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Proceed with Caution

April 27th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

April Dangers.

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Once the wind (& the snow) die down and the early season beauty of the River is calling us to be on it again, remember there are leftovers from winter to be aware of and avoid.

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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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St. Lawrence River Endangered

April 15th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

from Thousand Island Life, August, 2016:Most Endangered

U.S. and Canadian governments poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen.

On April 12th the national advocacy organization, American Rivers, named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish, wildlife and local communities.

The designation is significant for everyone who cares about the environment and the Thousand Islands.

Environmental considerations were not part of the planning process, when the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam, and shipping channel,were built in the 1950s. As a result, outdated dam operations have caused significant losses to the Upper St. Lawrence River’s globally-significant biodiversity and habitat. Impacts include a loss of wetland habitat and a decline in many fish species and nesting water birds.

Read the full article, watch the stunning video, then take action along with hundreds others who love the St. Lawrence River like we do. Click here.

The designation is significant for everyone who cares about the environment and the Thousand Islands.
– See more at: http://www.thousandislandslife.com/BackIssues/Archive/tabid/393/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1922/St-Lawrence-River-Endangered.aspx#sthash.imBhwiRU.U.S. and Canadian governments poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen.
On April 12th the national advocacy organization, American Rivers, named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish, wildlife and local communities.
The designation is significant for everyone who cares about the environment and the Thousand Islands.
– See more at: http://www.thousandislandslife.com/BackIssues/Archive/tabid/393/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1922/St-Lawrence-River-Endangered.aspx#sthash.imBhwiRU.dpuf
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EPA Accepting Public Comments on Proposal to Ban the Dumping of Sewage from Boats into the St. Lawrence River

April 14th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
EPA Accepting Public Comments on Proposal to Ban the
Dumping of Sewage from Boats into the St. Lawrence River
Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov
(New York, N.Y. – March 24, 2016)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that a “no discharge zone” can be established for the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation petitioned the EPA to prohibit boats from discharging sewage into the river by establishing a “no discharge zone” for the area. The EPA has reviewed the state petition and found that there are adequate facilities around the St. Lawrence for boats to pump out their sewage, rather than dumping it in the water.
“It’s astonishing that in 2016, boaters can dump raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Declaring this area of the St. Lawrence a “no discharge zone” would provide cleaner water for people who use this river,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The EPA and New York State looked carefully at the information and agree that the St. Lawrence has enough facilities to remove treated waste from all types of vessels and keep it from entering the river.”
Sewage discharges from boats can contain harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols and chlorine, which have a negative impact on water quality, pose a risk to people’s health and damage fish and wildlife. The EPA is encouraging the public to comment on its proposed approval until April 25, 2016.
The proposed “no discharge zone” for the New York State portion of the St. Lawrence River stretches from Tibbetts Point on Lake Ontario to the western edge of Lake Saint Francis, not including those waters that lie within the exterior borders of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Reservation. The proposed “no discharge zone” encompasses approximately 112 river miles and shoreline, including numerous tributaries, harbors and embayments of the river— including Eel Bay, Lake of the Isles and Goose Bay— and other formally designated habitats and waterways of local, state and national significance.
This action is part of an EPA/New York State Department of Environmental Conservation strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways. New York State water bodies that have already been established as “no discharge zones” include Lakes Erie, Ontario, Champlain, and George, the New York State Canal System and the Hudson River, among others.
EPA’s determination is available in the Federal Register at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
For more information about “no discharge zones,” visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/water/ndz/index.html
To comment on the proposed EPA approval, email, fax or mail comments to Moses Chang at chang.moses@epa.gov, Fax: (212) 637-3891. Mailing address: Moses Chang, U.S. EPA Region 2,  290 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866.

Support EPA’s designation of the St. Lawrence River as a “No Discharge Zone”.


Even treated sewage from boats, which can contain chemicals harmful to aquatic life and humans, has no place in the St. Lawrence.Kid in the River (credit Coley Baker)


The EPA has proposed a ban on the dumping of sewage from boats into the St. Lawrence River, and is accepting comments through April 25th.


Tell the EPA you support the ban and agree that the New York portion of the St. Lawrence River should be designated a “No Discharge Zone”.


