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Great Lakes Waterkeepers and Waterkeeper Alliance Urge Canadian Authorities to Ditch the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump

May 29th, 2015 | Posted by admin

From the Waterkeeper Alliance:

great-lakes-nasa-300x231 (1)NEW YORK, NY – May 27, 2015 – Environmentalists in the Great Lakes Basin are opposed to a new report from a Canadian Joint Review Panel that has called for the support of the Canadian Minister of the Environment to approve a deep geological repository for nuclear waste in Kincardine, Ontario due to its proximity to drinking water supplies for 40 million people in the United States and Canada. The proposed plan from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is to store underground radioactive nuclear waste less than one mile from the shores of Lake Huron. Canadian officials are getting closer to approving this hazardous project and could even fast track the authorization of a final license within the next few months.

Under the Binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (amended in 2012), both Canada and the US acknowledge the importance of anticipating, preventing, and responding to threats to the waters of the Great Lakes.  Both countries share the responsibility and obligation to protect these shared waters from pollution.

“Great Lakes Waterkeepers and Waterkeeper Alliance oppose this project, which could threaten the drinking water supply of 40 million Americans and Canadians,” said Bob Burns, Detroit Riverkeeper. “We ask the U.S. State Department to stand with the citizens, local and state governments, and other stakeholders in the Great Lakes Basin whose voices have not yet been heard but who are at risk if the deep geological repository fails.”

Last September, the groups wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and Canadian officials urging them to vote against this nuclear storage facility.

“With the Great Lakes containing 95% of the North America’s supply of fresh surface water, this is one of the worst possible locations for a permanent nuclear waste burial facility,” stated Doug Martz, St. Clair Channelkeeper. “Ontario Power Generation, the project proponent, did not investigate any other sites for this repository, but rather, selected the site based on the willingness of one local community. Furthermore, approval of this facility would set a devastating precedent for allowing other nuclear waste repositories to be located in the Great Lakes Basin.”

Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance added: “The Great Lakes are suffering from failing infrastructure, contamination leaching from historical industrial and nuclear waste sites, ongoing agricultural pollution and invasive species. Intentionally siting a new toxic nuclear waste site in such close proximity to the largest fresh water system in the world would severely imperil the water security of two nations. The time to act is now, and we call again on Secretary Kerry to take action.”

The eight Waterkeeper organizations in the Great Lakes support proposed resolutions in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to urge government action to ensure that the Canadian Government does not permanently store nuclear waste underground in the Great Lakes Basin.

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US EPA and Army Corps Issue Weak Clean Water Rule

May 28th, 2015 | Posted by admin

From the Waterkeeper Alliance:

Eno-River-3-300x225New York, NY and Washington, DC – May 27, 2015 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) final “Clean Water Rule” issued today reduces the agencies’ jurisdiction to protect waters that have been covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the 1970s. The final rule contains some very serious negative provisions including not protecting streams and rivers that have historically been protected under the CWA, exempting industrial-scale livestock facilities, and allowing streams and rivers to be impounded or filled with toxic coal ash and other waste.

The preamble to the rule states: “The scope of jurisdiction in this rule is narrower than that under the existing regulation. Fewer waters will be defined as ‘waters of the United States’ under the rule than under the existing regulations, in part because the rule puts important qualifiers on some existing categories such as tributaries.”

“The final rule inexplicably rolls back protections for streams and rivers, which feed into our water supplies,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Since only waters that are included within the final rule can be protected under the core water quality protections and pollution prohibitions of the Clean Water Act, it is frightening to think what this will mean for the tributaries that are no longer covered.”

Strong clean water laws are essential to restoring our nation’s waters, which are still polluted 43 years after passage of the Clean Water Act. Recent reports from the states to EPA show that more than 78% of assessed bays/estuaries and 53% of assessed streams/rivers in the U.S. are unsafe for fishing, drinking, or swimming. The Science Report that underlies the final rule demonstrates that all tributaries need to be protected because “Tributary streams, including perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral streams, are chemically, physically, and biologically connected to downstream waters, and influence the integrity of downstream waters.” However, the agencies stated that they are not “dictated” by the peer-reviewed science, and are reducing protection for tributaries regardless of the science.

Lake Erie, the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina’s coastal estuaries, Puget Sound and many other significant water resources across the country are severely polluted and, in order to restore these waters, it is necessary to control the discharges of pollutants into the smaller waterways that feed into them. For example, tributary streams in the uppermost portions of the Gulf and Bay watersheds transport the majority of nutrients to the downstream waters.

