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Save The River Honors its Volunteers

August 11th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

2017 Volunteers & two of the Volunteers of the Year – Ron Daly (left) & Bill Taddeo (right)

On a beautiful summer day at the Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp, many of Save The River’s over 250 volunteers came together to share stories, celebrate their good work to protect the River, and to honor this year’s Volunteers of the Year – the men, women and students who have sampled the water quality at area swimming holes since 1998 – our Beach Watch Volunteers.

Save The River has many well-subscribed and robust volunteer programs – Common Tern Restoration, Riverkeeper & Jr. Riverkeeper, Shoal marking, Catch & Release, event support like Run for the River™ and others, and our many educational programs – and the volunteers for each are superstars. As we have said before, ‘Volunteers are the heart, soul and muscle of all we do to protect the St. Lawrence River.” But this year – a year with a few challenges where the water meets the shore – we chose to honor our Beach Watch volunteers.

  • This year we honor our volunteers for their long time involvement with the Beach Watch Program:
    • Jean and Ron Daly, monitoring Lake of the Isles since 2008
    • Ben Giardina, monitoring Lake of the Isles since 2015
    • Mary Mitchell, monitoring Scenic View Park since 2013
    • Maria Purcell, monitoring Potter’s Beach since 2008
    • Bill Taddeo, monitoring Wilsons Bay since 2014
    • Dick Withington, monitoring Round Island since 2007

What was true in 1998, when we introduced the program in a letter to local municipalities, is true today, when the results of our monitoring efforts are reported internationally, “Everyone loves to visit the ‘local swimming hole’ on a summer day on the River. Public dock areas, riverfront parks, and island beaches make for great swimming and sunning, digging in the sand or turning over rocks to find other River inhabitants sharing the same spot.” What we didn’t say explicitly then, but what we are all very aware of is that we all want the water we play in to be fishable, drinkable and swimmable. So we test once a week, rain or shine, for 9 weeks in the summer.

Over the years Save The River has worked in partnership with several associations including: Round Island Association, Lake of the Isles Association, the Thousand Islands Land Trust and property owners on and near Wilson’s Bay. Results are published weekly on our webpage, social media and in the Swim Guide website and app.

 

About Save The River® / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper®

Since 1978 Save The River, a community-based membership not-for-profit organization, has been the leading environmental organization fighting for the ecological integrity of the St. Lawrence River. Its mission is to preserve, protect and restore the River now, and for generations to come. It delivers educational programs to students and adults about the River, its fragility, and the importance of protecting it. Save The River is committed to being a forceful advocate for policies and programs that promote clean water protections and to resist those that eliminate or weaken them.

Please consider volunteering and becoming a member of Save The River to support our education programs and advocacy for a healthy St. Lawrence River.

Contact us at: info@savetheriver.org, or (315) 686-2010

Join or donate at: www.donate.savetheriver.org

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Save The River Honors Its Exceptional Volunteers

August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.
While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.
This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their faculty advisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauber and Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.
This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.
With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.
Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

IMG_0443

Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.

While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.

This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their facultyadvisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauberand Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.

This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.

With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.

Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

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Restoring the Common Tern in the Islands

July 18th, 2014 | Posted by admin
Meet our newest Riverkeeper volunteers, Patti, Jennifer, and Nathan, they are dressed and ready for the part.
Don’t miss out on your chance to attend a Riverkeeper Volunteer Training. We still have openings in our next training on Wednesday, July 30th from 6-7pm at the Save The River office in Clayton. To register call 315-686-2010. See you there!

Tern1Once a very plentiful part of our waterbird population in the St Lawrence River Valley, the Common Tern has dropped to significantly low levels, due to a loss of nesting habitat and the expansion of Ring-billed Gulls. As a result of this dramatic decline in numbers, the Common Tern was listed as a threatened species in New York State. Save The River (STR) and the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) have formed a cooperative effort, in conjunction with Dr. Lee Harper, of Riveredge Associates, to monitor Common Tern nesting areas on the River. Residents from the Chippewa Bay area have also been very involved in helping to monitor and restore Tern habitat.

STR first became involved in 1997, with TILT volunteering the use of their Eagle Wing Shoals and Tidd Island soon thereafter. TILT maintains some of the last natural nesting shoals, still utilized by Common Terns, on the Upper St. Lawrence River.

