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ABC’s of the 1000 Islands limited edition print available

August 10th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

We are pleased to announce our newest collaboration and fundraising effort, a limited edition The ABC’s of the 1000 Islands: Save The River! 18×24 inch art print, with proceeds benefiting Save The River.

This one-of-a-kind art print captures much that is cherished by River lovers, including some special designs indicative of our continued efforts here at Save The River. We have partnered with Karyn Burns ABC’s to offer a limited edition run of 100 prints, printed on high quality Eames Canvas Cover paper,ABCsigned, dated and numbered by the artist Karyn Burns.

In addition to the individual poster purchase option, we are pleased to be also offering framing options for those who are interested. Karyn Burns ABCs has partnered with Syracuse based Gallery 114 to offer a limited edition custom frame, making this the perfect gift to , or of course for yourself. Prints can be shipped throughout the United States and Canada.

Save The River’s education, awareness and advocacy efforts are constant, and with that we are always looking for creative ways to raise awareness and interest in the River and raise funds to support our ongoing activities. That’s why we were thrilled to partner with Karyn Burns ABCs in this unique fundraising campaign. This effort allows us to offer whimsical artwork that reflects the St. Lawrence River and Save The River’s mission, in a unique piece of art created by Karyn just for us.

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Save The River Honors Its Exceptional Volunteers

August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.
While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.
This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their faculty advisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauber and Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.
This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.
With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.
Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

IMG_0443

Thursday night we held our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority’s Rift Camp to honor our cadre of over 500 volunteers.

While each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable member of our team and key to our many successes, each year Save The River does recognize a ‘Volunteer of the Year’, volunteers who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer work and whose assistance has advanced Save The River’s efforts to protect the St. Lawrence River in a significant way.

This year’s Save The River Volunteer of the Year is The Thousand Island High School’s SAFE (Student Activists for the Environment) Club members and their facultyadvisor. These dedicated students – Ashley Byers, Lexi Cassidy, Noah Crandal, John Hunter, McKenna Schnauberand Maura Warren and their advisor, Eleanor Thomas, were chosen in recognition of the club’s outstanding efforts in addressing and raising awareness to their school, their community and New York State’s elected leaders about the threat of microbead pollution in the St. Lawrence River.

This year SAFE set high goals for itself and succeeded in achieving them. They brought awareness of the threat of microbead pollution to the River by conducting a school-wide campaign; creating informative posters, creating a social media campaign using the hashtag “TIBeatsBeads” circulating a student petition.  They also wrote several letters to elected officials expressing their strong support for legislation in the New York State Senate, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, and they traveled to Albany May 5th where they participated with representatives of numerous groups from across New York in the Microbead Lobby Day meeting with several elected officials, including New York State Senator Patty Ritchie.

With a summer staff that swells to only 7, including our 2 interns, we simply could not accomplish our many programmatic, educational and advocacy goals without the active support of our many volunteers.

Some of the notable statistics about our volunteers, they:
– accumulated an estimated 2,000 hours of service;
– came from as far as Lisbon, New York and Ottawa, Ontario;
– over 240 who trained to become Riverkeeper volunteers
– over 30 teachers from area schools who educated more than 1,000 students this year alone (over 3,000 over the life of the In the Schools program);
– mark over 80 of the most dangerous shoals on the River;
– collect water samples at 6 of the region’s most popular swimming locations;
– assist with the Common Tern Monitoring collaboration with the
Thousand Islands Land Trust;
– help with Winter Conference, Rock for the River and Run for the
River; and
– work behind the scenes at the office working on countless mailings and projects.

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Save The River’s 26th Winter Environmental Conference Agenda Set

January 26th, 2015 | Posted by admin

Transport of oil on the St. Lawrence River to be a major topic

Saturday, February 7th, Save The River will once again provide area residents and public officials the opportunity to hear from scientists, experts, activists and educators about issues of importance to the health of the St. Lawrence River. The 26th Annual Winter Environmental Conference is open to the public and anyone interested in the future of the River is encouraged to attend.

