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City of Montreal allowed to dump raw sewage

November 10th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Conditions imposed not protective of environment

Canada’s Federal government has given the go ahead to the City of Montreal to dump billions of gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. This decision is the latest in a series of poor planning choices that will end with major pollution of the St. Lawrence River, and makes it clear that we must set a better course for the future.

“We are, of course, disappointed that the dumping of raw sewage will be allowed.” said Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and executive director of Save The River, “It should always be the goal of every responsible government to prevent the deliberate fouling of our freshwater. The City placed itself and the new federal government in a difficult position by failing to plan as carefully for the handling of 8 billion litres (2.1 billion gallons) of sewage as it planned for the streetscape above.”

Sewer drainsFrom the beginning, Save The River has supported the citizens who have spoken out against this plan. With them we have demanded a better solution – not because we are downstream, but because in issues of freshwater, we are all connected. And while Environment Canada has imposed conditions for the release, these conditions do nothing to diminish the effects of the discharge. At best they allow the City to monitor itself and catalog the issues it finds.

“We do applaud the recognition that the perspective and concerns of indigenous people are frequently disregarded in government decision making. But with respect to everyone’s need for freshwater, the final condition falls far short.” Willbanks continued, “The way to ensure respectful relations with all groups interested in clean freshwater is to commit to building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to keep it clean.”

Today we recognize that it’s not just the citizens of Montreal, but of all municipalities that still utilize this type of 19th century solution to wastewater treatment that need their governments to do better. Unfortunately there are many.

According to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, more than 24 billion gallons of combined untreated sewage and stormwater is dumped into the Great Lakes each year, and the Environmental Protection Agency reports 772 cities across the U.S. have combined sewage and stormwater systems, which release untreated sewage into surface water in wet conditions.

“The only way out of this mess is to have citizens come together and prioritize the unglamorous and expensive work of upgrading our aging sewage systems, and demand that their elected officials at all levels of government do the same.” said Willbanks. “We must do better to protect our precious freshwater and assure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for generations to come.”

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The Non-Gala is Over, but We Can All Still Celebrate the River!

November 9th, 2015 | Posted by admin

It was a wonderful evening. Quiet, calm and perfect for reflection whether you were on, near or miles away from the St. Lawrence. Its power and magic binds us all together – and it always will.  We’ll do it again next year, look for the invite and join us with your reflections.


Just a few final thoughts from this year’s non-gala participants:

Being gone from the River for 6 months gives me summer all year long as I winter in Florida BUT I miss seeing the changes that occur. The River is my soul, my peace, my comfort; it restores my balance so by the time May 1 comes each year I HAVE to head north. I need its comfort and its restoring qualities to give my life its balance. – Lois L. 11/6/15

I miss the St. Lawrence River! – Jeff M. 11/2/15

We who stay here all year long are the most fortunate. To experience the River during all seasons is a gift. – Lauran & Dan T. 11/2/15

What a splendid way to honor the River. – Carol G. 11/2/15

No deep thoughts. We just plain old miss the River. – Phil & Kate P. 10/26/15

We are Long Island residents who found ourselves in Clayton about 5 or 6 years and enjoyed the River for several lovely summer days. On another car trip we drove halfway out on the Cape’s peninsula before heading to visit friends in New Brunswick- again, some enjoyable River experiences. It’s worth preserving! – Valerie G. 10/26/15Jim Magnes

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Tell Minister McKenna to say NO to Montreal Sewage Dump

November 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Tell Minister McKenna to say NO to Montreal Sewage Dump. Email her at:http://www.canada.ca/en/contact/questions.html and tweet to @environmentca

The scientific panel reviewing the Montreal sewage dump says, “the city should only proceed with the release once steps are taken to better understandCWA-Post-Image-20151-1024x616and mitigate the environmental impacts.” It is now up to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to decide.

If the City of Montreal had taken those steps at the beginning of the Bonaventure Expressway project and put as much effort into planning how to deal responsibly with raw sewage as it did the streetscape and plantings, its leaders and the citizens along the St. Lawrence River wouldn’t be in this mess.

Per the CBC, “The panel has raised a number of questions about the plan, pointing out gaps in information about the environmental effects and the need to address them in the public interest.”

The City’s claim of “no alternative” is based on its own lack of planning and a reliance on past practice. That is simply not sufficient reason to put public health and the River at risk.