Tern 2

All of the date collected by STR and TILT’s volunteers is gathered on standardized reporting format and reported the o the season to Dr. Harper. This critically important information helps Dr. Harper plan for habitat restoration efforts. Most of the navcells have now been encircled by plastic netting, which helps to keep young chicks from jumping off the high cells into the River before they can fly. A necessary tool at chick banding time is a small fish net to retrieve “jumpers” who jump into the water. The Eagle Wings shoals located just off Clayton, has been covered with a polypropylene line grid, installed each spring and broken down late summer by TILT and STR volunteers. Holes are drilled into the granite and steel bars are stuck into the holes to anchor the grid. It is an intense fun day long effort. TILT transports the crew out to the islands in their fantastic work boat, lunch is provided for all volunteers. And more volunteers are always welcome!

To read the entire article visit thousandislandslife.com.

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Volunteers! Common Tern Nesting Grid Installation, Tuesday, April 29th

April 24th, 2014 | Posted by Kate
Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Tuesday, April 29th at 9:00 am. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust office in Clayton at 8:45 am to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location.
Since 2003, Save The River and TILT have teamed up to install an exclusion grid on both the Eagle Wing Shoal and Tidd Island. The grid helps protect these New York State threatened species from harassment and predation from other water birds such as gulls. The grid also helps to preserve nesting habitat for this species that is constantly competing for nesting space amongst gulls and Double-Crested Cormorants.
This annual effort, along with careful monitoring of nesting birds by Save The River’s volunteers, is all part of Save The River and TILT’s joint Common Tern Monitoring Program. The program originated in the late nineties and works to monitor nesting Common Terns annually to assess the population. Additionally, volunteers participate in habitat restoration initiatives such as grid installation, placing nest boxes and chick shelters on nesting sites and adding gravel to areas to make suitable and safe nesting habitat for terns. All of these efforts have helped to increase tern populations on the St. Lawrence River.

To read more about Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program visit our Terns page.

Help us help terns! To RSVP to help with the grid installation call the Save The River office, 315-686-2010 or email the Save The River Program Manager, Kate Breheny at kate@savetheriver.org.

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Gull Exclusion Grid Removal on Eagle Wings set for Tuesday, August 6th. Volunteers still needed!

August 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Kate

Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program draws to a close for another season.  In preparation for the closing of the season Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust will remove the exclusion grid on Eagle Wing Shoals on Tuesday, August 6th and volunteers are still needed.

Interested volunteers should call Save The River, 315-686-2010 to let us know you are coming. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust office in Clayton at 8:30 am to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location.  Please bring work gloves, and wear sturdy footwear.  Lunch is provided.

To read more about Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program visit our Terns page.

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Volunteers Needed to Help with Tern Grid Installation, Thursday, April 12th

April 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Kate

Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Thursday, April 12th at 9:00 am. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust office in Clayton at 8:45 am to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location.

Since 2003, Save The River and TILT have teamed up to install an exclusion grid on both the Eagle Wing Shoal and Tidd Island. The grid helps protect these New York State threatened species from harassment and predation from other water birds such as gulls. The grid also helps to preserve nesting habitat for this species that is constantly competing for nesting space amongst gulls and Double-Crested Cormorants.

This annual effort, along with careful monitoring of nesting birds by Save The River’s volunteers, is all part of Save The River and TILT’s joint Common Tern Monitoring Program. The program originated in the late nineties and works to monitor nesting Common Terns annually to assess the population. Additionally, volunteers participate in habitat restoration initiatives such as grid installation, placing nest boxes and chick shelters on nesting sites and adding gravel to areas to make suitable and safe nesting habitat for terns. All of these efforts have helped to increase tern populations on the St. Lawrence River.

To read more about Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program visit our Terns page.

Help us help terns! To RSVP to help with the grid installation call the Save The River office, 315-686-2010 or email the Save The River Program Manager, Kate Breheny at kate@savetheriver.org.

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Volunteers Needed to Help with Tern Grid Installation, April 12

March 24th, 2011 | Posted by Kate

Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Common Tern exclusion grid installation on Tuesday, April 12th. Volunteers will meet at the Land Trust offices in Clayton at 9 a.m. to gather equipment and catch the boat to the project location.