Send your comments to: Moses Chang at chang.moses@epa.gov

or the following:

U.S. EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, 24th Floor,

New York, NY 10007-1866


Sample comments:


I support the EPA’s proposed no discharge zone for the New York section of the Upper St. Lawrence River. Sewage has no place in the River.


Sewage from boats should not be dumped in the St. Lawrence River, since it can pose a risk to people’s health, and impair aquatic life and habitats.


The existing pumpout stations on the Upper St. Lawrence River are more than adequate to provide alternatives to dumping sewage from boats.


The full proposal can be viewed here: http://ow.ly/10DwbA

Watertown Daily TImes article covering this proposal can be viewed here: http://ow.ly/103Ldg

photo credit: Coley Baker

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St. Lawrence River One of America’s Ten Most Endangered

April 12th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
A Most Endangered River
American Rivers named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish, wildlife and local communities.
U.S. and Canadian governments poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen.
Do your part to help: plan2014now.savetheriver.org
U.S. and Canadian governments poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen.
It is time Secretary John Kerry and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion listen to the over 22,500 expressions of citizen support as well as the 42 environmental, conservation and sportsmen organizations and local and regional businesses that continue to advocate for Plan 2014.
Add your voice: plan2014now.savetheriver.org
Two Reasons American River’s Designation Is Important
First, American Rivers focuses only on rivers at crossroads. Rivers where key decisions in the coming months will determine the fate of the waterbody.  Over the years, the annual report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.
Second, the St. Lawrence River made this list once before in 2008. This was the same year the International Joint Commission began reviewing Plan Bv7, an innovative water levels plan designed to adjust the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam’s operations so as to work with nature.
Eight years later the plan, now known as Plan 2014, is ready for enactment. The U.S. and Canadian governments are poised to remove the St. Lawrence River from the Most Endangered Rivers list with a simple the stroke of a pen.
Do your part to help: plan2014now.savetheriver.org
18 Photos of River Damage and Renewal
Environmental considerations were not part of the planning process when the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam and shipping channel were built in the 1950s. As a result, outdated dam operations have caused significant losses to the Upper St. Lawrence River’s globally-significant biodiversity and habitat. Impacts include a loss of wetland habitat and a decline in many fish species and nesting water birds. Black Tern, a state-listed endangered bird species that depends on a diverse marsh habitat, has declined by over 80 percent. Northern Pike, the top fish predator in coastal marshes, has declined by 70 percent. These species are indicators of ecosystem health, and show how far-reaching the dam’s impacts have been to the entire river environment.

A Most Endangered River:

American Rivers named the St. Lawrence River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, shining a national spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish, wildlife and local communities.Most Endangered

And yet the U.S. and Canadian governments are poised to remove St Lawrence River from list of endangered rivers with a simple the stroke of a pen (click for more).

Do your part to help: plan2014now.savetheriver.org

It is time Secretary John Kerry and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion listen to the over 22,500 expressions of citizen support as well as the 42 environmental, conservation and sportsmen organizations and local and regional businesses that continue to advocate for Plan 2014.

Add your voice: plan2014now.savetheriver.org

Two Reasons American River’s Designation Is Important:

First, American Rivers focuses only on rivers at crossroads. Rivers where key decisions in the coming months will determine the fate of the waterbody.  Over the years, the annual report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.

Second, the St. Lawrence River made this list once before in 2008. This was the same year the International Joint Commission began reviewing Plan B+, an innovative water levels plan designed to adjust the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam’s operations so as to work with nature.

Eight years later the plan, now known as Plan 2014, is ready for enactment. The U.S. and Canadian governments are poised to remove the St. Lawrence River from the Most Endangered Rivers list with a simple the stroke of a pen.

Do your part to help: plan2014now.savetheriver.org

Environmental considerations were not part of the planning process when the Moses-Saunders Hydropower Dam and shipping channel were built in the 1950s. As a result, outdated dam operations have caused significant losses to the Upper St. Lawrence River’s globally-significant biodiversity and habitat. Impacts include a loss of wetland habitat and a decline in many fish species and nesting water birds. Black Tern, a state-listed endangered bird species that depends on a diverse marsh habitat, has declined by over 80 percent. Northern Pike, the top fish predator in coastal marshes, has declined by 70 percent. These species are indicators of ecosystem health, and show how far-reaching the dam’s impacts have been to the entire river environment.

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