Oil shipments on the St. Lawrence River are already an unpleasant reality. However, dramatically increased extraction of heavy oil and bitumen from the Alberta tar sands has lead to increased pressure to transport these cargoes on and near the River. These volatile cargoes pose new and alarming threats to the River due to their unique chemical characteristics that make them difficult to handle and recover if spilled.

A panel of experts will examine the implications of moving these new, toxic cargoes on and near the St. Lawrence River. The panel will include Kushan Dave, Cornell University, co-author of the recently published report “A New Era of Crude Oil Transport”, Anthony Mangoni, District Response Advisory Team Supervisor, Ninth Coast Guard District, Gary McCullough of the NYS DEC, and Emma Lui from the Council of Canadians. There will also be a visual presentation about the source of this potential new cargo by Alex MacLean.

Additional speakers will provide updates on issues directly affecting the health of the St. Lawrence River and in which the River community has taken an active role. Dereth Glance, Commissioner to the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission, will speak about the status of Plan 2014 and other water quality initiatives being undertaken by the IJC. Jennifer Nalbone, New York State Attorney General’s Office, will provide an update on microbeads, the tiny plastic particles contained in personal care products, that have been found in alarming concentrations in the River, and the effort to ban them in New York. Matt Windle, Research Scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, will speak about his research on the American Eel a once thriving and still iconic and culturally significant, but threatened St. Lawrence River inhabitant.

Rounding out the day will be presentations about Save The River’s educational programs, In the Schools and Riverkeeper, from educators and partners who will share their experiences and how they are implementing the programs in their classroom. Attendees will hear about programs aboard the Tall Ship Fair Jeanne, the Canadian sail training ship operated by the Ottawa-based youth charity, Bytown Brigantine Inc. from the captain and president and from Mary Bowman, Thousand Island Middle School teacher, who sailed on the NOAA research ship Lake Guardian.

Registration for the Winter Environmental Conference is $45 and includes coffee, lunch and a cocktail reception with light hor d’oevres.  Anyone interested in attending can RSVP by calling (315) 686-2010 or by downloading and submitting the registration form.

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Catch & Release End of the Year Update – 2014

December 19th, 2014 | Posted by Lee

This summer Save The River added smallmouth bass to our longstanding Catch and Release program.Addison Swenson

Since 1987 we have promoted catch and release fishing for Muskellunge, a species threatened on the St. Lawrence River, saving over 1,000 of these iconic fish. The addition of bass to Save The River’s Catch and Release Program is a continuation of our efforts to improve the overall health of the St. Lawrence River and to ensure a healthy, sustainable fishery.

We are adding lessons on catch and release to current In The Schools and On The Water programs for K-12 students. Students will learn about the different types of fish in the River, what impacts have been made on bass populations and how to properly practice catch and release techniques.

Catch yes, but eat fresh and release the rest.

Click here to go to the full update.

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Save The River Appoints New Outreach Coordinator, First Focus Promoting Catch and Release Program

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lee

Save The River announced today that Lindsey Leve has joined the staff as its Outreach Coordinator to promote their growing educational and advocacy programs.Leve Photo

Lindsey brings extensive experience and background promoting programs and events for various not-for-profit organizations. She was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona. She has spent every summer in the Thousand Islands on the River with her family and is very familiar with the area. Currently she is a summer resident of Wintergreen Island and a winter resident of Fisher’s Landing.

Executive Director Lee Willbanks said, “We are extremely pleased to have Lindsey join the staff. She will be using her knowledge and enthusiasm for the River community to promote Save The River’s Catch and Release programs and volunteer outreach. The timing couldn’t be better as we are finally seeing the ice leave and everyone is getting ready to be on the water.”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of an organization that has played such an important part in protecting the River. And I’m really looking forward to being in at the beginning as the Catch and Release program expands from Muskies to Bass and other species,” stated Ms. Leve.