Since 2003, Save The River and TILT have teamed up to install an exclusion grid on both the Eagle Wing Shoal and Tidd Island. The grid helps protect these New York State threatened species from harassment and predation from other water birds such as gulls. The grid also helps to preserve nesting habitat for this species that is constantly competing for nesting space amongst gulls and Double-Crested Cormorants.

This annual effort, along with careful monitoring of nesting birds by Save The River’s volunteers, is all part of Save The River and TILT’s joint Common Tern Monitoring Program. The program originated in the late nineties and works to monitor nesting Common Terns annually to assess the population. Additionally, volunteers participate in habitat restoration initiatives such as grid installation, placing nest boxes and chick shelters on nesting sites and adding gravel to areas to make suitable and safe nesting habitat for terns. All of these efforts have helped to increase tern populations over the last 3 years.

To read more about Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program visit our Terns page.

Help us help terns! To RSVP to help with the grid installation call the Save The River office, 315-686-2010 or e-mail Save The River Program Manager, Sarah Walsh.

Tern Grid 2008 011

Volunteer John Johnson assists with grid installation.

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Volunteers needed to paint Common Tern decoys, Friday April 1

March 24th, 2011 | Posted by Kate

Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are looking for volunteers to assist with painting Common Tern decoys for the Common Tern Monitoring Program on Friday, April 1st at 9 a.m. at the Land Trust offices in Clayton. The decoys will be used during the upcoming nesting season to help attract Common Terns to nesting grounds.

All materials will be provided. Interested volunteers should RSVP as decoys are limited. To RSVP call the Save The River office, 315-686-2010 or e-mail Sarah Walsh.

decoys ready for painting-copy

Decoys await a coat of paint.

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Tern Season Comes to a Close

August 23rd, 2010 | Posted by Kate

This summer was a successful one for terns on the River, with numbers at an all time high on the River as a whole. Save The River volunteers worked very hard this season along with our conservation partners the Thousand Island Land Trust (TILT) to increase avaiable nesting habitat on the River for terns as well as keeping close watch on these special little birds over the nesting season.

babies 7.1.10 at 213

Just last week, volunteers from Save The River and TILT took down two exclusion grids on the Eagle Wing Group and Tidd Island. Both sites are gridded annually with a wire net at waist height that keeps the nesting terns safe from gulls and other birds that feed and harass terns. The removal of the grids is the end of nesting season on the River and both organizations are already working on habitat restoration initiatives for next year to ensure the continued population increase for the New York State Threatened Species.

To read and learn more about tern populations on the River this year read the Watertown Daily Times recent article.

To learn more about the grid removal project check out Channel 7’s news coverage of this project.

Need more background? Check out our Common Tern Monitoring page and listen to North Country Public Radios report on this project.

Special thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in this year’s Common Tern Monitoring Program. We are looking forward to another successful year of tern farming next year.

1 phot by bill munro

Categories: Homepage,Terns Tags: ,
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Tern Grids to Come Down as Season Draws to a Close; Volunteer Help Needed

August 2nd, 2010 | Posted by Kate

Save The River’s Common Tern Monitoring Program draws to a close for another season. It was a successful year of habitat restoration on our sites and our volunteers did an excellent job conducting their annual monitoring on all seven of our nesting sites.

In preparation for the closing of the season Save The River and the Thousand Islands Land Trust are gearing up to remove the exclusion grids that are installed annually on the Eagle Wing Shoals and Tidd Island.

The exclusion grid is a cross hatching of poly wire that is strung across the surface of the shoal. The lines are placed far enough apart to allow for terns to land on the shoal but close enough together to prevent other birds such as gulls from landing. This keeps the terns safe from predation by gulls and allows them to successfully nest, raising their young and adding to this New York State Threatened population.

Grid removal will be on Tuesday, August 10th starting at 9 a.m. Interested volunteers should call Save The River, 315-686-2010 to let us know you are coming. Volunteers will be leaving from the Thousand Islands Land Trust office at 9 a.m. that morning.

1 phot by bill munro

Volunteers assist this past spring with a clearing of Tidd Island in preparation for the coming nesting season. Photo by Bill Munro.

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