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Agenda Set for Save The River’s 29th Winter Environmental Conference

January 30th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Saturday, February 3rd, attendees of this annual conference focused on the health of the St. Lawrence River will hear from a diverse group of speakers about a wide range of topics. Ann Ward, Save The River Board Member Emerita, will provide a welcome address reflecting on Save The River’s 40th anniversary. 

Click here for the conference agenda.

Commissioner Lana Pollack, U.S. Section Chair for the International Joint Commission (IJC), will speak about Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions.

Bill Werick, retired water resources planner and technical adviser to the IJC, will speak about the adaptive management component of Plan 2014.

David Bolduc, executive director of Green Marine, will speak about Green Marine’s environmental certification program for the maritime transportation industry. 

Henry Lickers, Ph.D., Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Environment Program, and Michael Twiss, Clarkson University professor and member of the IJC Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, will provide a unique dialogue about the St. Lawrence River as habitat from native and non-native perspectives.

Lee Harper, Ph.D., president of Riveredge Environmental, Inc., and Michael Morgan, NYS DEC Project Manager, will explore the opportunities and challenges restoring and maintaining habitats for bird populations along the St. Lawrence River.

John Farrell, Ph.D., SUNY ESF professor and director of the Thousand Islands Biological Station, and Scott Schlueter, fish biologist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Program Manager for the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund, will discuss their respective work studying fish of the St. Lawrence River along with restoration and conservation efforts being made to enhance populations.

Eric Sunday, Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program, will close the conference with a presentation about the efforts to improve awareness and education of the community about the Sturgeon population and its cultural ties with the Mohawks of Akwesasne.

Registration for this year’s Conference closes Friday, February 2nd. To secure a place, it is best to call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.

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Trends in St. Lawrence Fish Populations and Efforts to Enhance the Fishery

January 29th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

John Farrell, Ph.D., SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Director of the Thousand Islands Biological Station, and Scott Schlueter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Program Manager for the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund (FEMRF) will speak about trends in St. Lawrence River fish populations and efforts to enhance the fishery, focusing on the conservation efforts for focal species. 

Long- term environmental monitoring of fish populations reveal the effects of aquatic invasive species and environmental variation. Apex predators in the St. Lawrence River, including muskellunge, have declined substantially following outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic septicemia. Restoration work (both species and habitat levels) holds promise to enhance populations within environmental constraints. The FEMRF is a settlement fund resulting from the St. Lawrence Power Project relicensing with a goal to benefit the fishery resources in the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River Basin and continue research on the American Eel and other species that may be affected by the Project.

John Farrell is a Professor of Aquatic and Fisheries Science and Director of the Thousand Islands Biological Station on Governors Island in Clayton, New York. He has been engaged in aquatic research and management on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes for nearly 30 years and has mentored numerous graduate and undergraduate students and has published and lectured extensively on fisheries, wetlands, and aquatic ecology.

Scott Schlueter is a Fish Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from SUNY-ESF. Scott has spent more than 20 years working on St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes fisheries issues, with a special interest in the conservation of Lake Sturgeon and American Eel.

Other speakers at the Conference will include:

  • Lana Pollack will speak about Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions.
  • Ann Ward will provide the welcome address marking Save The River’s 40th anniversary.
  • Bill Werick will speak about the adaptive management of Plan 2014.
  • David Bolduc will speak about Green Marine’s environmental certification for the maritime transportation industry.
  • Lee Harper and Michael Morgan will speak about St. Lawrence River Fowl including Common and Black Terns, grassland birds, waterfowl, and raptors.
  • Henry Lickers and Michael Twiss will speak about the St. Lawrence River as habitat from a native and non-native perspective.
  • Eric Sunday will speak about efforts to improve awareness and education of the community about the Sturgeon population and its cultural ties with the Mohawks of Akwesasne.

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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The St. Lawrence River as Habitat from Divergent Viewpoints

January 25th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Henry Lickers, Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Environment Program, and Michael Twiss, Clarkson University and member of the International Joint Commission (IJC) Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, will present on the St. Lawrence River as habitat from divergent viewpoints. 

Lickers will discuss the Mohawk’s worldview of integration, not domination, with the environment concentrating on different points of view between native and non-native societies. Twiss will discuss the current status and assessment of Great Lakes connecting channels.

