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TODAY! January 7, 2017 – River Music!

January 7th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

TODAY! January 7, 2017! Music to the ears of the St. Lawrence River communities who have worked and waited for it for so long.

From the weekly update of the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board / Conseil international du lac Ontario et du fleuve Saint-Laurent,

“As mentioned in the IJC’s media release of 8 December 2016, Plan 2014 will be implemented effective Saturday, 7 January 2017.

Comme noté dans le communiqué du CMI du 8 décembre 2016, Plan 2014 sera en vigueur le samedi 7 janvier 2017.

We commend the IJC, and the U.S. and Canadian governments and are proud of the role Save The River, its members, followers and partners, played in seeing Plan 2014 enacted. More here.

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Tremendous video from the IJC summarizing the need for and benefits of Plan 2014

December 6th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

For the first time in over 50 years, we have a unique and rare opportunity to reduce the ecological impacts of unnatural water levels management on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Plan 2014, if implemented, will allow for more natural variability in water levels, set a positive precedent for deliberations on the Upper Great Lakes water levels regulation, and set the stage for the restoration of 64,000 acres of coastal wetlands – easily the largest single example of Great Lakes restoration to date.

Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River enhance the quality of life for all citizens who live, work and recreate in the coastal zones of the Lake and River. Since 2001, the IJC has worked with governments and stakeholders in New York, Ontario and Quebec to develop a new set of procedures for regulating the flow of water through dams in the St. Lawrence. This plan will “contribute to the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence system” (the IJC’s previously stated goal for a new regulation plan).

The benefits of Plan 2014 are not limited to the environment – recreational boating, hunting, fishing, increased coastal wetland resilience in the face of climate change, and cost-effective shipping all are strengthened under this new approach to regulation. Plan 2014 continues to provide considerable protection for coastal property as well.

It truly is time for #Plan2014Now.

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Vote!

November 8th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

vote.

Vote as if your children and their children’s access to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water depends on it.

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Demand that our elected officials at every level work for a healthy St. Lawrence River that provides safe drinking water, is home to a thriving range of indigenous species and supports sustainable economic activity.

 

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Another Anniversary of the Clean Water Act; And Still No New Water Levels Plan!

October 18th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

For over 50 years the St. Lawrence River has suffered under a destructive water levels management plan. On this 44th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, almost 20 years after the destruction of over 64,000 acres of wetlands habitat and the precipitous decline of species dependent on those wetlands was identified and more than 2 years after a plan to begin the restoration of those wetlands was referred to them by Most Endangeredthe International Joint Commission, the U.S. and Canadian federal governments still have not acted, and the St. Lawrence remains one of America’s most endangered rivers.

This is not right!

In June following American Rivers designating the St. Lawrence as one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers, we wrote about it on their website. At that point we and a broad coalition of groups and individuals supporting a modern plan for managing the River – Plan 2014 – had collected over 22,000 expressions of support for the plan. Now we have over 36,000.

Now is the time for our federal governments to act. Now before we reach any more anniversaries. Now before we lose any more wetlands and the species dependent on them.

It is time for #Plan2014Now!

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Join Us

October 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Join us in our work to protect, preserve and restore the St. Lawrence River now and for future generations.Value

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.

Click here.

Thank you.

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Executive Director interviewed for Public Television on Water Levels

October 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Taking every opportunity to make the case for our two federal governments to lift their pens and concur with the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014 and begin restoring wetlands, Northern Pike, Black Tern and so much more to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Riverkeeper and Save The River executive director speaking to tvo’s The Agenda, Nam Kiwanuka, for broadcast on Detroit Public Television while at the Great Lakes Public Forum in Toronto.

It’s time for #Plan2014Now.

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International Joint Commission launches public consultations on progress by the governments to restore and protect the Great Lakes

September 30th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Over the next year, citizens throughout the Great Lakes basin can participate in online & in-person discussions & meetings to provide their perspectives about progress by the governments of Canada & the United States under the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Their viewpoints will contribute to the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) first assessment of progress made by the governments to restore & protect the Great Lakes under the 2012 Agreement.ijc-glwqa

“Residents of the Great Lakes basin have a vital interest in this Agreement, which embodies the spirit of cooperation between our two countries, as well as the joint goals & activities needed to restore and protect Great Lakes water quality,” said Gordon Walker, chair, IJC Canadian Section.

