Contact Us

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

July 31st, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

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

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

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

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

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

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Save The River Host Roundtable Discussion

May 31st, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

On Wednesday, May 29 Congresswoman Stefanik visited Save The River for a working tour of the St. Lawrence River followed by a roundtable with local business owners, elected officials representing towns, villages, and counties along the River, and members of the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River (ILOSLR) Board.  

Jeff Garnsey, president of Save The River’s board of directors, captained the boat tour that began with a look at the work done to protect the village of Clayton’s waterfront properties. Moving upriver the tour paused to float in Grindstone Island’s Flynn Bay where Captain Garnsey, a fifth-generation fishing guide, explained that the bay is one of the area’s most important northern pike and muskellunge hatcheries and the return of more natural water levels, supported by Plan 2014, will reduce the dense mat of cattails that have choked the bay’s shorelines and prevented these prized sport fish from reaching their historical breeding grounds. As the tour moved downstreamand back to Clayton, the group was able to view how waterfront residents are modifying their docks, boathouses, and homes to the adapt to the high-water levels.

Following the boat tour, Save The River and Congresswoman Stefanik hosted a roundtable discussion with a wide spectrum of voices including business and tourism leaders, local elected officials, and members of the IJC to discuss both the benefits of Plan 2014 and the concerns of Riverfront residents about the water levels. Tom Brown, a U.S. member of the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, provided an educational background on the water level regulations plan (1958D) that historically governed the outflows of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and noted that that in reality Plan 2014 was not a dramatic change from prior plans but it acknowledges the critical importance of natural level fluctuations and accounts for previously unrepresented interests, including the environment and recreational boating. Brown, along with Save The River, reaffirmed the importance of moving forward with a continued commitment to Plan 2014, while acknowledging another important component of the plan: the Great Lakes Adaptive Management’s Committee who is tasked with the long-term adaptive management process to review and improve outflow regulation.

The discussion then turned to the extraordinary conditions that are causing high water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River this year including:

  • all five of the Great Lakes currently dealing with above average water levels, including Lake Erie which has reached record highs in the month of May and represents 80% of the inflow entering Lake Ontario,
  • significant spring runoff and heavy precipitation leading to the flooding of the Ottawa River basin, a water system that is nearly two and a half times the size of the Lake Ontario watershed basin, and which empties into the lower St. Lawrence River where it impacts downstream cities,
  • such as Montreal which has faced historic flooding since mid-April with over 10,000 residents who have had to evacuate their homes, and
  • above average precipitation throughout the region; Watertown has already recorded nearly double the average amount of rainfall for the month of May.

In short, Brown explained, “There is too much water upstream and there is too much downstream, there is nowhere for it to go.”

Rob Campany, also a U.S. member of the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, discussed the delicate balancing act of maximizing outflows, especially during the winter months when the board must closely monitor ice formation and adjust outflows to allow the formation of a stable ice cover to prevent ice jams that can cause devastating destruction and inland flooding. Campany noted that in the months of December 2018 through February 2019 record high outflows were achieved, the fourth highest outflows in over 100 years of monitoring. Without the increased outflows this past winter, this year’s flooding would have been more significant.

Discussion around the table included concerns from downriver residents who experienced extreme low water levels in 2018, the economic importance of an extended boating season supported by Plan 2014, and recollections of high-water years in past decades including the 1970s. Ron Thomson, owner and operator of Uncle Sam Boat Tours, noted that with all of the area’s outstanding tourist attractions “…the number one attraction is the River itself, which means the health of the River is critical for our business.”

Congresswoman Stefanik wrapped up the meeting by addressing concerns about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to local municipalities and encouraged local officials to contact her office so that they could work together to track FEMA applications. Stefanik also heard about the critical need for modern digital flood maps that are being created by FEMA across the nation but have not yet been created for the St. Lawrence River region; Stefanik noted that an official request will be made to prioritize mapping the River. Finally, Stefanik also commented that based on her conversations with Brown, Campany, and others it was clear that more work on shoreline resiliency was essential.