Lickers, member of Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan, works to incorporate First Nation’s people and knowledge into environmental planning and decision making. He has worked to address local, national, and international environmental issues with organizations including the International Joint Commission, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and the Science and Technology Advisory Council to Environment Canada. Lickers is the author of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Action Plan and several influential writings on indigenous perspectives on resource management and environmental protection.

Twiss grew up in northern Ontario, became a dual citizen, and joined the faculty at Clarkson University in 2002, following a brief tenure at Ryerson University and a post-doctoral fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He became engaged with limnology (the science of lakes) during his baccalaureate at Trent University when he found there was such a thing. Twiss has focused his career on the Great Lakes with the goal to produce and convey the best scientific information that can be used to protect this remarkable and globally significant environment.

Other speakers at the Conference will include:

  • Lana Pollack will speak about Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions.
  • Ann Ward will provide the welcome address marking Save The River’s 40th anniversary.
  • Bill Werick will speak about the adaptive management of Plan 2014.
  • David Bolduc will speak about Green Marine’s environmental certification for the maritime transportation industry.
  • Lee Harper and Michael Morgan will speak about St. Lawrence River Fowl including Common and Black Terns, grassland birds, waterfowl, and raptors.
  • Eric Sunday will speak about efforts to improve awareness and education of the community about the Sturgeon population and its cultural ties with the Mohawks of Akwesasne.
  • John Farrell and Scott Schlueter will speak about trends in upper St. Lawrence River fish populations (complete announcement coming soon).

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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Community Awareness and Education About Sturgeon

January 24th, 2018 | Posted by Margaret Hummel

Eric Sunday of the Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program (ACRP) will present on efforts to improve awareness and education of the community about the Sturgeon population and its cultural ties with the Mohawks of Akwesasne. 

Sunday is of the Wolf Clan of the Akwesasne Mohawks. For the past four years he has studied under the Akwesasne Cultural Restoration Program as an apprentice of Fishing and River Use. The ACRP emphasizes the reconnection of youth with the land and river through hands-on workshops and educational presentations, nurturing the future with knowledge from our elders.

Sunday was one of the primary educators during the 2016 and 2017 Lake Sturgeon fingerling release for the Salmon River outreach event from the ACRP.  He was also one of the 2017 interns who assisted with interviews of Mohawk elders and creating signage for Akwesasne specific to Lake Sturgeon.

Other speakers at the Conference will include:

  • Lana Pollack will speak about Plan 2014 after one year of extreme climate conditions.
  • Ann Ward will provide the welcome address marking Save The River’s 40th anniversary.
  • Bill Werick will speak about the adaptive management of Plan 2014.
  • David Bolduc will speak about Green Marine’s environmental certification for the maritime transportation industry.
  • Lee Harper and Michael Morgan will speak about St. Lawrence River Fowl including Common and Black Terns, grassland birds, waterfowl, and raptors.
  • Henry Lickers and Michael Twiss will speak about the current status and assessment of Great Lakes connecting channels from divergent view points (complete announcement coming soon).
  • John Farrell and Scott Schlueter will speak about trends in upper St. Lawrence River fish populations (complete announcement coming soon).

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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2017 Beach Watch Week 9: August 28

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 31, 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. This is the last week for sampling and we’re pleased tor report all locations sampled on August 28, 2017 have 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 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 N/A 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 1.0
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 2.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A 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, 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.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 8: August 21

August 28th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 8 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.  All locations sampled on August 21, 2017 have 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 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 <2.0
Round Island PASS 3.0
Scenic View Beach PASS No Sample
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 90.9
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 60.2

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.

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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 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.

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2017 Beach Watch Week 5: July 31

August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 5 of Beach Watch Program

Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River this summer from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  This summer Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at five swimming areas: 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.

Samples collected on Monday, July 31st from Wilsons Beach, Potter’s Beach, and Lake of the Isles all passed.  After bring retested on August 2nd Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay passed as well.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles PASS 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 2.0
Round Island No Sample N/A
Scenic View Beach PASS  Resampled on August 2nd   45.7
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft PASS 1.0
Wilson’s Beach 6ft PASS 5.2

As in previous years, samples collected by Save The River are tested for E. Coli bacteria. 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.

High levels of bacteria can cause health problems such as rashes and gastrointestinal illnesses and are most dangerous for the very old, very young, or anyone with a compromised immune system.  In order to reduce the risk of bacterial related illnesses never swallow swimming water and wash hands after swimming and before eating.

Save The River makes 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.

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