Full CBC story: http://ow.ly/UmDjd

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River Remembrance Day is tomorrow, November 7th.

November 6th, 2015 | Posted by admin
Don’t forget River Remembrance day is tomorrow!
Join us & other River lovers tomorrow, November 7th, for our River Remembrance Day 2015 Non-Gala
We invite you to enjoy a quiet evening at home, wherever that may be this time of year, reflecting on the natural beauty of the St. Lawrence River, and we offer you the opportunity to join us in a River Illumination Ceremony.
Donate now: http://ow.ly/Ufz9M
For more information visit: http://blog.savetheriver.org/?p=7937

Don’t forget River Remembrance Day is tomorrow!

Join us & other River lovers tomorrow, November 7th, for our River Remembrance Day 2015 Non-Gala

We invite you to enjoy a quiet evening at home, wherever that may be this time of year, reflecting on the natural beauty of the St. Lawrence River, and we offer you the opportunity to join us in a River Illumination Ceremony.

Donate now

For more information click here

2015 Non Gala Front

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Calling all River Photographers!

November 3rd, 2015 | Posted by admin

Submissions are now being accepted for the Save The River 2016-2017 Calendar.

Save The River is looking for great River photos to be included in its upcoming calendar, especially your favorite winter and ‘off season’ images.

If you have a few favorite River photos that you would like to submit please send them along and include a title and your contact information. The deadline for submission is Friday, February 12, 2016.

All images will be considered including film prints and digital images.

Bruce Parker SpringtimeDawn-6916Digital images MUST BE high resolution and greater than 300 dpi. (Hint:  The file size will be approximately 3 MB or larger.) NO EXCEPTIONS

To Submit: Send your photos to us via e-mail: info@savetheriver.org include “photo contest” in the subject or via snail mail: Save The River, Attention Photo Contest, 409 Riverside Dr., Clayton, NY 13624.  Please include your name and contact information.  Don’t forget the deadline is Friday, February 12, 2016.

If your photo is selected for one of the 14 featured images (Cover and 13 months) you will receive a complimentary calendar and the honor of being in one of the most popular calendars on the River!

By submitting photos to Save the River, you grant to Save the River a non-exclusive right to use the image for any purpose in perpetuity.  Ownership of the image remains the property of the photographer. All proceeds from calendar sales directly support Save The River’s river protection programs!

Photo credit: Bruce Parker, 2015-16 Save The River Calendar

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Week 11 Photo Contest Winners

November 2nd, 2015 | Posted by admin

We are pleased to announce this week’s photo contest winners. We had many photos submitted to us by people practicing catch & release fishing and hope that this continues throughout the season.

Week 11 Winners

First Place Winner: Owen D.

Second Place Winner: Sammi S.

Third Place Winner: Owen H.

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos this week. This contest is open to everyone practicing catch and release fishing and you are welcome to submit as many photos as you would like.

Photos can be submitted directly to Save The River’s Catch and Release Program Facebook page or via email to lindsey@savetheriver.org.

By submitting photos you consent to their use by Save The River.

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River Remembrance Day Quotes

November 2nd, 2015 | Posted by admin

River Remembrance Day 2015

Thoughts from our members:

I miss the St. Lawrence River! – Jeff M. 11/2/15

We who stay here all year long are the most fortunate. To experience the River during all seasons is a gift. – Lauran & Dan T. 11/2/15

What a splendid way to honor the River. – Carol G. 11/2/15

No deep thoughts. We just plain old miss the River. -Phil & Kate P. 10/26/15

We are Long Island residents who found ourselves in Clayton about 5 or 6 years and enjoyed the River for several lovely summer days. On another car trip we drove halfway out on the Cape’s peninsula before heading to visit friends in New Brunswick- again, some enjoyable River experiences. It’s worth preserving! – Valerie G. 10/26/15

Join us & other River lovers for our River Remembrance Day 2015 Non-Gala

Saturday evening, the seventh of November there will be no dinner, no dancing, no big-name entertainment.

Instead, we invite you to enjoy a quiet evening at home, wherever that may be this time of year, reflecting on the natural beauty of the St. Lawrence River, and we offer you the opportunity to join us in a River Illumination Ceremony.

As River Remembrance Day approaches we will be sharing River quotes as we receive them.

Click here for a printable comment/donation card.

Click here to donate now.

Jim Magnes

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