In 2013 Save The River began the effort to expand it’s successful Muskellunge Catch and Release program to include bass as part of the continuing effort to improve the quality of the St. Lawrence River fishery and to ensure a healthy, sustainable aquatic and economic resource.

Since 1987 more than 1,000 muskies have been caught and released. In addition to muskies, the Thousand Islands section of the River has traditionally supported one of the best bass fisheries in New York State. Historically, this fishery has been a major factor in the growth of tourism on the River.  However, today the River environment is far different from what early tourists experienced 100 years ago.

Catch and release fishing has become a globally accepted and duplicated practice to ensure plentiful game fish populations. Releasing a greater proportion of bass caught by anglers is one approach that can be used to reduce the mortality of adult fish and allow more bass to survive. The bass population in the River will benefit if anglers restrict their take of fish to only that which they will consume that day while releasing the rest.

Save The River believes a successful catch and release program, with significant numbers of anglers participating, will result in a more sustainable and larger number of adult bass in the River. Improving the quality of the River’s fisheries is good economic and tourism policy as well as an appropriate fishery management strategy.

After all according to Lindsey, “a bass is too valuable to catch only once.”

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NCPR Coverage of “Marsh Madness” Cattail Project

October 24th, 2012 | Posted by Lee
Removing the duff

Removing the duff

The students seem to “get it”.

I think it’s actually really good for the meadow marshes to come back. And it’s like, a good experience for kids my age. And I also think it’s really fun.”

I liked the fact that we had to go through all the cattails, like a maze. It was pretty cool. And knowing that we’re helping the environment by doing it, and doing all the research – I thought that was pretty cool.”

Our cattail project with SUNY-ESF was the subject of a tremendous story by NCPR reporter Joanna Richards. These quotes are taken from it.

We also appreciate Ms. Richards’ attention to the context – the impact of constrained water levels and the need for a more natural levels and flow regime – Plan Bv7.

No amount of yanking up cattails can make up for the damage done by the water levels regime of the last 50 years. Save The River wants to get the word out that a proposed new plan – called BV7 – would help marshes like Eel Bay return to greater biodiversity.

Any awareness we can bring to it, whether it’s through seventh graders doing something like this and us publicizing it, or working with the villages and towns to go and talk to DEC and to the governor’s office, we’re just trying to get people to understand that this is a reasonable plan.”

It is worth a read. AND a listen.

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Marsh Madness: The Great Cattail Experiment!

October 13th, 2012 | Posted by Lee

Earlier this week, as part of its In the Schools program, Save The River, SUNY–ESF and local middle school students worked together on an experiment to help the students understand the effects of water levels in their own backyard.

Group panorama

Dr. Farrell talks to the group

Working with SUNY-ESF professor Dr. John Farrell and graduate researcher Matt Regan, 45 7th graders from Alexandria Central School engaged in a field study examining wetland responses to water levels. Students inventoried and excavated test plots at specific elevations, and monitored the effectiveness of removing the cattail mat and exposing the historic seed bank. This study is linked to efforts to get a more natural water levels regulation plan implemented – such as the currently proposed Plan Bv7.

The "Muskie" group hard at work

The "Muskie" group hard at work

The experiment was designed to help students understand what River wetlands should be like (instead of wall-to-wall cattails), and indeed would be like if Plan Bv7 were implemented. The students removed the cattail mat in specific areas, and exposed the historic seed bank underneath. Over time, the species that return should be more diverse and represent a healthier mix of plants that in turn supports more fish and wildlife. The students will be able to monitor these changes over time and experience the impacts that water levels have on the River first hand.

This project was the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration. Thanks to SUNY-ESF and the Thousand Island Biological Station, Mary Mitchell and the team of 7th grade teachers from Alexandria Central Schools, The Minna Anthony Commons Nature Center and Wellesley Island State Park and, of course, staff of Save The River Kate Breheny and Stephanie Weiss.

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23rd Winter Conference Sessions – Video Now Available

February 16th, 2012 | Posted by admin

Many of the presentations from Save The River’s Winter Environmental Weekend Conference are available via Save The River’s Vimeo channel. Or, select a specific presentation from the list below.