“It was important for Save The River to be able to take Congresswoman Stefanik and local leaders out on the River to see the measures being taken by the community and River residents to adapt to the high-water levels,” said John Peach, executive director of Save The River. “We’re grateful both for her ongoing support of Plan 2014 and for her response to our communities in these years’ of extreme conditions that create record high water levels.”

Comments Off on Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Save The River Host Roundtable Discussion

Dr. Sherri Mason, Groundbreaking Researcher in Plastics Pollution, to Speak at Winter Environmental Conference

January 28th, 2019 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

‘Single-Use’ plastic was named the word of the year by Collins Dictionary highlighting the wave of news stories, social media hits, and policies that have become increasingly common over the last few years. Why? What is the problem with plastic?

At this year’s Winter Environmental Conference, Dr. Sherri “Sam” Mason will present a basic primer on what plastic is and the realities of plastic pollution right here, right now in the Great Lakes region.

Dr. Mason earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and completed her doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Montana as a NASA Earth System Science scholar. While a Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Fredonia, her research group was among the first to study the prevalence and impact of plastic pollution within freshwater ecosystems. Among her accolades Dr. Mason was named an EPA Environmental Champion in 2016, was awarded for her Excellence in Environmental Research by the Earth Month Network in 2017 and was selected to receive a Heinz Award in Public Policy in 2018. She has recently moved into a new role as Sustainability Coordinator at Penn State Behrend.

Watch Dr. Mason’s Tedx Talk Beads of Destruction.

Other speakers at the Conference will include:

  • Peter Annin will analyze the future of Great Lakes water diversion management.
  • Evie Brahmstedt will describe her ongoing research about mercury in St. Lawrence wetlands.
  • Elaine Tack will present It’s Hard to be a Tern, her short film exploring Save The River’s common tern restoration program.
  • John Casselman will discuss the catastrophic decline of the American eel in the St. Lawrence River system.
  • Chad Lord will explore the threat of Asian carp and what can be done to keep these invasive fish out of the Great Lakes.

Hear Dr. Mason speak Saturday, February 2 at the WEC, hosted at Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. Call (315) 686-2010 to register; $50 conference fee includes morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon snack, and light appetizers during cocktail hour (cash bar). Click here for the registration form. 

New this year: for those unable to make the trip to Clayton, we will be hosting a professional live stream of the WEC. In order to support this exciting new offering, there is a suggested donation of $25. The hyperlink for the live stream will be emailed the week of the conference.

Comments Off on Dr. Sherri Mason, Groundbreaking Researcher in Plastics Pollution, to Speak at Winter Environmental Conference

Senate Protects St. Lawrence River & Great Lakes

April 26th, 2018 | Posted by Lee

Senate Votes to Protect the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes: Defeats Vessel Incidental Discharge Act

Last Wednesday, after a tremendous outpouring of opposition led by Save The River members and many others across the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence region, the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 (S.1129). This bill contained a harmful provision, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), that would have weakened rules protecting clean water and shift the oversight of ballast water discharge from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Coast Guard.

If S.1129 with the VIDA amendment had passed, the health of the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes would have been put in serious jeopardy with the threat of new aquatic invasive species introduced via ballast water discharges. Learn more here.

Your calls and emails were enormously important in defeating this harmful legislation. Thank you!

Join us in thanking the Great Lakes region Senators who voted to block this bill from going forward; call the Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 or send a message of thanks via social media (sample message below):

Thank you [insert your Senator(s)] for voting to protect our #StLawrenceRiver, #GreatLakes & #CleanWater by opposing VIDA! This bad bill would have weakened #invasivespecies protections. @SaveTheRiver member.

Senators to thank:

Minnesota – @AmyKlobuchar and @SenTinaSmith

Wisconsin – @SenatorBaldwin

Illinois – @SenatorDurbin (Sen. Duckworth did not vote either way)

Michigan – @SenStabenow and @SenGaryPeters

Ohio – @SenSherrodBrown

New York – @SenGillibrand and @SenSchumer

Since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, ocean-going freighters carrying contaminated ballast water have introduced 100+ aquatic invasive species to the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, round gobies, and the fish-killing VHS virus have caused irreparable environmental and economic damage to the River and the entire Great Lakes regions.