“From the smallest tributary, to the mightiest river, to our lakes, bays and ocean, clean water connects us to many valuable resources. Maintaining legal protection is essential for safeguarding public health and the environment, including drinking water supplies, recreation and fisheries,” stated Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper in Seattle, WA. “The narrowing of jurisdiction proposed by the EPA and the Corps is not supported by sound science or legal precedent.”

Reducing the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act will also likely impact endangered species. For example, many salmon in the Pacific Northwest use drainage ditches and other minor tributaries during their lives. Ephemeral aquatic habitats are important habitats for endangered frogs, insects, and crustaceans like vernal pool fairy shrimp.  Removing these water features from the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction will mean that these areas could be degraded more easily without proper mitigation being implemented to protect endangered species.

“The EPA’s new clean water rule fails to protect far too many of our waterways, endangering the health of both people and wildlife,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity.  “Without the full protection of the Clean Water Act, critical wetland habitats across the country will be degraded or destroyed, undermining the recovery of dozens of endangered species.”

The EPA also refused to address in the rulemaking a loophole which allows polluters to dam up streams to form waste lagoons that would not be subject to the full protections of the Clean Water Act. In 1980, when EPA last updated the definition of WOTUS under the Clean Water Act discharge permitting regulations, the agency inserted the exclusion as a footnote, two months after the rule had been finalized. When it announced the insertion of the footnote, EPA stated that it “intends promptly to develop a revised definition and to publish it as a proposed rule for public comment. At the conclusion of that rulemaking, EPA will amend the rule, or terminate the suspension.” (45 Fed. Reg. 48620 (July 21, 1980)).

Now, nearly 35 years later, EPA has undertaken a significant revision of the WOTUS definitions, yet it explicitly refused to take comments on the waste treatment system exclusion. This exclusion allows polluters to escape treatment requirements by impounding waters of the United States and claiming the impoundment is a waste treatment system, or by discharging wastes into wetlands. By refusing to accept public comments on the exclusion, EPA appears to be attempting a slight-of-hand maneuver to evade judicial review of this dubious footnote.

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Tickets On Sale for Rock for the River 12

May 27th, 2015 | Posted by admin

(Clayton, NY)–Save The River is hosting its 12th annual Rock for the River benefit concert at the Clayton Opera House on Saturday, July 4th, 2015. Doors open at 7pm.

Rock for the River is a one of a kind benefit concert developed by Thousand Islands resident and musician Jay Nash. Each year, Nash brings a special River-loving group of recording artists from around the country together with local musicians for a night of great music on the St. Lawrence River to raise funds to benefit the programs and advocacy work of Save The River.

Over the years, Rock for the River has evolved into a musician’s camp of sorts.  The now, close-knit group of artists gather on the River several days before the concert and share new songs. During the week, listening gives way to collaboration and contribution and results in spectacular, once in a lifetime group arrangements of the individual artists’ songs.  This makes every Rock for the River is a unique musical experience for the audience as well as the artists.

This year’s concert lineup features preeminent voices from today’s folk, alternative and Americana rock scene. The extraordinary group includes The Contenders, Joe Purdy, Garrison Starr, Eliza Moore, Chris Pierce, Amber Rubarth, Natalia Zuckerman, Emilie Cardinaux and Matt DelVecchio.

Tickets for this year’s Rock for the River are $35 for Save The River members, $40 for non-members but tickets bought on the day of the show will be $40 for members and $45 for non-members. This not-to-be missed show usually sells out.

Tickets can only be purchased at the Clayton Opera House at 405 Riverside Drive in Clayton, by calling the box office at (315) 686-2200, or online at

Rock for the River 12 is sponsored by The Duane and Dalia Stiller Charitable Trust, Cerow Agency, Raks Department Store and The Glassberg Family.  These generous sponsors ensure that all concert proceeds support Save The River’s advocacy, education and outreach work on the Upper St. Lawrence River. To learn more, please visit

Published by the Thousand Islands Sun on May 27, 2015.

About the Artists:

Chris Pierce

Soul singer/songwriter Chris Pierce continues to invite audiences all over the globe to open their hearts and spirits through his soulful, energetic music and honest storytelling.    Chris has released five independent albums worldwide.  In addition to his own headlining tours, he has shared worldwide shows and tours for such artists as Seal,  B.B. King,  Al Green,  Toots and the Maytals,  Aaron Neville,  Colbie Caillat,  Beth Hart,  Robert Cray,  Dr. John,  Blues Traveler,  Judy Collins and Jamie Cullum.    His voice & music have been heard in numerous films including Soul Men and Crash and has been licensed by such T.V. shows as True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Single Ladies, Eli Stone, In Plain Sight, Dawson’s Creek and Army Wives as well as a Banana Republic T.V. commercial ad campaign.    Chris also has been very well received by the TED community with TEDx talks on “The Healing Powers of Music” both in California and Chicago. To learn more visit:, like him on facebook, or follow him on twitter

