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Something “Fowl” About Our Winter Environmental Conference

January 23rd, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Lee Harper, Ph.D, President of Riveredge Environmental, Inc. and Michael Morgan, NYS DEC Project Manager and Biologist for St. Lawrence Habitat Management Project, will present on the state of St. Lawrence River Fowl at the 29th annual Winter Environmental Conference. 

Harper and Morgan will explore opportunities and challenges restoring and maintaining habitats for bird populations along the St. Lawrence River, and highlight some very successful restoration efforts. Common Terns, Black Terns, grassland birds, waterfowl, and raptors will be discussed.

Harper is a consulting conservation biologist with a special interest in rare, threatened, and endangered birds, fish, and freshwater mussels. For the past 28 years, he has worked with St. Lawrence River waterbirds and other fauna under contract to State, Federal, and Tribal agencies. Lee and his crew have banded almost 40,000 Common Tern chicks over the years to learn about their survivorship, post-fledging dispersal, and migration from the River to Central and South America and back. For many years Harper has guided and advised Save The River’s initiative to restore Common Terns in the 1000 Islands area of the St. Lawrence River.

Morgan has assisted with the conservation of New York’s natural resources while studying for a graduate degree at SUNY Brockport, and subsequently working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and then Audubon New York. Mike now serves as Project Manager for the DEC’s St. Lawrence Habitat Management Project and also manages Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area near Massena, New York. Morgan has hosted Save The River Riverkeeper Volunteer Trainings at the Wilson Hill offices.

Other presentations at the Conference will focus on Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions, the environmental improvement efforts being made by shippers, terminals and ports, the condition of the River as habitat, and the general state of fish that depend on the River being healthy. 

Click here for Conference registration form or call 315-686-2010 to register. $50 registration fee includes morning coffee, lunch, and light hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception (cash bar).

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Conference Welcome Address to Reflect on 40th Anniversary of Save The River

January 19th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

In celebration of our 40th anniversary the welcome address at our upcoming 29th annual Winter Environmental Conference will be provided by Ann Ward, past president and long time Board member of Save The River. Ann will reflect on 40 years of challenges and accomplishments of Save The River as the leading grassroots advocacy organization working to protect the St. Lawrence River. 

Ann is a retired legal administrator and a perennial volunteer. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and past Chair of Glassboro State College Board of Trustees (now Rowan University). Ann has served her community as a member of a variety of organizations including the League of Women Voters, Haddonfield Planning Board, Habitat for Humanity, and as a current Board member of Macsherry Library Board. She resides in Alexandria Bay.

Other presentations will focus on Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions, the condition of the River as habitat, and the general state of fish and birds that depend on the River being healthy.

Click here for Conference registration form or call 315-686-2010 to register. $50 registration fee includes morning coffee, lunch, and light hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception (cash bar).

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Save The River Announces Additions to Staff – Updated

January 1st, 2018 | Posted by admin
Additions to Save The River staff in key positions – Program Manager, Outreach Coordinator and Office Assistant – add depth and experience.
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Patricia Shulenburg, who most recently worked for the New York State Office of Parks as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Dunes and Wetlands Restoration Coordinator, brings experience with educational programming to Save The River as Program Manager.
 
Margaret Hummel, Clayton, previously Director of Events and Marketing at the Antique Boat Museum, is the organization’s Outreach Coordinator.
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Kendall Hathaway, Cape Vincent, a recent graduate of Auburn University, fills the new position of Office Assistant.
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As Program Manager, Ms. Shulenburg, will implement all aspects of Save The River’s current educational programs including its very successful In the Schools and On the Water programs which currently introduce over 1,000 kindergarten to twelfth grade students to environmental issues facing the St. Lawrence River and the Riverkeeper and Jr. Riverkeeper Volunteer programs that teach 100s volunteers each year of all ages stewardship principles.
 
Ms. Shulenburg has a Master’s of Science degree in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior from the University at Buffalo where she focused her graduate studies on Great Lakes ecology and stream restoration. While at the NYS Office of Parks she managed projects at Sandy Island Beach State Park and founded the region’s first volunteer monitoring and stewardship program for the federally endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover.
 
Ms. Hummel will be involved with all aspects of Save The River’s communications with its membership, supporters and the public and be an integral part of the delivery of its education and volunteer programs, events and fundraising as Outreach Coordinator. She has been a Clayton resident since 2007 and brings seven years of experience with volunteer coordination, and event planning at the Boat Museum.
Ms. Hathaway graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While at Auburn, she worked in the agricultural department where she gained a greater appreciation for environmental conservation. She will be able to combine her education and experience in her work at Save The River.
 
Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s Executive Director, stated, “significant progress has been made in protecting the St. Lawrence River’s water quality and habitat, and in expanding the number of people and communities involved in that effort during the 40 years Save The River has been the voice for the River. However, much remains to be done and we are very excited to have Margaret, Patricia and Kendall join the existing staff – Bridget Wright, Linda Wright and me – as we take on the task.”
 