For 40 years Save The River has been the voice for the St. Lawrence. We will always stand to protect the health of the River but we can’t do it without your support.
Stand with us as the voice for the St. Lawrence River by becoming a member or making a donation today.

 

A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained upon request at 409 Riverside Dr, Clayton, NY 13624 or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, 19th Flr, New York, NY 10005

Comments Off on Senate Protects St. Lawrence River & Great Lakes

Celebrate World Water Day with Save The River

March 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

On March 22 we celebrate Water World Water Day. This year’s #WorldWaterDay focuses on how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

Did you know that an estimated two-thirds of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900 as a result of human activity? Wetlands naturally filter toxins and sediments from water and help protect against floods by trapping and slowly releasing surface water, rain, and snowmelt.

Nature-based solutions like restoring wetlands, reconnecting rivers to flood plains, and planting trees to replenish forests are sustainable and cost-effective methods to fight the effects of climate change. The answer is in nature!

At Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper we’re all about a swimmable, drinkable, fishable St. Lawrence now and for generations to come. Join us! Click here to become a member or make a donation today. 

Comments Off on Celebrate World Water Day with Save The River

Clean Water Safeguards Eliminated in Must-Pass Budget Bills

March 13th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Save The River will always stand in opposition to attacks on our nation’s most vital resource: clean water. We joined 115+ groups around the country urging our senators and congresspeople to oppose damaging ideological riders in spending legislation for Fiscal Year 2018: http://ow.ly/W1UR30iV3CW

Outdoor recreation is a way of life in New York, especially here on the St. Lawrence River. We can’t afford to eliminate conservation safeguards that protect our waters & wildlife. The dirty water riders attached to the upcoming federal budget vote will do just that.

The dirty water riders attached to the upcoming budget vote will undermine protections for drinking water that 1 in 3 Americans depend on, eliminate conservation safeguards that protect our waters & wildlife, and cut the public out of the decision making process.

Raise your voices to New York’s congressional leaders: ask them to reject all policy riders attacking safeguards for the St. Lawrence River and all streams, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and other waters that our families, communities, and economy depend on. Call them at (202) 224-3121.

Comments Off on Clean Water Safeguards Eliminated in Must-Pass Budget Bills

2017 Beach Watch Week 6: August 7

August 10th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 6 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 10, 2017) – Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis. All locations sampled on August 7, 2017 have passed.

photo credit: Bill Taddeo, who samples Wilson’s Bay in Cape Vincent

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at five swimming area: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location                       Pass/Fail                  Parts per 100mL

Frink Park                      N/A                        CLOSED
Lake of the Isles            PASS                     <1.0
Potter’s Beach               PASS                        1.0
Round Island                 PASS                     <1.0
Scenic View Beach         PASS                       5.2
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft        PASS                       1.0
Wilson’s Beach 6 ft        PASS                       1.0

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water. The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria. Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations. Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

Comments Off on 2017 Beach Watch Week 6: August 7

Run for the River™ 15 Was Fantastic!

July 31st, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Great turnout! Great runners! Great volunteers! Great sponsors! Great weather!

Congratulations to all runners and walkers on a spectacular race!

Race results

5K Results

the top 3 overall female 5K runners – Mia Pestle (19:24), Jill Corbut (20:05), Megan Simmons (20:08)

the top 3 overall male 5K runners – Owen Vincent (17:58), Steven Doe (18:32), Joshua Rainbolt (19:02)

5K Results by Age Group

Female 13 and under -– Alexa Doe (21:37)

Male 13 and under – Ethan Petrus (22:55)

Female 14-19 – Lily Dougherty (21:30)

Male 14-19 –- Patrick Farrell (19:13)

Female 20-29 – Abbie Brinson Woodru (24:26)

Male 20-29 –- Bill Roy (22:12)

Female 30-39 –- Jessica Lister (23:02)

Male 30-39 –- Todd Domachowski (19:50)

Female 40-49 –- Deborah Doe (20:23)

Male 40-49 –- George Mesires (24:04)

Female 50-59 –- Laurie Beth Pestle (23:52)

Male 50-59 – Timothy Percy (21:24)

Female 60-69 –- Joanne Reese (24:58)

Male 60-69 –- John Kozak (24:23)

Female 70+ – Betty Goldfarb (49:57

Male 70+ – Cecil Currin (32:47)

All 5K Results are online and can be viewed on the ARE Event Productions site by clicking here.