“Restoring Great Lakes water quality continues to be an ambitious undertaking, so it is critical that citizens express their views on progress to implement this Agreement & work that still needs to be done,” said Lana Pollack, chair, IJC US Section.

Throughout the next ten months, the IJC will host a series of monthly online discussions on its online democracy platform called ParticipateIJC. The sharing platform will include valuable information about the Agreement & provide opportunities for citizens throughout the Great Lakes region to contribute videos, photos, stories & comments, & talk with others about progress to restore & protect the lakes. It will also provide video from the Great Lakes Public Forum & other meetings held around the basin for those who cannot attend in person. ParticipateIJC will include a variety of discussion forums as well as new information as public meetings are held in towns throughout the Great Lakes region.

Between the end of October 2016 and mid-January 2017, the IJC will pull all the information together – the governments’ progress report, its advisory boards’ reports and assessments, and citizens’ comments – to write a draft of its Triennial Assessment Report. Once that’s released in mid-January, the IJC will head back out to hear what citizens think of that report and issues they’re concerned about in their area in a series of public meetings in communities across the Great Lakes basin. The draft report and its appendices will be posted at IJC.org and on ParticipateIJC to encourage discussion and comments. A final report will be released in summer 2017 that will incorporate all scientific, policy and citizen input.

Click here to join in the conversation.

More on the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website).

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Wetlands need Cuomo’s support, from the Albany Times Union

September 26th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Two and a half years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke passionately and factually about the value of healthy wetlands. Highlighting the state’s efforts in the New York City area after Hurricane Sandy, he said, “We devalued the purpose of vacant land, wetlands, around the body of water. And, we really just trampled on it. A wetland is called a wetland for a reason.”1958 Called Cuomo

His comments remain powerful today as a plan to restore healthy wetlands along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River awaits the approval of the U.S. and Canadian governments. And, we need his support.

Environmental considerations were never part of the planning process when the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam and the St. Lawrence shipping channel were built in the 1950s. As a result, outdated dam operations have caused significant losses to the upper St. Lawrence River’s wetlands, biodiversity and habitat. For this reason, American Rivers named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers earlier this year — the only one in New York.

In response to the ongoing devastation, a new approach to the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam operations was formulated. This approach, called Plan 2014, will increase wet meadow acreage by 40 percent, northern pike populations by 39 percent, and black tern populations by 16 percent. It will boost annual hydroelectric power production by $5.3 million, and annual recreational activity along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario by $9.1 million. Each of these benefits comes at no cost to taxpayers.

The plan was devised with the input of more than 180 stakeholder representatives, and referred to the two federal governments two years ago by the International Joint Commission.

Cuomo has received more than 22,000 petition signatures, letters and postcards in support of the plan, as well as letters from 42 environmental conservation and sportsmen organizations and 35 businesses and community leaders. Furthermore, former Gov. David Paterson and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis expressed support for Plan 2014’s precursor.

The governor, though, has been silent about the enactment of Plan 2014.

When I listen again to the governor’s words about the value of healthy wetlands, I remain inspired. Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the North Country deserve the same consideration as the New York City area. These wetlands must be restored, and Cuomo must take action now to support Plan 2014.

published in the Albany Times Union

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Governor Cuomo on the Value of Healthy Wetlands

September 12th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Gov Cuomo spoke about the value of healthy wetlands at a New York Rising event at the State Capitol April 23, 2014.

His comments have direct application to the damage an out-dated dam management plan has caused to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and the need for a modern, restorative water levels plan – Plan 2014.

More than ever it is time for #Plan2014Now. Go to Plan2014Now.SaveTheRiver.org and let him know it’s time to speak up for the River and the people who depend on it being healthy.

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2016 Beach Watch: Week 7 Results

August 18th, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River Reports on Week 7 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 18, 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 15, 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
Frink Park    PASS < 1.0
Lake of the Isles    PASS < 1.0
Potter’s Beach    PASS 3.1
Round Island      n/a n/a
Scenic View Beach    PASS 1.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft    PASS < 1.0
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, 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.

 

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