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Save The River Applauds Federal Legislation that would Ban Crude Oil Shipments on the Great Lakes

September 24th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Save The River Applauds Federal Legislation that would Ban Crude Oil Shipments on the Great Lakes, Assess Pipeline Risks and Improve Spill Response Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – Save The River is applauding the Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act which would ban the shipping of crude oil by vessel on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.  U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow (MI) introduced the legislation today which in addition to banning crude oil in vessels, requires a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review of hazardous pipelines in the region. This legislation would also compel an assessment of oil spill response and cleanup plans, require ice cover be part of worst-case scenarios in response plans and increase public information about pipelines for local communities.

“We have suffered a major oil spill on the St. Lawrence River, and our communities will never forget”, said Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and executive director of Save The River. “As pressures increase to bring crude oil cargoes to the waters of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, we will vigorously support this legislation and we encourage our representatives to do so as well. Shipping on the St. Lawrence River has long been an all-risk and no-reward proposition, and crude oil on ships would greatly increase that risk to our environment, our economy and our communities.”

Save The River has been fighting to protect the vulnerable and fragile natural and human environment on the St. Lawrence River for its entire 37 year history, with a recent focus on the threat of new crude oil cargoes on the River. Last winter Save The River’s annual environmental conference featured an extensive examination of crude oil shipments, and possible impacts to the River. Earlier this month, Save The River brought these very concerns before a committee of the Jefferson County Legislature for consideration.

Currently, Willbanks is in Washington D.C. for meetings with Representative Stefanik and other members of the New York congressional delegation. While there he will urge support for the Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act, along with other River protection issues such as Plan 2014.

The Pipeline Improvement and Preventing Spills Act will protect the Great Lakes from oil spills by:

·         Banning the shipment of crude oil on tanker vessels and barges on the Great Lakes. Earlier this month, the State of Michigan and Enbridge reached an agreement not to transport heavy crude oil under the current configurations of Line 5. As we rapidly explore alternatives to Line 5, and as energy transportation increases in the U.S., this bill makes clear that shipping crude oil on the Great Lakes is an unacceptable transportation option. There is currently no crude oil transported by vessel on the Great Lakes, and this bill keeps it that way.

·         Mandating federal studies on pipeline risks in the Great Lakes, including alternatives to Line 5. The bill mandates analysis by the Department of Transportation and the National Academies on the risks associated with pipelines that run through the Great Lakes and other waterways in the region. The studies must deliver a report to Congress with safety recommendations related to reducing spill risks, including an assessment of alternatives to Line 5 and a comprehensive map of pipelines crossing waterways in the Great Lakes basin.

·         Improving oil spill response plans. The legislation requires the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies to independently assess the current status of oil spill response and cleanup activities and techniques. It would also amend current law to require response plans that address icy conditions, when waters affected by a spill are covered in whole or in part by ice. During the past two winters, maximum ice coverage in the Great Lakes has been well above normal levels. The Coast Guard has stated it does not have the technology or capacity for worst-case discharge cleanup under solid ice, and that its response activities are not adequate in ice-choked waters.

·         Increasing public information and transparency about pipeline risks. Corporate information on pipeline operating standards, inspection reports and other information related to safety is often kept secret, or difficult to access and understand. The bill ensures residents are notified about pipelines near their property and compels operators to maintain publicly available information.

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Save The River Annual Meeting Held New Board Members and Officers Elected

September 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Published by the Daily Courier-Observer on September 2, 2015

Clayton, NY– Thursday, August 27th, Save The River held its Annual Membership meeting.  Among the items acted on was the election of three new Directors who add to the national, geographic, professional and demographic diversity of the now eighteen-member Board of Directors.

“It is great to have Karen Douglass Cooper, Jessica Jock, and Cicely Johnston, each of whom come from previously under-represented regions of the St. Lawrence River, join our Board,” stated Lee Willbanks, Riverkeeper and Save The River Executive Director. “In addition to broadening our geographic scope to now include all of the Upper St. Lawrence, 2 of the 3 are Canadian, these women bring new personal and professional experience to our efforts to protect and preserve this magnificent River.” Jeff Garnsey, newly elected President of the Board added, “I believe we are entering one of the most important and exciting periods in Save The River’s history. We now have a broader base on both sides of our River than ever before. I am excited to be a part of it.”