10K Results

the top 3 overall female 10K runners – Meredith Kennedy (41:34), Roxanne Marmion (46:11), Eleanor Hanna (47:26)

the top 3 overall male 10K runners – Colin Wilkinson (37:13), Brian Morgan (38:47), Gary Romesser (41:02)

10K Results by Age Group

Female 14-19 –- Michelle Gloska (49:46)

Male 14-19 –- Matthew Jones (49:36)

Female 20-29 –- Heather Valadez (48:41)

Male 20-29 –- Chistopher Morrissey (42:03)

Female 30-39 – Lesley Vars (47:37)

Male 30-39 –- Josh Kime (42:04)

Female 40-49 –-  Laura Borrelli (51:57)

Male 40-49 – Charlie Flynn (42:57)

Female 50-59 – Mary Eckstein (48:39)

Male 50-59 – Norris Pearson (41:13)

Female 60- 69 – Sherry Gilbert (52:08)

Male 60-69 – Mark Sager (47:16)

All 10K Results are online and can be viewed on the ARE Event Productions site by clicking here.

Many thanks to our generous Event Sponsors and Supporters!

 

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

and our In-Kind Sponsors: Clayton Shurfine and Frontenac Crystal Spring

And, many thanks to the many volunteers without whom this Run would not be possible

& to the supportive community organizations the Village & Town of Clayton are home to, including

the Clayton Fire Police, Clayton Police Department, Thousand Island Emergency Rescue Service (TIERS), and the staffs and officials of Village and Town of Clayton.

See you all next year Saturday, July 28th 2018!

Comments Off on Run for the River™ 15 Was Fantastic!

2017 Beach Watch Week 4: July 24

July 27th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 4 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.  Due to this season’s high water not all beaches usually sampled each year can be sampled now.  However, all beaches sampled on July 24, 2017 passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers will collect water quality samples at five swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles PASS 5.2
Potter’s Beach PASS 52.1
Round Island N/A No Sample
Scenic View Beach PASS 62.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 62.4
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 36.8

 

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

 

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria.  Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations.  Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

For more about this year’s high water, visit Save The River’s webpage, www.savetheriver.org.

 

Save The River’s summer intern, Heidi Pearson, poses outside the Save The River office with week 4 results for Beach Watch.

Comments Off on 2017 Beach Watch Week 4: July 24

2017 Beach Watch Week 3: July 17

July 20th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 3 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.  Due to this season’s high water not all beaches usually sampled each year can be sampled now.  However, all beaches sampled on July 17, 2017 passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers will collect water quality samples at five swimming areas along the River: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.  Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles N/A No Sample
Potter’s Beach PASS <1.0
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 10.9
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A No Sample
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 1.0

 

Results are expressed in numbers of bacteria colonies found in 100 milliliter (mL) sample of swimming water.  The NY State Department of Health has set a swimming quality limit of 235 colonies of E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water.

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria.  Results will be compared to levels set out in state and federal regulations.  Save The River will make the results available to the public each week with a pass/fail system at the organization’s office, online on its webpage (www.savetheriver.org) and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter.  Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

To sign up for weekly Beach Watch updates or for more information about the program please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

For more about this year’s high water, visit Save The River’s webpage, www.savetheriver.org.

A calm Monday morning at Potter’s Beach, where Save The River’s volunteer, Maria Purcell, takes a weekly water sample. (Photo Credit: Maria Purcell)

Comments Off on 2017 Beach Watch Week 3: July 17
Older Posts »

Get in Touch

409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

p: (315) 686-2010
e: info@savetheriver.org

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy