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Plan 2014 is the Right Plan for the St. Lawrence River

February 21st, 2017 | Posted by Lee

January 7th was a red-letter day for the St. Lawrence River.

It was the day Plan 2014 – the modern water levels plan Save The River has advocated for since the 1990’s – went into effect.

Unfortunately, even before it was unanimously approved by the International Joint Commission, a few elected officials and self-appointed spokespersons from the south shore of Lake Ontario began using “alternative facts” to block its approval and now its operation.

Their plan? Is no plan at all – They would keep in place the outdated regulatory scheme that has destroyed critical wetland habitat, decimated key species like Northern Pike and Black Term, and choked economic development up and down the River for the past 50 years.

Their efforts continue – and they are wrong on every point.

ECONOMIC AND SHORELINE BENEFITS

Their claim? The new plan “will set the stage for very large man-made disasters . . . [and] the real numbers [of damages] will be in the hundreds of millions [of dollars] . . . that could destroy the economies of six counties” (note 1)

Box 2b

PUBLIC SUPPORT AND INPUT

Their claim? “The approval of this plan was a midnight action(note 2) and it “was a last-minute mid-night approval by U.S. and Canadian officials having no understanding of [its] ramifications.” (note 3)

THE BOTTOM LINE

Their claim? “[A] recent decision by the International Joint Commission on Lake Levels [sic] to increase the maximum lake level by another two feet.” (note 4)

 


Notes:
    1.  January 30, 2017 letter from the Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance (LORA) to President Trump
    2.  January 17, 2017 letter from Reps. Collins and Katko to then Vice President-elect Pence
    3.  January 30, 2017 LORA letter to President Trump
    4.  Letter to the editor from NYS Assemblyman Peter Lawrence published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle April 30, 2016

 

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Agenda Set for Save The River’s 28th Winter Environmental Conference

February 2nd, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Saturday, February 4, attendees of this annual conference focused on the health of the St. Lawrence River will hear from an influential and diverse group of speakers.

Click here for the agenda for the day.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose district covers the entire length of the St. Lawrence River in the U.S., will speak on the strides made to protect the River Community and the important work done on issues ranging from Plan 2014 to combating invasive species.

Frank Bevacqua, Public Information Officer with the International Joint Commission, will talk about the differences in water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario under Plan 2014, and what it means for boaters, shoreline residents and the natural environment.

Rob Caldwell, Canadian Regulation Representative with the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, will cover how the new plan compares to the one it replaced and potential impacts and benefits.

Lawrence Gunther, North America’s only blind professional angler and founder of Blue Fish Canada. Lawrence will talk about his experiences making the documentary “What Lies Below” for which he crossed Canada and spoke to sport and commercial fishermen and women about the challenges facing Canada’s wild fish stocks.

The St. Lawrence River Institute’s Mesha Boyer will present the film “A Great River Runs Through Us” which documents their extremely successful citizens’ River cleanup efforts in the Cornwall area this past summer.

Wrapping up the conference will be the First Lego League Team: Heritage Hi-Techs whose “Animal Allies” themed robotics competition entry was based on knowledge gained from Save The River and others about the need for responsible stewardship of the River’s threatened Muskellunge population.

Registration for this year’s Conference closes tomorrow Friday, February 3rd. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.

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Interested in Plan 2014?

January 13th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Plan 2014 went into operation on January 7. And we are all interested and eager to know more about the new plan.

Frank Bevacqua, Public Information Officer International Joint Commission, will present “Plan 2014 – The Long-Term Perspective

It was a long journey, but Plan 2014 is a historic achievement. Managing water levels to improve ecosystem health has never been carried out on such a large scale. Frank will talk about the road to Plan 2014 and what it means for the future.

Frank and Rob Caldwell, also from the IJC (Canada), will cover different aspects of the new plan in their presentations to give attendees a comprehensive view of the plan.

Frank grew up in Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan. He has been worked at the International Joint Commission to engage people in issues related to the waters shared by Canada and the United States since 1978. Whenever possible, he enjoys canoeing and kayaking.

So join us, your friends – old & new at Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel to celebrate and learn about the River we love.

Schedule:  Saturday, February 4, 2017

9:30am  – Registration and morning coffee

10:00 am – 4:00pm Presentations

4:00 pm – Cocktail Reception with cash bar

Additional details and updates will be posted here & on our Facebook events page

Conference fee: $50 (includes coffee, lunch, & cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres)

RSVP no later than Friday, January 27, 2017 to Save The River using the form found here or by calling us at (315) 686-2010.

We’ll see you there!

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Beach Watch Weekly Report: Week 9

August 31st, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 31, 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 29th, 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 10.9
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 2.0

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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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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Water Quality to be Tested at Popular Swimming Areas

June 27th, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River’s annual summer Beach Watch Program will begin July 5th and will run through August 29th.  The program will provide weekly snapshots of water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  Sites to be tested include 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.


The samples collected each week are tested for Escherichia coli, (E. coli). E. coli is a fast spreading bacteria and can respond to environmental signals quickly in order to thrive in the water. Once tested, the bacteria levels in each sample are then compared to state and federal beach water quality standards, which are set at 235 colonies per 100 ml of water for the 2016 season. High levels of E. coli bacteria can cause health problems (including gastrointestinal illness), and can be dangerous to the very old, the very young, as well as those with a compromised immune system.


In 2015, all sites tested passed the weekly safety standard for E. coli levels, however, in previous years there have been occasional incidences of high bacteria levels, especially late in the summer season when water temperatures are at their highest. As a result, Save The River has continued to closely monitor water quality according to New York State Department of Health guidelines.


