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2017 Beach Watch Week 2: July 10

July 13th, 2017 | Posted by Kate

Save The River Reports on Week 2 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 10, 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 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 3.1
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 3.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A NO SAMPLE
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 37.3

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.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 1: July 3

July 6th, 2017 | Posted by Kate

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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No Wake Zone within 600 feet of Lake Ontario or St. Lawrence River shorelines!

July 2nd, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Use Caution! Be Respectful!

Boat around others’ docks, boathouses, and property like you want them to boat around your’s.

Please share this widely.

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Scientists tell Oswego paper, “Plan 2014 not to blame for Lake Ontario flooding”

June 30th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

In another well-researched and well-sourced story, this one in today’s Palladium-Times by reporter Seth Wallace, the paper asked “nearly a dozen experts on geology, biology, meteorology, other earth sciences and international law”,

Did Plan 2014 cause the flooding?

The answer,

Without exception the answer came back the same: No, Plan 2014 did not cause the flooding.

The article also sheds new light on the strength of claims being made by some of the state’s elected officials that Plan 2014 is to blame for this year’s high water.

“The Palladium-Times made multiple requests this week to both [Rep.] Katko and Tenney’s offices to provide any data they had received from any expert that showed evidence of Plan 2014 as the cause of the flooding.

Both offices were either unwilling or unable to produce such evidence.”

As we have said all spring, the solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred. Instead we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.

The full article is worth a read.

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High Water! Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Says ‘Stop the blame game’

June 27th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

It is time to stop playing the blame game“, so says the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorial board in a June 24th editorial, referencing an article exhaustively examining the causes of this year’s high water published the same day.

As they have done all spring, with water levels, tempers and frustrations rising, authors Steve Orr and Meaghan M. McDermott drilled into the issue of why the water is high and who, if anyone, is to blame.

For the article,”High winds, high water, lots of hot air: Facts and fiction about Lake Ontario’s Plan 2014“, they went behind the angry statements being made by south shore residents and elected officials, and Governor Cuomo accusing the International Joint Commission (IJC) of everything from incompetence to outright malfeasance.

Summing up their research:

“Cut off one head of the ever-shifting explanations for why the waters are seeping into yards, gouging away the shoreline and smashing the boulders designed to hold the lake back, and two more wild theories spout. . . .

In fact, three months after high water on the lake first began to bedevil property owners, there is no proof whatsoever that the fault lies anywhere other than with nature.”

Based on the article, the editorial board concludes,

“Rather than continuing this futile exercise [blaming the IJC], leaders should be joining lakeshore residents in exploring ways to better protect coastal property in the years to come, while respecting the rights of others who are affected by the rise and fall of this Great Lake.”

To which we at Save The River would only add “and this great River, the St. Lawrence.”

In fact, in an April letter published in many papers around the state, we said as much. “The solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred. Instead we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.”

The full article, “High winds, high water, lots of hot air:Facts and fiction about Lake Ontario’s Plan 2014” is worth a close read.

The editorial, “Stop blaming the International Joint Commission” is also worth a full read.

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No Longer “Business as Usual”, Climate Change Changes Thinking

June 1st, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Not our usual allies in the effort to restore, preserve and protect the St. Lawrence River – major U.S. corporations.

But in a year of historic water levels brought on by record breaking rainfall, following years of wild swings in weather, increased intensity of storm events, many overwhelming infrastructure and disrupting the environment and human activity:

WE KNOW WE MUST ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE.

The St. Lawrence River Valley is not immune. The impacts are not occurring somewhere else. And, while our activities may not add much to the global picture, the River we rely on for physical, mental and spiritual sustenance will be impacted.

The Paris Agreement, agreed to by 195 countries, is a, if not the, most important step taken to date to address climate change. As the world’s leading economy, the world’s leading innovator, and the world’s leading consumer of energy and emitter of its by-products the United States must stay engaged in the world-wide effort to address climate change.

We must stay in the Paris Agreement.

If the environmental perspective isn’t persuasive, look at the list of of major corporations supporting the Paris Agreement. Visit the website, “Businesses urge president to remain in Paris Agreement

Join some of America’s largest corporations and call the White House and your Senators and Representative today and tell them we must stay in the Paris Agreement:

White House: (202) 456-1414
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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Dismissal of Scientists from EPA Panel Concerning

May 19th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Absolutely spot on. “It’s critical that the EPA continues to use the highest quality research when making policy decisions, and the recent dismissal of these Members of the Board of Scientific Counselors is very concerning,” said Congresswoman Stefanik, in a letter to the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt she signed with 71 other members of Congress concerning the recent dismissal of several members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors.

Thanks to Rep. Elise Stefanik​ for speaking out.

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We cannot stress it enough, if you are going to go on the water . . .

May 18th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Use Caution! – it’s the hazards at or just below the surface that will get you (not the ones like this that are clearly visible).

Be Respectful! – Boat around others’ docks, boathouses, and property like you want them to boat around your’s.

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Challenging Conditions on the River

May 8th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Conditions on the River Demand Attention, Courtesy and Knowledge When Boating

The River is very high right now and may be for the next few weeks.

Many of our neighbors, as well as many of us, have docks, boathouses and shoreline that are under water or threatened by the high water. It is also the case that the high water has brought more debris than usual into the River and many of its tributaries.

If you are on the water:

Pay Attention – there may be more debris than usual, either floating or partially submerged.

Be Courteous – slow down well before you approach a dock and much further from shore than you normally would. Any wake you throw is potentially going to cause damage to someone’s property.

Be Knowledgeable – for your safety and that of your passengers and others, know the water where you are boating. Shoals that are normally marked by this time each year, are likely not yet marked due to the difficulties our volunteers are having getting on the water. Also previously visible hazards may now be submerged. If you have any questions – get a chart and use it.

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High Water Level Cause? Answer from South Shore

April 29th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

A week ago we posted, “Nature plays the biggest role in water levels in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system,” disputing the unfounded, but frequently made claim that the new water management plan – Plan 2014 – is to blame. Yesterday in a lengthy, well-sourced and comprehensive article the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle agreed.

The entire article, “High water on Lake Ontario: Who’s to blame?” by Steve Orr and Meaghan M. McDermott, is a must read. It puts to bed two questions that have been burning up the press, the airwaves and the inboxes of elected officials (and Save The River) for weeks.

to quote the article:

Who or what is really to blame for the high water?

This spring’s high water is an act of God. It is the consequence of heavy rainfall in March and especially in early April, when the amount of water entering Lake Ontario set a record. Similar high water has afflicted the St. Lawrence River, which carries the flow from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean.”

“So Plan 2014 is to blame then?

All the experts have disavowed any connection between high water and the regulations.”

and, from a longtime and vocal critic of Plan 2014 (as the article points out) Frank Sciremammano, “Under either the old plan or the new plan, we would be where we are now.”

As Sciremammano says, “it depends on the weather“. Therefore it is incumbent on us to leave Plan 2014 in place, balancing the many shared interests and uses of the Lake and the River, and use our resources, our ingenuity and our collective political will to realistically deal with the situation and to make certain that what we build in the future takes into account the dominant role of Nature and the reality of these dynamic water bodies and shorelines.

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