He added, “We have heard from many partners and community members that they are excited to build on past successes as we expand our capacity at this critical time when the St. Lawrence River and the communities that depend on it being healthy are facing existing and new challenges.”
 
Save The River, a member-based, nonprofit environmental organization, has been the “voice for the St. Lawrence River” in the U.S. and Canada since 1978. Save The River’s mission has always been to restore, preserve and protect the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education and research. In 2004, Save The River was designated the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and became a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance with the goal of a swimmable, fishable, drinkable River.
 
As the leading grassroots advocacy organization working to protect the St. Lawrence River, Save The River takes an active role in River policy issues, engaging decision makers, community leaders, residents, visitors and volunteers to make positive change. Every year it works with educators in school districts in the watershed to educate 1,000+ students in a place-based curriculum that stresses age appropriate aspects of stewardship.

Patricia Shulenburg

 

Margaret Hummel

 

Kendall Hathaway

 

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It’s Giving Tuesday!

November 28th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

On this Giving Tuesday

Help Kick Off Our 40th Year

of being the Voice for the St. Lawrence River!

and

Help Us Educate the Next Generation of River Stewards!

2014-08-02 Jr Riverkeepers

your gift of $40 or more will allow us to get more students On the Water,

reach a few more Jr. Riverkeepers, and

fight a little longer to restore, preserve and protect

the St. Lawrence River now, . . . and for generations to come.

Thank you so much!

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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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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.

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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)

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It’s a big River we all share, . . .

July 15th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

. . . and we at Save The River love our part of it.

Join us however you can in our work to preserve, protect and restore the St. Lawrence River, . . . now and for generations to come.

click the image for a larger version

https://donate.savetheriver.org/
#itsourriver #stlawrenceriver

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2017 Beach Watch Week 1: July 3

July 6th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 1 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 3, 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 44.1
Round Island N/A NO SAMPLE
Scenic View Beach PASS 4.1
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A NO SAMPLE
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.

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

 

Kelly Johnston, Save The River’s 2017 summer intern managing Beach Watch, learns how to take a water sample.

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Rock For The River® Takes Hiatus in 2017

June 22nd, 2017 | Posted by admin

You may have seen articles and sponsored Facebook posts about Rock For The River’s trademark as well as Save The River’s decision to put the event on hiatus this year.

While Save The River decided to place the event on hiatus and secure a trademark after careful consideration, we are aware these actions have generated a lot of talk and some criticism.

We would like to use this space to describe why Save The River took these actions and how our decisions align with the organization’s mission and current priorities.

The benefit concert Rock for the River, which we held for the past 13 years, has been held to raise funds to support Save The River’s mission. Like our Run for the River, raffles and other fundraisers, this event was created with good intentions to raise money and awareness for our mission.

In a time of challenges to the health of the St. Lawrence River, the likes of which we haven’t seen in recent memory, we want to assure our thousands of members and supporters that Save The River remains committed to the one mission it has consistently had for its 40-year history:

“the protection, restoration and preservation of the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education and research . . .

In short, a healthy River, now and for generations to come.”

We take our mission very seriously and we know the thousands of people who contribute to us annually do as well. Spending money on fundraising to support the mission is appropriate and necessary but it must generate a return that warrants the time, energy and donor dollars spent or it cannot be justified.

We were fortunate and have appreciated the input, creativity and musical ability of the many musicians – local and visiting – who donated their time and talent to the concert.

However, after a period of declining ticket sales, and increasing expenses and demands on our staff, all of which pointed to a trend where soon the concert would be taking more than it was giving, we decided to take a one-year break from Rock for the River. While that has led to disappointment, we cannot prioritize a night of entertainment over accomplishing our mission. We intend to return with a revitalized and retooled Rock for the River in 2018.

A question has been raised over Save The River’s trademark of the event’s name.

Last year, at the direction of its board, Save The River took the initiative to register the Rock For The River trademark.

The Board decided to protect the significant resources – staff and volunteer time, sponsor and contributors’ donations, and other resources – Save The River has expended on the event since 2004. We did so in full compliance with trademark law and in a manner that allows Save The River the maximum flexibility to work with willing and supportive artists and donors who help advance our mission.

There may be times Save The River does not host one of its typical fundraisers, whether it be our 5k/10k Run for the River, a winter or summer raffle, Catch and Release weekly drawings or, as with this year, Rock for the River. But, please be assured that when we do host an event, we will meet the high expectations the River community has for Save The River.

We know that is what our supporters and members expect.

signed the Directors of Save The River

Our letter to the Watertown Daily Times, published July 3, 2017

 

Save The River, the standing heron & Rock for the River are registered trademarks of Save The River, Inc.
Riverkeeper is a registered trademark of the Waterkeeper® Alliance

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