Ann Ward, Board Member Emerita, stated “for years we’ve tried to increase the number of Canadian members on our Board to more closely match the truly international nature of our work on the River. This is an excellent start.”

K CooperKaren Douglass Cooper, who for the last seven years has worked exclusively on projects dealing with fresh water protection throughout the upper St. Lawrence River Watershed Region, said “to share in the international scope of protection and conservation work being undertaken by Save The River is both an honour and a privilege. I am very much looking forward to serving with this wonderful team.” Ms. Cooper is the Communications / Community Outreach Officer for the St. Lawrence Institute of Environment Sciences and Coordinator for the Remedial Action Plan for the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC) in Cornwall, Ontario. She has also worked on fresh water protection and public education with South Nation Conservation Authority, the Dundas Environmental Awareness Group and the Raisin ‐ South Nation Drinking Water Source Protection Program.

J Jock

Jessica Jock is a self-professed life‐time river lover. As an Environmental Scientist for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division in Akwesasne, she has worked 13 years on various River projects related to Superfund cleanups, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Ms. Jock, stated, “I’m honored to have been nominated by my peers, and to have received the support of the membership. I look forward to serving the mission of Save The River and enthusiastically accept the role to promote good river stewardship for the River communities.” She has presented at local, state, and national conferences on River health, served on committees, and collaborated with many resource agencies and non‐profit organizations. She has volunteered and served on the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association, Inc. and Northern TRIBS Swimming, Inc. board of directors.

C JohnstonCicely Johnston was born and raised in the Thousand Islands and is the 5th generation in her family‐owned business, Ed Huck Marine of Rockport, Ontario. According to Ms. Johnston, “I started working at the marina quite young and quickly found I shared a passion for the River with other River Rats, whether they were locals, cottagers or boaters. This connection taught me the importance of a clean, sustainable River not only for recreation but commerce as well.” Ms. Johnston is a fundraiser for Queen’s University, holds a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University, and is co‐chair of a Queen’s University Senate Committee, and a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, South Eastern Ontario Chapter.

In other business conducted at the meeting, members heard from Executive Director Willbanks about some of the many initiatives, partnerships and accomplishments of Save The River in the preceding year. But he did point out that amid the positives, Plan 2014, the new and much needed water levels plan for the River has not yet been approved, legislation banning microbeads from personal care products is still in limbo in New York and there is still a threat of shipments of Bakken and tar sands crude oil on the River. Willbanks noted, “there are still real and significant threats to the health of the River and the communities that depend on it. Save The River remains the voice for the environment, the communities and all those who share the use of the River. We have to stay vigilant and maintain our ability to be that strong voice.”

In addition to the three new Board members, current Directors Jeff Garnsey, John McGrath, Steve Taylor, and Lauran Throop were re-elected for another three-year term. Elected as officers for the coming year were: Jeff Garnsey, President; Lauran Throop, Vice President; Fred Morey, Treasurer; John Peach, Secretary; and Jack Butts, Member-At-Large. The Directors also approved an amendment to the not-for-profit’s bylaws establishing term limits for Board members, limiting all Directors to no more than two, three year terms.

More information about Save The River’s programs and work to protect the Upper St. Lawrence River can be found at www.savetheriver.org.

Jessica Jock Cicely Johnston Karen Cooper

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Congresswoman Elise Stefanik​ visits Save The River: Reaffirms her strong support for Plan 2014.