Beach Watch results are posted at the Save The River office and on the Save The River website, www.savetheriver.org every Thursday.  The results can also be found on the Save The River Facebook page, in The Thousands Islands Sun, online at theswimguide.org or on the SwimGuide app available on the App Store and Google Play.

Save The River summer intern Heidi Pearson conducts a pre-season assessment at Wilson's Beach.

Save The River summer intern Heidi Pearson conducts a pre-season assessment at Wilson's Beach.

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On the 46th Earth Day the St. Lawrence is a Most Endangered River

April 22nd, 2016 | Posted by Lee

It’s Earth Day and our River, the St. Lawrence River, one of North America’s most important, is also one of its Most Endangered Rivers.


This is wrong! It shouldn’t be! And, it doesn’t have to be!

Cattails (credit Averell Manes)

With the stroke of a pen, the U.S. and Canada can enact Plan 2014, a modern water levels management plan, that will begin the restoration of 64,000 acres of wetlands, rebuild the now decimated populations of native species like Northern Pike, Terns, Muskrat and others, and provide for increased recreational opportunities to the 4th largest river in North America.


You can help make this happen.

Go to plan2014now.savetheriver.org, watch the video, then fill in your information. Once you’ve finished, share the link will all your friends and ask them to join you in demanding action.


With your help we will show Secretary of State Kerry and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dion the tremendous support the River community has for returning the River to health.


Thank you for your support in this effort. And, please contact us if you have any questions at all.

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Dr. Daniel Macfarlane, environmental historian, to speak on Plan 2014 at Winter Environmental Conference

January 21st, 2016 | Posted by admin

Macfarlane- Sustainability Studies_150_0Dr. Daniel Macfarlane, Assistant Professor of Freshwater Policy at Western Michigan University, will speak at Save The River’s Winter Environmental Conference about Plan 2014, the long anticipated, but currently stalled, modern water levels management plan, proposed by the International Joint Commission in June 2014.

In a well-received editorial published last September in the Standard-Freeholder, a Cornwall, Ontario newspaper, Dr. Macfarlane wrote, “Since the IJC can’t unilaterally implement its Plan 2014 recommendation, it is up to the Canadian and American governments to decide what to do. They must adopt it. The current method of regulation is an anachronism. Plan 2014 is just a step in the right direction.”

Save The River is pleased to have Dr. Macfarlane share his perspective on the need for a modern water levels plan for the River. His extensive knowledge of the history of the Seaway and dams that have caused ecological damage to wetland habitat and declines in key species will be very helpful as we approach the second anniversary of the referral of Plan 2014 – a plan that will begin to reverse that damage.

Dr. Macfarlane is an environmental historian and policy scholar specializing in border waters in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin, and is author of the award-winning 2014 book “Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway” which was based on his doctoral dissertation at the University of Ottawa and explores, among other aspects, the ecological impact of building the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. He is currently writing a book on the history of engineering Niagara Falls, researching the history of Great Lakes water levels, co-editing a book on US-Canadian border waters, and working on the history of the International Joint Commission.

Other speakers at Save The River’s conference include Congresswoman Stefanik who will update attendees on her work to address issues of importance to the St. Lawrence River. Other speakers will address Montreal’s sewage dump this past fall, possible transport of crude oil on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, plastic pollution in our waterways, and the need for constitutional guarantees for clean water and air in the New York State constitution.

Save The River’s Winter Environmental Conference is open to the public. Registration is $50 and includes coffee, lunch and a cocktail reception with light hor d’oevres.  Anyone interested in attending can RSVP by Friday, January 29th by calling (315) 686-2010 or by downloading and submitting the registration form.

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Save The River’s 27th Annual Winter Environmental Conference

December 1st, 2015 | Posted by admin

WEC 27 v2

Registration is now open!

Schedule: 9:30 – Registration and morning coffee

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Presentations

Featured Topics:

Stop the Sewage: We watched with dismay and outrage as the City of Montreal dumped 8 billion liters (2.1 billion gallons) of untreated sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Although an assault on freshwater, it was many miles downstream. But, is it really an uncommon practice? Are other cities dumping sewage upstream of the Upper St. Lawrence? What responsibility do any of us have when we flush? A panel of experts will examine this stinkiest of problems facing freshwater and our River.

Oil and Water Don’t Mix: Continuing a discussion started at last year’s conference, we will have presentations on potential pathways for new, potentially dangerous forms of crude oil through the St. Lawrence River watershed and what steps – legal and practical – can be taken to reduce or prevent the threats they pose.

Updates on the State of the River: Attendees will hear updates on Plan 2014, microbeads, invasives, restoration efforts, educational programs and many of the many activities Save The River is involved in to protect and restore the St. Lawrence and keep it swimmable, fishable and drinkable for generations to come.

4:00 p.m. – Cocktail Reception with cash bar.

Conference fee: $50 (includes coffee, lunch, & cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres)

RSVP no later than Friday, January 29, 2016 by returning the reservation form to:

Save The River or by calling us at (315) 686-2010.

Save The River has reserved a block of rooms at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel starting at $99 /night. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at (315) 686-1100. This discount rate is only guaranteed through January 6, 2016.

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Clarkson University

August 25th, 2015 | Posted by admin
About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Considered one of the nation’s premiere
environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to
restore the earth and human communities while
creating a positive future for the next generation.
This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Save The River & Clarkson University Present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Saturday, September 12, 2015

3-5pm

Clarkson University Student Union

About The Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate story-telling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

This year’s selections will take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, and instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Poster for Social Media

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