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Scientists tell Oswego paper, “Plan 2014 not to blame for Lake Ontario flooding”

June 30th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

In another well-researched and well-sourced story, this one in today’s Palladium-Times by reporter Seth Wallace, the paper asked “nearly a dozen experts on geology, biology, meteorology, other earth sciences and international law”,

Did Plan 2014 cause the flooding?

The answer,

Without exception the answer came back the same: No, Plan 2014 did not cause the flooding.

The article also sheds new light on the strength of claims being made by some of the state’s elected officials that Plan 2014 is to blame for this year’s high water.

“The Palladium-Times made multiple requests this week to both [Rep.] Katko and Tenney’s offices to provide any data they had received from any expert that showed evidence of Plan 2014 as the cause of the flooding.

Both offices were either unwilling or unable to produce such evidence.”

As we have said all spring, the solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred. Instead we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.

The full article is worth a read.

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High Water! Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Says ‘Stop the blame game’

June 27th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

It is time to stop playing the blame game“, so says the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorial board in a June 24th editorial, referencing an article exhaustively examining the causes of this year’s high water published the same day.

As they have done all spring, with water levels, tempers and frustrations rising, authors Steve Orr and Meaghan M. McDermott drilled into the issue of why the water is high and who, if anyone, is to blame.

For the article,”High winds, high water, lots of hot air: Facts and fiction about Lake Ontario’s Plan 2014“, they went behind the angry statements being made by south shore residents and elected officials, and Governor Cuomo accusing the International Joint Commission (IJC) of everything from incompetence to outright malfeasance.

Summing up their research:

“Cut off one head of the ever-shifting explanations for why the waters are seeping into yards, gouging away the shoreline and smashing the boulders designed to hold the lake back, and two more wild theories spout. . . .

In fact, three months after high water on the lake first began to bedevil property owners, there is no proof whatsoever that the fault lies anywhere other than with nature.”

Based on the article, the editorial board concludes,

“Rather than continuing this futile exercise [blaming the IJC], leaders should be joining lakeshore residents in exploring ways to better protect coastal property in the years to come, while respecting the rights of others who are affected by the rise and fall of this Great Lake.”

To which we at Save The River would only add “and this great River, the St. Lawrence.”

In fact, in an April letter published in many papers around the state, we said as much. “The solution to this year’s high water is not a return to a plan under which the same conditions have repeatedly occurred. Instead we need to use our resources and political will to assist those impacted now and ensure what we build takes Nature’s role and the reality of dynamic water bodies and shorelines into account.”

The full article, “High winds, high water, lots of hot air:Facts and fiction about Lake Ontario’s Plan 2014” is worth a close read.

The editorial, “Stop blaming the International Joint Commission” is also worth a full read.

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Rock For The River® Takes Hiatus in 2017

June 22nd, 2017 | Posted by admin

You may have seen articles and sponsored Facebook posts about Rock For The River’s trademark as well as Save The River’s decision to put the event on hiatus this year.

While Save The River decided to place the event on hiatus and secure a trademark after careful consideration, we are aware these actions have generated a lot of talk and some criticism.

We would like to use this space to describe why Save The River took these actions and how our decisions align with the organization’s mission and current priorities.

The benefit concert Rock for the River, which we held for the past 13 years, has been held to raise funds to support Save The River’s mission. Like our Run for the River, raffles and other fundraisers, this event was created with good intentions to raise money and awareness for our mission.

In a time of challenges to the health of the St. Lawrence River, the likes of which we haven’t seen in recent memory, we want to assure our thousands of members and supporters that Save The River remains committed to the one mission it has consistently had for its 40-year history:

“the protection, restoration and preservation of the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education and research . . .

In short, a healthy River, now and for generations to come.”

We take our mission very seriously and we know the thousands of people who contribute to us annually do as well. Spending money on fundraising to support the mission is appropriate and necessary but it must generate a return that warrants the time, energy and donor dollars spent or it cannot be justified.

We were fortunate and have appreciated the input, creativity and musical ability of the many musicians – local and visiting – who donated their time and talent to the concert.

However, after a period of declining ticket sales, and increasing expenses and demands on our staff, all of which pointed to a trend where soon the concert would be taking more than it was giving, we decided to take a one-year break from Rock for the River. While that has led to disappointment, we cannot prioritize a night of entertainment over accomplishing our mission. We intend to return with a revitalized and retooled Rock for the River in 2018.

A question has been raised over Save The River’s trademark of the event’s name.

Last year, at the direction of its board, Save The River took the initiative to register the Rock For The River trademark.

The Board decided to protect the significant resources – staff and volunteer time, sponsor and contributors’ donations, and other resources – Save The River has expended on the event since 2004. We did so in full compliance with trademark law and in a manner that allows Save The River the maximum flexibility to work with willing and supportive artists and donors who help advance our mission.

There may be times Save The River does not host one of its typical fundraisers, whether it be our 5k/10k Run for the River, a winter or summer raffle, Catch and Release weekly drawings or, as with this year, Rock for the River. But, please be assured that when we do host an event, we will meet the high expectations the River community has for Save The River.

We know that is what our supporters and members expect.

signed the Directors of Save The River

Our letter to the Watertown Daily Times, published July 3, 2017


Save The River, the standing heron & Rock for the River are registered trademarks of Save The River, Inc.
Riverkeeper is a registered trademark of the Waterkeeper® Alliance



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No Longer “Business as Usual”, Climate Change Changes Thinking

June 1st, 2017 | Posted by Lee

Not our usual allies in the effort to restore, preserve and protect the St. Lawrence River – major U.S. corporations.

But in a year of historic water levels brought on by record breaking rainfall, following years of wild swings in weather, increased intensity of storm events, many overwhelming infrastructure and disrupting the environment and human activity:


The St. Lawrence River Valley is not immune. The impacts are not occurring somewhere else. And, while our activities may not add much to the global picture, the River we rely on for physical, mental and spiritual sustenance will be impacted.

The Paris Agreement, agreed to by 195 countries, is a, if not the, most important step taken to date to address climate change. As the world’s leading economy, the world’s leading innovator, and the world’s leading consumer of energy and emitter of its by-products the United States must stay engaged in the world-wide effort to address climate change.

We must stay in the Paris Agreement.

If the environmental perspective isn’t persuasive, look at the list of of major corporations supporting the Paris Agreement. Visit the website, “Businesses urge president to remain in Paris Agreement

Join some of America’s largest corporations and call the White House and your Senators and Representative today and tell them we must stay in the Paris Agreement:

White House: (202) 456-1414
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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