August 27th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Congresswoman Rep. Elise Stefanik​ visits Save The River: Reaffirms her strong support for Plan 2014.
As part of her visits to many communities along the St. Lawrence River. Congresswoman Stefanik came to the office to talk about Plan 2014, aquatic invasive species, microbeads and the threat of oil shipments on the River. We came away very impressed with her grasp of the issues and her engagement in trying to find solutions that work for the benefit of all who share the use and enjoyment of the River.
We were particularly pleased with her continued strong support for Plan 2014, based as it is on a complete understanding of the problems the old water levels plan has caused and commitment to be a strong advocate for adoption and implementation of the new plan soon.
In addition to Plan 2014 the Congresswoman raised other issues of concern to the River community such as threats from invasive species and microbeads. Based on the discussion, we look forward to working with her on these and other River issues.
View coverage from the Watertown Daily Times:
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/stefanik-talks-plan-2014-with-save-the-river-in-clayton-tours-cape-vincent-patrol-boat-manufacturer-20150827
View coverage from TWC News Central/Northern NY:
http://www.twcnews.com/nys/watertown/news/2015/08/26/support-grows-for-plan-2014-to-help-protect-st–lawrence-river.html

As part of her visits to many communities along the St. Lawrence River. Congresswoman Stefanik came to the office to talk about Plan 2014, aquatic invasive species, microbeads and the threat of oil shipments on the River. We came away very impressed with her grasp of the issues and her engagement in trying to find solutions that work for the benefit of all who share the use and enjoyment of the River.

We were particularly pleased with her continued strong support for Plan 2014, based as it is on a complete understanding of the problems the old water levels plan has caused and commitment to be a strong advocate for adoption and implementation of the new plan soon.

In addition to Plan 2014 the Congresswoman raised other issues of concern to the River community such as threats from invasive species and microbeads. Based on the discussion, we look forward to working with her on these and other River issues.

View coverage from the Watertown Daily Times

View coverage from TWC News Central/Northern NY

Stefanik Collage

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Save The River Featured in NNY Outdoor Magazine’s Spring/Summer 2015 Issue

June 16th, 2015 | Posted by admin

NNY Outdoors page 1NNY Outdoors Page 2NNY Outdoors Page 3NNY Outdoors Page 4NNY Outdoors Page 5

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US EPA and Army Corps Issue Weak Clean Water Rule

May 28th, 2015 | Posted by admin

From the Waterkeeper Alliance:

Eno-River-3-300x225New York, NY and Washington, DC – May 27, 2015 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) final “Clean Water Rule” issued today reduces the agencies’ jurisdiction to protect waters that have been covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the 1970s. The final rule contains some very serious negative provisions including not protecting streams and rivers that have historically been protected under the CWA, exempting industrial-scale livestock facilities, and allowing streams and rivers to be impounded or filled with toxic coal ash and other waste.

The preamble to the rule states: “The scope of jurisdiction in this rule is narrower than that under the existing regulation. Fewer waters will be defined as ‘waters of the United States’ under the rule than under the existing regulations, in part because the rule puts important qualifiers on some existing categories such as tributaries.”

“The final rule inexplicably rolls back protections for streams and rivers, which feed into our water supplies,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Since only waters that are included within the final rule can be protected under the core water quality protections and pollution prohibitions of the Clean Water Act, it is frightening to think what this will mean for the tributaries that are no longer covered.”

Strong clean water laws are essential to restoring our nation’s waters, which are still polluted 43 years after passage of the Clean Water Act. Recent reports from the states to EPA show that more than 78% of assessed bays/estuaries and 53% of assessed streams/rivers in the U.S. are unsafe for fishing, drinking, or swimming. The Science Report that underlies the final rule demonstrates that all tributaries need to be protected because “Tributary streams, including perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral streams, are chemically, physically, and biologically connected to downstream waters, and influence the integrity of downstream waters.” However, the agencies stated that they are not “dictated” by the peer-reviewed science, and are reducing protection for tributaries regardless of the science.

Lake Erie, the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina’s coastal estuaries, Puget Sound and many other significant water resources across the country are severely polluted and, in order to restore these waters, it is necessary to control the discharges of pollutants into the smaller waterways that feed into them. For example, tributary streams in the uppermost portions of the Gulf and Bay watersheds transport the majority of nutrients to the downstream waters.