About Garrison Starr

To say that Garrison Starr knows her way around the industry would be an understatement. Hailing from Hernando, MS, she released her major label debut, 18 Over Me, in 1997 for Geffen and the rest is history. Her career has taken her from rooms of 12 people (at which she received a standing ovation) to touring with her idols in amphitheaters and back again. But she’s not just a road dog. Starr is a writer and performer with a knack for “marrying pop smarts and Americana grit with a voice of remarkable power and clarity” ( 2012). For her seventh full length, Amateur, Garrison decided to do something different. She threw the idea of labels out the window and released this record on her own. Her follow up to 2010’s live effort ReLive was completely fan funded via and contains some of Starr’s most intimate songs to date. Spanning 13 tracks and co-writers such as Kevin Devine and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Garrison delves into her personal life to take the listener on a journey of heartbreak, self-discovery, and her own vision of perseverance. While Starr is anything but an Amateur, her current effort puts everything in a new perspective for her, including getting her fans involved. To learn more visit:, like her on facebook, or follow her on twitter

About Joe Purdy

Celebrated singer/songwriter, Joe Purdy is a communicator of folklore through song– he travels and tells stories using the effective medium of music. Purdy understands that his own live music tradition, has as much to do with commanding captivated, pin-drop silence as it does prompting roars, (which it most definitely has), because in those hushed moments, a solemn and crystal-clear voice, the resonance of acoustic guitar strings into the reverberant din of a music hall, his stories are being heard. Purdy has chosen to release his albums on his own independent label, Mudtown Crier Records, and with the help of national TV placements and that constant conversation with a strong and evergrowing fan base, he has been able to sell a staggering 1 million direct track downloads in the US on iTunes without ever signing to a label. His music has been featured on Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and House. His song “Wash Away (Reprise)” was very notably used in a Dawn Soap wildlife ad, helping to raise thousands to rescue wildlife and aide in the Gulf spill cleanup. Currently Joe is touring throughout the North American continent in support of his new release, This American. To learn more visit:, like him on facebook, or follow him on twitter

Natalia Zuckerman

Natalia Zukerman grew up in New York City, studied art at Oberlin, worked in mural arts in San Francisco, began her songwriting career in Boston, and now resides, writes, plays and paints in Brooklyn, NY. The daughter of classical musicians Eugenia and Pinchas Zukerman, Natalia found her sound in other strings – those on slide guitar, lap steel, dobro. She found kinship in the earthiness and honesty of folk, bluegrass, jazz and blues music.

Since 2001, Zukerman has released five studio albums and one live album – 2013′s Gypsies & Clowns, which was recorded live at SPACE in Evanston, IL. For the shows, Zukerman invited a big group of her musical friends to present over twenty songs from her catalogue, including the well-known tracks “Gas Station Roses,” “Brand New Frame” and “Howard Hughes.” To learn more visit:, like her on facebook or follow her on twitter

The Contenders The legend Levon Helm said that if you give it good concentration, good energy, good heart, and good performance, the song will play you. If that’s true, then Jay Nash and Josh Day are well and truly played by the set of songs in their debut EP, “Meet The Contenders.” The collection breathes with musicality and grit in the tradition of heroes—The Band, Tom Petty, The Dead, Dylan. Thrumming and heady, with a steady heartbeat and a hint of honky-tonk, this EP speaks of wanderers and highways, lovers and losers, good times and missed chances, swimming pools and movie stars, all with a ferocity born of hard work and honed skill. Nash and Day have been players and poets for the better part of two decades; they have been making music, telling tales, drinking whiskey, and having fun touring together as The Contenders since 2012., like them on facebook, or follow them on twitter

About Amber Rubarth

Amber Rubarth has been recognized repeatedly for her insightful songwriting and unique musicality. Her unique sound makes her songs sound like classics from another era. At 21 years old, Amber decided to quit her career as a chainsaw sculptor in Nevada in order to pursue her hidden passion for music. Amber’s a natural musician and a self taught guitar player. Amber’s career has taken her throughout the US, Europe and Japan including appearances at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center, sharing stages with many eminent artists including Emmylou Harris, Kenny Loggins, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, and Colbie Caillat. In 2011, Amber’s fifth album “A Common Case of Disappearing” debuted at No. 13 on the iTunes songwriter charts. On November 23, 2011, Jason Mraz invited Amber to perform with him at his sold out Carnegie Hall concert, which included their new unreleased co-written song “Rated Ours.” In addition to her solo work, Rubarth formed a band with songwriter Alex Wong, called The Paper Raincoat. Their debut EP (Safe in the Sound) was featured as an iTunes Indie Spotlight Artist. To learn more visit:, like her on facebook, or follow her on twitter