A Draft New Approach to Managing Water Levels and Flows on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Presentation by Frank Bevaqua, Public Information Officer with the International Joint Commission at Save The River’s 23rd annual Winter Conference, Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY on February 4, 2012. To learn more about Save The River, visit www.savetheriver.org.

Great Lakes Water Levels, Lake Ontario Regulation, and Implications for Wetlands from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Presentation by Doug Wilcox Ph.D PWS, SUNY Brockport at Save The River’s 23rd annual Winter Conference, Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY, on February 4, 2012. To learn more about Save The River and the conference, visit www.savetheriver.org.

Save The River In The Schools Education Program from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Presentation by Kathy Morris (Save The River Education Curriculum Consultant), Mary Bowman (Thousand Islands Middle School), and students at the 23rd annual Winter Conference held at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY on February 4, 2012. To learn more about Save The River and the conference visit www.savetheriver.org.

Water for Nature, Water for People, Protecting and Restoring Environmental Flows from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Presentation by Tony Maas, Freshwater Program Director with WWF-Canada, at Save The River’s 23rd annual Winter Conference held at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, NY on February 4, 2012. To learn more about Save The River and the conference visit www.savetheriver.org

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Winter Conference Presentations available on Vimeo

April 13th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Many of the presentations from Save The River’s Winter Environmental Weekend Conference are available via Save The River’s Vimeo channel. Or, select a specific presentation from the list below.

“Save The River’s Evolving Education Program: Teaching River Appreciation Inside the Classroom & Out” (22nd Annual Winter Enviro from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

“River of the Iroquois” (22nd Annual Winter Environmental Conference, 2/5/11) from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Wind Turbine Impacts on Birds & Bats: Sorting Out the Truth and Moving Forward (22nd Annual Winter Environmental Conference 2/5/ from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

“Preventing Invasive Species: Updates on Policy and Regulatory Improvements and How You Can Help” (22nd Annual Winter Environmen from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

“Restoring Common Terns To New York’s Great Lakes and Rivers” (22nd Annual Winter Environmental Conference, 2/5/11) from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Remarks by Judy Drabicki, NY Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director (Region 6) (22nd Annual Winter Environme from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

Water Levels and the FDR Hydropower Settlement: An Attempt to Right an Historic Wrong (22nd Annual Winter Environmental Conferen from Jennifer Caddick on Vimeo.

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Area Students Experience River Through Save The River In The Schools Program

October 26th, 2010 | Posted by admin

Over the past year, Save the River has been working with North Country teachers to bring the St. Lawrence River into classrooms. Last week, for the first time, Save The River had the opportunity to bring the students to the River!

kids groupMore than forty first graders from LaFargeville schools boarded a boat at the Minna Anthony Nature Center on Wellesley Island for a first hand look at the St. Lawrence. Once on board the boat, students spent an hour and a half getting to know the River – identifying Osprey nests, searching in wetlands for beaver dams, and learning to differentiate between living and non-living things, which is part of the first grade curriculum.

The boat ride complimented a Save The River curriculum project designed by LaFargeville teacher, Patrick Sullivan. Patrick’s curriculum, developed through a Save The River In The Schools program training session, combined River issues with the New York State Learning Standards.

Although this trip was a first for the Save The River In the Schools Program, it sets the stage for more such trips in the future.

Save The River recently received funding from the Fresh Sound Foundation to provide an ‘on the water’ experience to schools participating in the program. Currently, more than ten school districts are participating in the program at various grade levels, and it is Save The River’s goal to eventually reach all of the school districts that border the River.

For more on the day’s events, check out the following news story:

YNN (10/20/10): Youngsters Get First Hand Lesson on River

For More Information

Visit our Save The River In The Schools Program page or contact Stephanie Weiss, Save The River’s Assistant Director.

Special Thanks!

Special thanks for support of this project goes to the Fresh Sound Foundation, the Minna Anthony Nature Center and the LaFargeville Central School District.

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