“From the smallest tributary, to the mightiest river, to our lakes, bays and ocean, clean water connects us to many valuable resources. Maintaining legal protection is essential for safeguarding public health and the environment, including drinking water supplies, recreation and fisheries,” stated Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper in Seattle, WA. “The narrowing of jurisdiction proposed by the EPA and the Corps is not supported by sound science or legal precedent.”

Reducing the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act will also likely impact endangered species. For example, many salmon in the Pacific Northwest use drainage ditches and other minor tributaries during their lives. Ephemeral aquatic habitats are important habitats for endangered frogs, insects, and crustaceans like vernal pool fairy shrimp.  Removing these water features from the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction will mean that these areas could be degraded more easily without proper mitigation being implemented to protect endangered species.

“The EPA’s new clean water rule fails to protect far too many of our waterways, endangering the health of both people and wildlife,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity.  “Without the full protection of the Clean Water Act, critical wetland habitats across the country will be degraded or destroyed, undermining the recovery of dozens of endangered species.”

The EPA also refused to address in the rulemaking a loophole which allows polluters to dam up streams to form waste lagoons that would not be subject to the full protections of the Clean Water Act. In 1980, when EPA last updated the definition of WOTUS under the Clean Water Act discharge permitting regulations, the agency inserted the exclusion as a footnote, two months after the rule had been finalized. When it announced the insertion of the footnote, EPA stated that it “intends promptly to develop a revised definition and to publish it as a proposed rule for public comment. At the conclusion of that rulemaking, EPA will amend the rule, or terminate the suspension.” (45 Fed. Reg. 48620 (July 21, 1980)).

Now, nearly 35 years later, EPA has undertaken a significant revision of the WOTUS definitions, yet it explicitly refused to take comments on the waste treatment system exclusion. This exclusion allows polluters to escape treatment requirements by impounding waters of the United States and claiming the impoundment is a waste treatment system, or by discharging wastes into wetlands. By refusing to accept public comments on the exclusion, EPA appears to be attempting a slight-of-hand maneuver to evade judicial review of this dubious footnote.

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Panel to Discuss Oil Transport at Winter Environmental Conference

January 23rd, 2015 | Posted by admin

Oil shipments on the St. Lawrence River are already an unpleasant reality. However, the dramatically increased extraction of heavy oil and bitumen from the Alberta tar sands has lead to increased pressure to transport these cargoes on and near the River. These volatile cargoes pose new and alarming threats to the River as the unique chemical characteristics make them difficult to handle and recover if spilled.

Cardi Report Image

A panel of experts will examine the implications of moving these new, toxic cargoes on and near the St. Lawrence River. The panel will include Kushan Dave, Cornell University, co-author of the recently published report “A New Era of Crude Oil Transport”, Emma Lui, National Water Campaigner, Council of Canadians, Anthony Mangoni, District Response Advisory Team Supervisor, Ninth Coast Guard District, and Gary McCullough, Regional Spill Engineer, NYS DEC Region 6.

There will also be a visual presentation about the source of this potential new cargo by Alex MacLean.

Save The River’s 26th Winter Environmental Conference will be held on Saturday February 7th, 2015 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

For more information and how to register visit our Winter Environmental Conference webpage.

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Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health

December 22nd, 2014 | Posted by admin

Canada and Ontario have signed a new Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health. This document sets out Canada and Ontario’s respective commitments over the next five years for implementing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement signed in 2012. The agreement will be in place for a five-year period ending in December 2019.

From the Preamble: “the Parties are committed to continuing to work together, and to engaging the Great Lakes community on a good governance basis, to restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes for present and future generations.”

Read the full agreement: http://ow.ly/GhVVu

webpost pic


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Broad-Based Coalition Calls on the Federal Government to Act on Plan 2014

November 12th, 2014 | Posted by admin

A broad coalition of local officials, landowners, environmental groups and small business owners today urged the federal government to take advantage of the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to save the St. Lawrence River and a Great Lake and adopt Plan 2014. Plan 2014 is a modern water level management plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River watershed that will work with nature while preventing extreme high and low water levels. It will restore 64,000 acres of wetlands, boost hydropower production and increase the resilience of hundreds of miles of shoreline in the U.S. and Canada. Plan 2014 has broad-based, bipartisan support and is the result of decades of extensive research and outreach that balances the interests of property owners, conservationists, community members, business leaders and sportsmen with the needs of the environment. It was developed collaboratively with scientists, experts, and through local input.PRESS CONFERENCE 2014

The International Joint Commission (IJC) – a joint U.S. – Canada task force – referred the plan to the federal governments in June, calling it “the preferred option for regulating water levels and flows of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River,” and concluding that “…Plan 2014 should be implemented as soon as possible.” It is currently awaiting approval under an inter-agency review in the United States.