About Eliza Moore

Rooted in the classical tradition, Eliza Moore’s music is best described as Modern Day Art Song. Using poetry and inspiration from greats such as W.B. Yeats, Pablo Neruda, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she paints a musical picture of the text with both her voice and violin. In 2003, Eliza released her first record “Simplicity” with NYC producer Scott Mann. Then in 2008, she recorded “Beauty in Mystery” with Los Angeles producer and internationally acclaimed jazz musician Deron Johnson. Her latest EP, “Everything to Me”, on which she collaborated with Jay Nash, marks a courageous and exhilarating step toward a more exposed and authentic sound As a soloist, Eliza accompanies her voice with a weave of repeated rhythmic and melodic phrases which she pulls from her laptop, her violin, voice and Moog analog keyboard. For more information please visit:, or like her on facebook

Emilie Cardinaux

With Slow Down, her self-produced debut, Emilie Cardinaux establishes herself as an insightful, savvy songwriter with a voice decidedly her own. Drawing from the rich traditions of blues, folk, rock, and country music, Cardinaux crafts compelling songs with thoughtful, intelligent lyrics. Her strong melodic sensibility veils subtle harmonies, which invite repeated listening. As a lyricist, Cardinaux portrays complex, often conflicted characters sustained by humor and optimism. Her tone easily shifts from sassy and streetwise to contemplative and intimate. As a singer, she conveys emotional depth and soul, while her tone remains direct and unaffected. A versatile musician, Cardinaux plays keyboards, guitars, banjo, bass, melodica, and cello on the album, sculpting sophisticated arrangements that showcase her smoky, sultry voice. Slow Down features standout performances by some noteworthy New York-based musicians, including bassist/guitarist Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones) and drummer Shawn Pelton (SNL, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan). To learn more visit: , like her on facebook , or follow her on twitter

Matt DelVecchio

Matt has been on the LA music scene for 13 years, cutting his teeth on the road with the likes of Jay Nash and Cary Brothers.  Many gigs with many artists at the famed Hotel Cafe transpired, where he worked himself up to a top call player on the scene. Over the years the touring experience elevated, taking him many places including Canada, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, England, and Portugal.  He’s played on many amazing stages and festivals including Red Rocks, Fuji Rock Festival, Super Bock, and ACL. His bass resume includes Capitol artist Katy Perry, Atlantic artist Matt Hires, and recording and touring with Virgin/Capitol artist Tristan Prettyman for over 8 years. Additional bass gigs have included Sara Barellies, Garrison Starr, Joe Purdy, Chris Pierce, and Reverend Tall Tree as well as opening for artists such as Ray Lamontagne and G Love.  He’s a founding member of the indie rock band Kingsize, who have been featured in several film and TV soundtracks. His current projects range from a traditional blues quartet on upright bass to an alt country band to hard rock, keeping him both busy and creatively involved with a multitude of musical adventures. To learn more visit: or like him on facebook

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DEC Advises Anglers to be Aware of Spawning Lake Sturgeon

May 26th, 2015 | Posted by admin

Lake Sturgeon are a Threatened Species in New York with No Open Season


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded anglers to be aware of spawning lake sturgeon in New York’s Great Lakes waters, Great Lakes connecting channels, and in tributaries of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake.

DEC staff receives numerous reports of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) caught by anglers targeting walleye at this time of year. Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in New York, therefore, there is no open season for the fish and possession is prohibited. It is illegal to target these rare fish and anglers should move away from areas where they are catching them.

For more information visit:

Like Save The River’s Catch and Release Program page for up to date fishing news on the River.

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2015 Merchandise on sale now!

May 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Lee

All of our 2015 merchandise is now available. Stop in and pick up this year’s t-shirts for the whole family. We are currently open 7 days a week from 9am-5pm. See you soon!2015 Merch

2015 Kids Merch

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Rock for the River 12 tickets on sale NOW!

May 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin

Act quickly – we expect a sold out show!

2015 RFTR Post with FixJoin us for Save The River’s 12th annual Rock for the River benefit concert on Saturday, July 4th at the Clayton Opera House
Event founder Jay Nash is once again bringing some of the best original song-writers and musicians from around the country for an amazing night of live music in support of Save The River. This year’s line-up includes Chris Pierce, Garrison Starr, Joe PurdyNatalia ZuckermanThe ContendersAmber Rubarth, Eliza Moore, Emilie Cardinaux, and Matt Delvecchio. All ticket proceeds directly support Save The River’s advocacy, education and research programs.

