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Page 42 of President’s budget plan released today “Eliminates funding for…Great Lakes Restoration Initiative”. This program has received bipartisan support in every budget since its inception in 2010. Over $130,000,000 has come to New York State to improve wetlands, fish habitat, invasive species detection and prevention, pollution abatement and other important projects that have created direct and indirect jobs, improving our environment and our economy. Over $6.4 million has been spent directly in the St. Lawrence River watershed.
Zero it out? Seriously. Decidedly. Outrageous!
Among many other programs cut or zeroed out is a Department of Agriculture program that assists communities with fewer than 10,000 people with water and sewer infrastructure.
It’s hard to imagine describing the St. Lawrence River as “great” if the water is no longer swimmable, fishable, or drinkable.
The President’s budget plan is chock full of disappointments for anyone who has benefitted from the last half century of progress the United States has made in air and water quality and human health.
Common sense tells us we have more to do to make sure every American has access to clean air and water, both basic human rights.
Instead for Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and our members and supporters, this budget is nothing less than a full on assault on the health of one of North America’s most important waterways and the people and communities that depend on it being and staying healthy.
Call the Congressional switchboard, (202) 224-3121, to connect with your Senators & Representative with the simple message “I support clean water programs – GLRI, revolving loan funds, & EPA”. Then call White House with same message (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111.
Please also consider becoming a member of Save The River to strengthen our ability to fight for a healthy St. Lawrence River, now and for generations to come. Add your voice to thousands of others working to preserve, protect and restore one of the great rivers in North America.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has adopted new freshwater fishing regulations and points out in their announcement that the, “[r]egulations in the guide are in effect from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.”
There are important new and modified regulations established for various fish species and methods of take to be aware of. Among them are greater protection for northern pike in the St. Lawrence River due to the declining abundance of spawning adults and poor recruitment of young-of-year fish in the Thousand Islands region.
click on the image for all the St. Lawrence River regulations
Of course another guide that is always important to be aware of is the New York State Health Department’s St. Lawrence Valley Region Health Advice on Eating Fish You Catch. As the guide points out, “some fish contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to health.”
Robert Howard, Rhys Jenis, Rebecca Leonard, team members of The Heritage Hi-Techs, a rookie First Lego League team of 5th graders from Clayton, NY, wanted to call attention to an iconic, but threatened River species – the Muskellunge – as part of their solution to this year’s robotic competition.
So they asked Save The River for input and came up with “Animal Allies” as a theme for their entry. Based on knowledge gained from Save The River and others about the need for responsible stewardship of the River’s threatened Muskellunge population, they will present their solution, which earned them tremendous first-year success, at our conference.
The team’s name, Heritage Hi-Techs, is based on the neighborhood which they all live in. Robert, Rhys and Rebecca all share an interest in robots and have been friends since they were in strollers. Since their elementary school does not have a robotics class or club currently, they decided work together to learn robotics as a team.
Registration for this year’s Conference closes Friday, February 3rd. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.
In the summer of 2016, the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences organized citizens from the city of Cornwall and Akwesasne to clean debris out of the St. Lawrence River. Anglers, divers, students, and general public worked together to pull over 12 tonnes of garbage out of the River and from along its shorelines. Not only was garbage retrieved, but this became an incredibly successful community and awareness building event.
Mesha Boyer, Assistant Project Coordinator at the Institute, will present “A Great River Runs Through Us”, the film which tells the story of citizen involvement making a real difference.
Registration for this year’s Conference closes Friday, February 3rd. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.
Save The River is looking for qualified candidates for paid internships this Summer.
The positions run from mid May through Labor Day.
Applications will be accepted until March 17, 2017.
There really is no better way to spend a summer – on the water, in the storefront, working on the frontlines with Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper protecting the River!
Check out the trailer for “What Lies Below” & you will definitely want to meet Lawrence Gunther, a great advocate for sustainable fishing. We are honored to have Lawrence share his experience, knowledge & wit at our Winter Conference.
Lawrence is North America’s only blind professional angler & champion of fish conservation. Drawing on his experience as a commercial fisher for Cod on Canada’s east coast, & as a competitive angler in over 125 fishing tournaments, he now focuses his energy on empowering others to become stewards of their waters & fish resources.
Prior to founding “Blue Fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to the future of fish & fishing, Lawrence earned a Masters in Environmental Studies that included conducting research throughout Canada’s Arctic & Scandinavia. His articles on sustainable fishing can be found in numerous outdoor publications, & his “Blue Fish Radio” podcasts (where he interviewed our Riverkeeper) are heard by over 100,000 listeners each week.
The documentary “What Lies Below” follows Lawrence & his guide dog as they explore ten fish habitat and sustainability stories throughout Canada. As host, Lawrence travels throughout Canada to speak with people who live by & from the water. What he learns is that there are a lot of people who feel strongly about the long term sustainability of their fishing resources.
So join us, your friends – old & new at Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel to celebrate and learn about the River we love.
Schedule: Saturday, February 4, 2017
9:30am – Registration and morning coffee
10:00 am – 4:00pm Presentations
4:00 pm – Cocktail Reception with cash bar
Conference fee: $50 (includes coffee, lunch, & cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres)
RSVP no later than Friday, January 27, 2017 to Save The River using the form found here or by calling us at (315) 686-2010.
We’ll see you there!
Join us in our work to protect, preserve and restore the St. Lawrence River now and for future generations.
We do this by educating children about the River, and how to live with and sustain it and the creatures that depend on it being healthy. And we work for policies that will protect it from invasive species, toxic chemicals and untreated waste dumping, microplastics and an outdated dam management plan that has decimated tens of thousands of acres of wetlands and species.
But to do it well and to reach even more children and adults and bring about meaningful policy change we need a community of members that is large, vocal and supportive.
We need you! Please join Save The River today and become a partner in our effort to pass on a healthy St. Lawrence River for generations to share.
As we reported here in an earlier post, “St. Lawrence River & Key Figures Play Big Role in Upcoming Film“, in June the crew from Changing Currents, PLU MediaLab, came to New York, Ontario and, specifically the St. Lawrence River for interviews and filming for “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers”, an examination of river pollution and restoration efforts in North America.
In a recently released trailer for the movie portions of an interview with Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Save The River Executive Director Lee Willbanks are shown. “I am honored to be able to speak about the work we and many others have done to preserve, protect and restore the St. Lawrence River as part of what looks to be an excellent documentary about the threats to freshwater bodies across North America and some of the restoration efforts occurring in communities across the continent.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 50 percent of rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for swimming or fishing. The mission of the film is to educate others on ecological river health, encourage environmental stewardship and advocate for dialog regarding effective river protection. The film is currently in pre-production and will premiere on Nov. 12, 2016 in the Theatre on the Square at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Washington.
Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch Program
Clayton, NY (August 31, 2016) – Save The River’s Beach Watch Program is in the process of monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 5th through August 29th on a weekly basis. Save The River reports all samples collected on August 29th, 2016 have passed.
For the 2016 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at six swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Frink Dock in Clayton, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Save The River’s unique program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.
|Location||Pass/Fail||Parts per 100mL|
|Lake of the Isles||PASS||1.0|
|Scenic View Beach||PASS||1.0|
|Wilson’s Beach 3 ft||PASS||1.0|
|Wilson’s Beach 6ft||PASS||2.0|
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, Save The River will be testing for E. coli bacteria in all of its swimming locations and will compare water quality results with 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 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.