Under the current management plan, the water levels of Lake Ontario and the flows of the St. Lawrence River are regulated by the Moses Saunders Dam under a joint U.S. – Canada agreement that is more than 50-years-old. The current plan was developed before modern science gave us a full understanding of the lake’s fragile ecosystem. We now know that the old system of management is slowly killing the lake and river.

Maintaining the status quo leaves coastal areas more vulnerable to powerful storms like Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene, and threatens a variety of industries and one of New York’s most valuable natural resources. These industries rely on a healthy lake and river, clean water and accessible shipping routes.

The following local governments have passed resolutions in support of Plan 2014:

  • Jefferson County
  • St. Lawrence County
  • Town of Clayton
  • Town of Cape Vincent
  • Town of Morristown
  • Town of Potsdam
  • Town of Hammond
  • Town of Alexandria
  • Town of Massena
  • Town of Lisbon
  • Village of Clayton
  • Village of Cape Vincent
  • City of Ogdensburg
  • Town of Gananoque, ON
  • Town of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, ON
  • Town of Front of Yonge, ON

Congressman Bill Owens said, “Plan 2014 is a pragmatic solution for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. It balances the environment and the economy, and is based in hard science. It’s time to implement Plan 2014 and prevent the irreparable damage that will occur if we don’t act.”

Congresswoman-elect Elise Stefanik said, “Throughout my campaign for Congress I was an advocate for Plan 2014 and intend to continue that support as your next Representative in Congress. Congressman Owens has provided key leadership on this issue while in Congress and I intend to follow in his footsteps and urge local and state governments to articulate specific steps to assist shoreline communities and property owners along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The economy of the Great Lakes region and throughout the North Country depends on a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. I believe Plan 2014 will help protect our natural resources throughout our region while addressing the concerns of communities throughout the shoreline. Plan 2014 is a reasonable, balanced solution to the issues confronting the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River basin. I stand ready to work with you to achieve these goals.”

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2014 CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

October 16th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Save The River sent a short questionnaire (shown below) on a variety of environmental issues to candidates for office in the 21st Congressional District, the 47th & 48th New York State Senate Districts and the 116th Assembly District:

21st Congressional District Candidates: Matt Funiciello, Elise Stefanik, & Aaron Woolf

47th NYS Senate District Candidate: Senator Joseph Griffo

48th NYS Senate District Candidate: Senator Patty Ritchie

116th NYS Assembly District Candidates: John Byrne, Russell Finley & Assemblywoman Addie Russell

We asked for their responses by October 20th and will post them Tuesday October 21st.

2014 CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Modern Water Levels Plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River –

After more than a decade of study and consultation with stakeholders the International Joint Commission unanimously voted to refer a modern water levels plan (Plan 2014) for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to the U.S. and Canadian federal governments for their approval. Plan 2014, which will replace a 50-year-old plan (1958D), has clear benefits for wetland and species restoration and for recreational boating, hunting, fishing, and hydroelectric production.

Do you support Plan 2014, and will you work for its speedy implementation?

2.Microplastic / Microbead Pollution

Many consumer products sold in the United States and around the world contain microplastic particles as abrasives and exfoliants. In most cases, these microplastic particles are intended to be washed down the drain after use, where most, if not all, pass through sewage treatment facilities into the receiving body of water. Recent studies found microplastics, including polyethylene microbeads, in high concentrations in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

Do you support a ban on microbeads in personal care products?