Advance tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members. Tickets at the door will be more, if there are any left.

Purchase tickets online at the Clayton Opera House, or at (315) 686-2200, or by visiting the Clayton Opera House on Riverside Drive, in downtown Clayton next to Save The River.
Special thanks to our generous event sponsors!
The Duane & Dalia Stiller Charitable Trust
Rak’s Department Store
Cerow Agency
The Glassberg Family

And, many thanks to Byron & Jen O’Neill for designing another beautiful poster!

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TI High School SAFE Club and Save The River Attend Microbead Lobbying Day

May 14th, 2015 | Posted by admin

Published by the Thousand Islands Sun on May 13, 2015

Thousand Islands High School SAFE Club members Ashley Byers and John Hunter traveled to Albany on May 5, along with the Club Advisor Mrs. Eleanor Thomas and Save The River Program Director Mrs. Kate Breheny, for Microbead Lobbying Day 2015.   Ashley and John were the only high school students that participated in the Lobbying Day.

Each group was assigned a professional lobbyist – the TI Lobby Team worked with Mr. Richard Schrader, Political and Legislative Director for NY Natural Resources Defense Council.

IMG_6522Mr. Schrader started out each session with general comments about the differences between the two bills Senator O’Mara sponsored, then Mrs. Breheny spoke about the River being the lifeblood of our communities.  Mrs. Thomas discussed the biomagnification of toxins up through food chains due to the microbeads, and John and Ashley finished with descriptions of the #TIBeatsBeads campaign the SAFE Club is carrying out in the High School and local community.  They also discussed the huge amount of microbeads entering NYS waterways each year (38,000 pounds!), and displayed the vial of microbeads they sieved out of one tube of facial cleanser, as well as examples of microbead face wash and a safe alternative.

The TI Lobby Team met with Senators Golden, Marchione, Felder, Ritchie, Stavisky, and Griffo, or their chief counsels, and was successful in getting two of the Senators to agree to sign on to support the stronger of the two anti-microbead bills.  The Senators commented on the power of the visual displays.  Mr. Schrader took the TI Lobby Team on a tour of the Capitol Building during lunch break, viewing the Assembly and Senate Floors, the Million Dollar Stairway, and the beautiful architecture. To end the day, all of the lobby teams met with Attorney General Schneiderman to report out on the lobbying day.  The goal of Microbead Lobbying Day was to persuade 4 more Senators to sign on to sponsor the “good” bill (S.3932) vs the “industry” bill, and it appears the goal was met.  Hopefully it will be enacted into law by the end of this session. The Assembly already passed A. 5896, “The Microbead-Free Waters Act,” by an overwhelming majority of 139 to 1. The bill would prohibit the sale of personal cosmetic products containing synthetic plastic microbeads after January 1, 2016.

Microbeads Lobby DaySAFE Club would like to thank Save The River for providing the opportunity to participate in Microbead Lobbying Day 2015.  This trip not only allowed SAFE Club to actually practice some environmental activism, it also fulfilled all four graduate descriptors that TI graduates must prove in their Commencement Standard Assessment Graduation Presentation:  Effective Communicator, Effective Problem Solver, Healthy, Skilled & Knowledgeable Person, and Contributing U.S. and Global Citizen.

Ashley reflected on the day:  “I will remember all of the interesting people that were there standing up for what they believed in.  Being a High School student at Microbead Lobby Day was refreshing because we were the only people there that could talk about the issue at hand from a teenager’s perspective. It was important to me because not only did I have the opportunity to stand up for a good cause but I was also able to practice my public speaking.  Speaking with Senator Ritchie stood out most in my mind because she is our Senator, and I was really impressed by the amazing architecture of the Capitol Building.  The most important action concerned citizens can take regarding microbeads is to spread awareness in our local community.  There are safe alternatives.” John also felt that the most memorable part of the day was meeting Senator Ritchie.  “Microbeads are an important issue for everybody that lives near the River.”

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New York Water Week

May 4th, 2015 | Posted by admin

This week is New York Water Week and we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pure Waters Act. In 1965 New York led the way with the most comprehensive water pollution control program at the time. Over the past five decades, New York’s water resources have become cleaner due to the pollution controls put in place and the funding made available to municipalities to protect their waters.

Water Week is a time to celebrate water stewardship, because everybody is needed to help take care of our waters. We encourage you to learn more about our valuable water resources and join the effort to restore, preserve and protect them.


Photo Credit: Jennifer Brown

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