverse the damage caused by 50 years of destructive regulation, and allow the River and Lake to once again thrive. For more details about Plan 2014 visit Save The River and the International Joint Commission websites.
Many of you are veterans of this fight – we’ve been here before. Over the past year many of you added your calm voices to the public information sessions, your signatures on our petition and sign-on letters, and sent telegrams and emails to IJC and Governor Cuomo. Those expressions of support – almost 10,000 strong – have gotten us to this point. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore our coastal ecosystems and improve the health of our River and Lake.  But the opponents of any change, although fewer in number, are very vocal in their opposition.
Add your voice, to the many others who have already spoken out in support of restoration of the Lake and River ecosys
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Water Levels Teleconference Tonight, August 27th!

August 27th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

Make your voice heard:

Speak up for Plan 2014 a modern water levels plan to restore the St. Lawrence River.

Time is getting short. The comment period ends this Friday, August 30th. But you have aComment Postcard - Frontfew more opportunities to voice your support for Plan 2014 and tonight is your next chance to do so.

►  Call in tonight, August 27th, to an IJC Teleconference:

You are invited to join a teleconference with Commissioners to express your views about the IJC’s proposal for Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Regulation.
Teleconference Number: 1-877-413-4814
Participant code: 8407217#
The teleconferences will begin with a brief overview of the proposal and will be followed by comments from participants. Participants are asked to limit their comments to 3 minutes to allow everyone the opportunity to speak. The teleconference will be recorded and included in the IJC’s record of public comment.
Teleconference Number: 1-877-413-4814
Participant code: 8407217#

The teleconferences will begin with a brief overview of the proposal and will be followed by comments from participants. Participants are asked to limit their comments to 3 minutes to allow everyone the opportunity to speak. The teleconference will be recorded and included in the IJC’s record of public comment.

This will be the last teleconference on Plan 2014. Even if you do not speak you will have the opportunity to register your support for Plan 2014.

Other ways to support Plan 2014:

Submit Written Comments:
The IJC is accepting written comments until August 30th. You can submit your comment in support of Plan 2014 on its website.

Stop by Save The River and fill out a “I Support Plan 2014″ postcard (also at many local businesses and organizations)

We have put together information to help you voice your support for Plan 2014 including tips for attending the hearing and sample talking points to help you craft your comments. Visit our Plan 2014 website and scroll down for more information.

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Clayton, NY 13624

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