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More on the Documentary “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers”

September 30th, 2016 | Posted by admin

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.

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2016 Beach Watch: Week 6 Results

August 11th, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River Reports on Week 6 of Beach Watch Program

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 8, 2016 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 47.3
Round Island PASS 7.4
Scenic View Beach PASS 25.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 5.2
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.

 

Frink Park located in Clayton is one of the popular swim areas on the River.

Frink Park located in Clayton is one of the popular swim areas on the River. Photo Credit: Ally Aiken

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St. Lawrence River & Key Figures Play Big Role in Upcoming Film – Updated

August 5th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

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.

While here they interviewed two of Save The River‘s strongest partners in our efforts to preserve and protect the St. Lawrence and the larger Great Lakes system – Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER and Jeff Ridal, Executive Director of the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Featured, as well, are Angie Barnes (Tsionerahtase) and Dr. Mary Arquette (Iotenerahtatenion). Both have dedicated their lives protecting the waters, culture, and environment for future generations in Akwesasne on the St. Lawrence River and both are employees of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, a strong and important voice in St. Lawrence River restoration.

Also interviewed was our very own Board President, Jeff Garnsey, as a local business owner and seventh-generation resident.

In the just released trailer we hear Jeff at the beginning, Angie at the 5 second mark, see Jill at the 30 second mark, Jeff at 46 seconds and Dr. Arquette at 55, all making excellent points. The whole trailer offers a glimpse of how impactful this production will be.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 40 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.

 

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2016 Beach Watch: Week 4 Results

July 28th, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River Reports on Week 4 of Beach Watch Program

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 July 25, 2016 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 14.6
Round Island NO SAMPLE NO SAMPLE
Scenic View Beach PASS 7.4
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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Saving the St. Lawrence

June 7th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
It is sad to note the silence from federal and state officials since American Rivers designated the St. Lawrence River as one of America’s 10 Most Endangered Rivers this past April. It is time to speak up and make them take note and take action.
The Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper kicks off a month of shining the spotlight on the threat an outdated water management plan poses to wetlands, fish, wildlife and local communities with the first of a series of blogs on the American Rivers website.
Take action at plan2014now.savetheriver.org

It is sad to note the silence from federal and state officials since American Rivers designated the St. Lawrence River as one of America’s 10 Most Endangered Rivers this past April. It is time to speak up and make them take note and take action.

The Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper kicks off a month of shining the spotlight on the threat an outdated water management plan poses to wetlands, fish, wildlife and local communities with the first of a series of blogs on the American Rivers website.StLawrence_Napaneegal_5bflickr5d-1-680x303

Take action at Plan 2014 Now.

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This type of advocacy takes resources. If you would like to contribute to our efforts by becoming a member please click here. And keep coming back for updates.

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Blue Fish Radio Interviews Riverkeeper about Most Endangered Designation

May 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
Blue Fish Radio covers the designation of the St. Lawrence River as one of America’s most endangered rivers with Lawrence Gunther interviewing Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper. Listen to the interview here: http://ow.ly/E9ga3003Isj
Visit http://plan2014now.savetheriver.org/ to learn more about the designation.
from Lawrence’s website: “Lawrence Gunther, North America’s only blind professional angler, is the host of both “Feel the Bite TV” and the “Blue Fish Radio” show. . . In addition to being one of Canada’s top-sponsored anglers, Lawrence is the President of “Blue Fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to the future of fish and fishing. More recently, Lawrence completed filming a documentary exploring the most significant fish and water issues affecting Canada. For more visit: http://lawrencegunther.com/

Blue Fish Radio covers the designation of the St. Lawrence River as one of America’s most endangered rivers with Lawrence Gunther interviewing Most Endangered (1)Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper. Listen to the interview here.

Visit plan2014now.savetheriver.org to learn more about the designation.

from Lawrence’s website: “Lawrence Gunther, North America’s only blind professional angler, is the host of both “Feel the Bite TV” and the “Blue Fish Radio” show. . . In addition to being one of Canada’s top-sponsored anglers, Lawrence is the President of “Blue Fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to the future of fish and fishing. More recently, Lawrence completed filming a documentary exploring the most significant fish and water issues affecting Canada. For more visit his website.

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Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director named Freshwater Hero and Citizen Advocate of the Year

March 30th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director Recognized as Freshwater Hero and Citizen Advocate of the Year
Freshwater Future has added Lee Willbanks to its 2016 list of Freshwater Heroes and honored him with the distinction of Citizen Advocate of the Year.
Based in Michigan, the Freshwater Future has a singular and vitally important mission: to ensure the healthy future of our waters in the Great Lakes region.
This month the organization issued its list of Freshwater Heroes. The list includes extraordinary groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond to protect what they hold dear—our waters.
In naming him Citizen Advocate of the Year, Freshwater Heroes said the following about Lee: “From on-the-water monitoring and restoration efforts, to educating the next generation of river champions, to his persistent and passionate advocacy on complex policy issues like aquatic invasive species and regulation of water levels, you can trust that Lee is there, standing up for the St. Lawrence, each and every day.”
For more: http://ow.ly/1067E4

Freshwater Future has added Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Save The River’s Executive Director, to its 2016 list of Freshwater Heroes and honored him with the distinction of Citizen Advocate of the Year.

Based in Michigan, Freshwater Future has a singular and vitally important mission: to ensure the healthy future of our waters in the Great Lakes region.

This month the organization issued its list of Freshwater Heroes. The list includes extraordinary groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond to protect what they hold dear—our waters.

In naming him Citizen Advocate of the Year, Freshwater Heroes said the following about Lee: “From on-the-water monitoring and restoration efforts, to educating the next generation of river champions, to his persistent and passionate advocacy on complex policy issues like aquatic invasive species and regulation of water levels, you can trust that Lee is there, standing up for the St. Lawrence, each and every day.”

2016 Freshwater Future Freshwater Hero Award
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NYSDEC’s 2015 Lake Ontario Fisheries Programs

March 15th, 2016 | Posted by admin

from the Watertown Daily Times, published on March 14, 2016.

Biologists, anglers talk state of Lake Ontario fishing

“The anglers knew it, and the biologists had the charts to confirm it: last season’s fishing on Lake Ontario was officially lousy.

With few answers about the cause of the dip, beyond colder-than-average water, there was little hope the state Department of Environmental Conservation could offer for fishing this year.”

For the entire story click here: http://ow.ly/ZqZ2q

For NYSDEC’s 2015 Lake Ontario Fisheries Report click here: http://ow.ly/Zr4Oj

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New Canadian Member Random Bonus

March 11th, 2016 | Posted by admin

Join Save The River and enter a random bonus drawing for an Akona Vibe package with paddle & leash with a $999 retail price from Ed Huck Marine.

All new Canadian members who join or renew between August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016 are automatically eligible.

Become a member today!

Canadian Member Bonus

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Plan 2014 needed to restore fish populations

March 9th, 2016 | Posted by admin

Originally published in the Watertown Daily Times on March 9, 2016.

We, the undersigned, would like to call your readers’ attention to a recent proposed change in state fishing regulations and the unique policy opportunity it provides. The Department of Environmental Conservation suggested changes to the fishing regulations that would reduce the daily limit of northern pike from five to three on the St. Lawrence River.

The reason for this change?…damaging water-level regulations that have been in place for more than 50 years and have yet to be updated.”

Click here to read the full letter.

View NYSDEC’s proposed fishing regulation changes.

More Pike

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