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Save The River Announces Additions to Staff – Updated

January 1st, 2018 | Posted by admin
Additions to Save The River staff in key positions – Program Manager, Outreach Coordinator and Office Assistant – add depth and experience.
Patricia Shulenburg, who most recently worked for the New York State Office of Parks as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Dunes and Wetlands Restoration Coordinator, brings experience with educational programming to Save The River as Program Manager.
Margaret Hummel, Clayton, previously Director of Events and Marketing at the Antique Boat Museum, is the organization’s Outreach Coordinator.
Kendall Hathaway, Cape Vincent, a recent graduate of Auburn University, fills the new position of Office Assistant.
As Program Manager, Ms. Shulenburg, will implement all aspects of Save The River’s current educational programs including its very successful In the Schools and On the Water programs which currently introduce over 1,000 kindergarten to twelfth grade students to environmental issues facing the St. Lawrence River and the Riverkeeper and Jr. Riverkeeper Volunteer programs that teach 100s volunteers each year of all ages stewardship principles.
Ms. Shulenburg has a Master’s of Science degree in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior from the University at Buffalo where she focused her graduate studies on Great Lakes ecology and stream restoration. While at the NYS Office of Parks she managed projects at Sandy Island Beach State Park and founded the region’s first volunteer monitoring and stewardship program for the federally endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover.
Ms. Hummel will be involved with all aspects of Save The River’s communications with its membership, supporters and the public and be an integral part of the delivery of its education and volunteer programs, events and fundraising as Outreach Coordinator. She has been a Clayton resident since 2007 and brings seven years of experience with volunteer coordination, and event planning at the Boat Museum.
Ms. Hathaway graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While at Auburn, she worked in the agricultural department where she gained a greater appreciation for environmental conservation. She will be able to combine her education and experience in her work at Save The River.
Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s Executive Director, stated, “significant progress has been made in protecting the St. Lawrence River’s water quality and habitat, and in expanding the number of people and communities involved in that effort during the 40 years Save The River has been the voice for the River. However, much remains to be done and we are very excited to have Margaret, Patricia and Kendall join the existing staff – Bridget Wright, Linda Wright and me – as we take on the task.”
He added, “We have heard from many partners and community members that they are excited to build on past successes as we expand our capacity at this critical time when the St. Lawrence River and the communities that depend on it being healthy are facing existing and new challenges.”
Save The River, a member-based, nonprofit environmental organization, has been the “voice for the St. Lawrence River” in the U.S. and Canada since 1978. Save The River’s mission has always been to restore, preserve and protect the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education and research. In 2004, Save The River was designated the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and became a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance with the goal of a swimmable, fishable, drinkable River.
As the leading grassroots advocacy organization working to protect the St. Lawrence River, Save The River takes an active role in River policy issues, engaging decision makers, community leaders, residents, visitors and volunteers to make positive change. Every year it works with educators in school districts in the watershed to educate 1,000+ students in a place-based curriculum that stresses age appropriate aspects of stewardship.

Patricia Shulenburg


Margaret Hummel


Kendall Hathaway



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Latest update on the Pacific Huron from the U.S. Coast Guard

December 31st, 2017 | Posted by Lee

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Ship Aground off Blind Bay – Updated

December 28th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

The Pacific Huron is hard aground off Blind Bay near Twin Island since earlier this morning.

Per the Seaway Development Corporation no pollution released to River, no breach and no injuries reported. Inspectors are in route and more details will follow.

Given the weather conditions let’s hope for a speedy and uneventful re-float.

Ship’s position per Marine Traffic is Latitude / Longitude: 44.27595° / -76.03012°

Seaway press release on the grounding:












Coast Guard press release:





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Holiday Wishes from the St. Lawrence

December 21st, 2017 | Posted by admin

photo by Patricia O’Hara

Categories: Blog,Homepage,News
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Save The River’s 29th Annual Winter Environmental Conference

December 8th, 2017 | Posted by Lee


Save the date! Or, better yet, sign up and lock in your attendance now.

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The International Joint Commission assesses U.S. and Canadian efforts to improve Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River water quality:

December 4th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

‘Commendable progress. Much more to be done.’

We were pleased to see the scope of the findings and the recommendations in the IJC report, premised as they are on sound science and significant public input. We were also pleased to get to comment on the report in a recent Watertown Daily Times​ article, “IJC report talks water quality concerns on Lake Ontario” by Gordon Block published December 1, 2017.

In its first assessment on how the two countries are doing to meet the goals of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the IJC found progress on the general objectives of accelerated restoration of contaminated Areas of Concern, the development of binational habitat conservation strategies, the absence of newly introduced aquatic invasive species, and comprehensive reporting on groundwater science.

But, and we here at Save The River​ definitely agree, the IJC finds:

– insufficient progress toward achieving human health objectives;
– insufficient progress on chemicals of mutual concern that pose a threat to the health of humans, wildlife and aquatic organisms;
– more work is required to control the spread of invasive species already in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River;
– there is no basin-wide perspective, approach or strategy for addressing climate change;
– the governments have not fully incorporated robust public engagement into their activities; and
– they should reach beyond the limits & audiences typically recognized & should factor in consideration of environmental justice as a key objective.

There is a lot in the report for anyone who cares about the health of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and the people and communities that rely on them to be swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

The full report, “First Triennial Assessment of Progress on Great Lakes Water Quality“, is worth a read.

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It’s Giving Tuesday!

November 28th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

On this Giving Tuesday

Help Kick Off Our 40th Year

of being the Voice for the St. Lawrence River!


Help Us Educate the Next Generation of River Stewards!

2014-08-02 Jr Riverkeepers

your gift of $40 or more will allow us to get more students On the Water,

reach a few more Jr. Riverkeepers, and

fight a little longer to restore, preserve and protect

the St. Lawrence River now, . . . and for generations to come.

Thank you so much!




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Save The River’s Statement to Senate Committee Hearing on Flooding

October 10th, 2017 | Posted by Lee

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We note the passing of Ann Gefell with sadness

September 11th, 2017 | Posted by admin

Ann Gefell passed away last week. She was a founding member of Save The River, served for 11 years as a Director and was involved and active in many of our programs and activities over the years. Ann had a passion and love for the River that was evident in everything she did with Save The River and for the River community. She will be missed.

A Celebration of Ann’s Life will be held on Saturday, September 16th at 11:30 a.m., Thousand Island Park Chapel, Wellesley Island, New York.

Categories: Blog,Homepage,News
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2017 Beach Watch Week 9: August 28

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by admin

Save The River Reports on Week 9 of Beach Watch Program

Clayton, NY (August 31, 2017) – Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper is monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 3rd through August 28th on a weekly basis. This is the last week for sampling and we’re pleased tor report all locations sampled on August 28, 2017 have passed.

Save The River’s annual sampling program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. For the 2017 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at five swimming area: Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Frink Park in Clayton is closed to swimming at this time.

Location Pass/Fail Parts per 100mL
Frink Park N/A CLOSED
Lake of the Isles N/A 1.0
Potter’s Beach PASS 1.0
Round Island PASS <1.0
Scenic View Beach PASS 2.0
Wilson’s Beach 3 ft N/A 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, samples collected by Save The River will be tested for E. Coli bacteria. Results will be compared to levels set out in 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 on its webpage ( and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on 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

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