3. Invasive Species Control –

The damage done to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River from the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species is well documented as costing millions of dollars annually due to a range of impacts from clogging intake and discharge pipes for municipal drinking and wastewater systems and industrial facilities, to recreational boating and fishing.

a. Ballast Water

The U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency have finally adopted regulations designed to prevent the introduction and movement of aquatic invasive species in the River and Great Lakes, however some lawmakers have proposed blocking or weakening these rules.

Will you support and work to ensure stringent ballast regulations on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River

b. Asian Carp –

Many studies have shown that the only effective way to stop the spread of Asian Carp (silver and bighead) into the Great Lakes and eventually the River is the hydrological (physical) separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds.

Do you support physical separation as a way to prevent invasive carp introductions to the Great Lakes and, eventually, the St. Lawrence River?

4. Safe Shipment of Hazardous Liquid Bulk Cargoes –

The transport of highly volatile liquid bulk cargoes on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River is a new and emerging threat to the safety of the watershed. The U.S. Coast Guard has admitted that it does not have the equipment or plans to deal with a spill of “heavy” oils such as those being extracted in the U.S. Midwest or Canadian tar sands should one occur.

Do you support rules and regulations that will restrict the movement of such cargo on the River or through its watershed unless and until adequate safety and response measures are in place?

5. Climate Change –

Climate variability and change are driven by global-scale changes in the earth’s climate system, but impacts will be felt and difficult choices will need to be made locally in order to manage and mitigate the impacts to the St. Lawrence River and its watershed. Already sudden and intense weather events are occurring with increasing frequency, often with high costs in terms of infrastructure and human impacts.

Will you advocate for programs assist local governments in their efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate variability and change?

6. Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) –

EPF programs provide communities the ability to use natural solutions to help reduce risk and plan growth in a way that improves sustainability and resilience in the face of more frequent extreme weather events. EPF programs create jobs, lower costs to taxpayers and protect clean water and other valuable community resources. The fund once stood at $255 million but was cut deeply during the recession, falling as low as $134 million. In last year’s budget the EPF was increased to $162 million.

Do you support restoring the Environmental Protection Fund to its pre-recession level of $255 million in order to addresses significant environmental, land protection and conservation needs throughout the state?

7. Additional Information –

Feel free to add any additional thoughts you want to convey to our members and followers.

Plan 2014 best way to preserve waterways

October 14th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Following efforts by Monroe County and Wayne County officials to stand in the way of Plan 2014, the Watertown Daily Times published a superb editorial outlining an approach to mitigate erosion, “Proceed with Plan 2014: Proposal can sensibly regulate waterways, mitigate flooding,” on September 23.

Save the River supports the position taken by the paper. And we join the river community to say how pleased we are that our local governments have said yes to Plan 2014’s balanced approach of returning benefits to the environment and our economy while only slightly reducing the benefits lakeshore property owners have received year after year.

We thought readers would want to know that over the past two months 12 legislative bodies have unanimously passed resolutions in support of Plan 2014 as it is a sound economic and environmental approach to the problems experienced under the current plan, 1958D.

These legislative bodies represent the people of Jefferson County; the towns of Clayton, Cape Vincent, Morristown, Potsdam, Hammond, Alexandria, Massena and Lisbon; the villages of Clayton, and Cape Vincent; and the city of Ogdensburg.

Our local leaders present a refreshing alternative to their peers elsewhere in the state who are focused on stalling approval and implementation of this modern plan even though it offers all shoreline communities their best opportunity to deal with the negative impacts of the current plan.

The paper’s editorial recommends the state fund shoreline projects with new revenue derived from the increased hydropower Plan 2014 will create. This is a solution that communities looking to solve current problems should say yes to so that everyone who lives, works or plays on the river and Lake Ontario can receive benefits from the new plan.

As the approval of Plan 2014 moves forward, Save the River will work as we always have to ensure river communities and wetland restoration efforts receive an appropriate share of the benefits it provides. Concerned representatives from other areas should do the same for their communities.

Letter to the Editor by Lee Willbanks
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper / Executive Director

Published by the Watertown Daily Times on October 13th, 2014.

Click here to see the print article.

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