If you’ve followed news on the Great Lakes, you know that Canada and the United States, and the IJC, have released reports on progress to restore the vitality of the Great Lakes. The reports are required every three years by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which provides goals to guide the two countries’ work. Now’s your chance to influence what actions will be taken for the Great Lakes in the next triennial cycle.
The IJC has launched ParticipateIJC, a website for gathering public comment on progress made by our two countries and sharing conversations and videos from meetings the IJC is holding around the Great Lakes. You may review the reports – the Parties Report on Progress and the IJC’s draft Triennial Assessment of Progress (TAP) report – and provide written comments as well as joining online discussions on topics in the TAP report. We welcome perceptions of the lakes from your unique vantage point, locally and as a Great Lakes citizen. All written comments can be submitted by April 15, 2017.
January 7th was a red-letter day for the St. Lawrence River.
It was the day Plan 2014 – the modern water levels plan Save The River has advocated for since the 1990’s – went into effect.
Unfortunately, even before it was unanimously approved by the International Joint Commission, a few elected officials and self-appointed spokespersons from the south shore of Lake Ontario began using “alternative facts” to block its approval and now its operation.
Their plan? Is no plan at all – They would keep in place the outdated regulatory scheme that has destroyed critical wetland habitat, decimated key species like Northern Pike and Black Term, and choked economic development up and down the River for the past 50 years.
Their efforts continue – and they are wrong on every point.
ECONOMIC AND SHORELINE BENEFITS
Their claim? The new plan “will set the stage for very large man-made disasters . . . [and] the real numbers [of damages] will be in the hundreds of millions [of dollars] . . . that could destroy the economies of six counties” (note 1)
PUBLIC SUPPORT AND INPUT
Their claim? “The approval of this plan was a midnight action“ (note 2) and it “was a last-minute mid-night approval by U.S. and Canadian officials having no understanding of [its] ramifications.” (note 3)
THE BOTTOM LINE
Their claim? “[A] recent decision by the International Joint Commission on Lake Levels [sic] to increase the maximum lake level by another two feet.” (note 4)
1. January 30, 2017 letter from the Lake Ontario Riparian Alliance (LORA) to President Trump
2. January 17, 2017 letter from Reps. Collins and Katko to then Vice President-elect Pence
3. January 30, 2017 LORA letter to President Trump
4. Letter to the editor from NYS Assemblyman Peter Lawrence published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle April 30, 2016
Save The River and the standing heron are registered trademarks. Riverkeeper is a registered trademark of the Waterkeeper® Alliance
Saturday, February 4, attendees of this annual conference focused on the health of the St. Lawrence River will hear from an influential and diverse group of speakers.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose district covers the entire length of the St. Lawrence River in the U.S., will speak on the strides made to protect the River Community and the important work done on issues ranging from Plan 2014 to combating invasive species.
Frank Bevacqua, Public Information Officer with the International Joint Commission, will talk about the differences in water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario under Plan 2014, and what it means for boaters, shoreline residents and the natural environment.
Rob Caldwell, Canadian Regulation Representative with the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, will cover how the new plan compares to the one it replaced and potential impacts and benefits.
Lawrence Gunther, North America’s only blind professional angler and founder of Blue Fish Canada. Lawrence will talk about his experiences making the documentary “What Lies Below” for which he crossed Canada and spoke to sport and commercial fishermen and women about the challenges facing Canada’s wild fish stocks.
The St. Lawrence River Institute’s Mesha Boyer will present the film “A Great River Runs Through Us” which documents their extremely successful citizens’ River cleanup efforts in the Cornwall area this past summer.
Wrapping up the conference will be the First Lego League Team: Heritage Hi-Techs whose “Animal Allies” themed robotics competition entry was based on knowledge gained from Save The River and others about the need for responsible stewardship of the River’s threatened Muskellunge population.
Registration for this year’s Conference closes tomorrow Friday, February 3rd. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.
In the summer of 2016, the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences organized citizens from the city of Cornwall and Akwesasne to clean debris out of the St. Lawrence River. Anglers, divers, students, and general public worked together to pull over 12 tonnes of garbage out of the River and from along its shorelines. Not only was garbage retrieved, but this became an incredibly successful community and awareness building event.
Mesha Boyer, Assistant Project Coordinator at the Institute, will present “A Great River Runs Through Us”, the film which tells the story of citizen involvement making a real difference.
Registration for this year’s Conference closes Friday, February 3rd. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.. To secure a place, it is best call the Save The River office at (315) 686-2010.
Her talk, “Working Together for Real Results for Our River Community”, is particularly timely as the new water levels plan for the River and Lake Ontario – Plan 2014 – for which Congresswoman Stefanik was a vocal supporter, has just gone into effect after an almost two decades long effort.
Ms. Stefanik, who spoke at last year’s conference, has worked with conservation and environmental organizations, like Save The River, on a broad range of issues of importance to preserving and protecting the vast and unique natural resources within the 21st Congressional District.
We are pleased to have her return.
Registration for the conference closes Friday, February 3.
Click here to download your registration form: http://ow.ly/zo3r308q3QM
Drawing is only one month away – February 28th.
Don’t miss out! For tickets, click here.
Tickets on sale now and available by clicking here.
Drawing February 28, 2017. Good Luck!
“It was great to have the opportunity to talk about the tremendous success the River community had on the new water levels plan, Plan 2014, and the importance of the work we do to preserve, protect and restore the St. Lawrence River.”
Save The River is looking for great River photos to be included in its 2017 – 2018 calendar. We are especially interested in your favorite winter and ‘off season’ images.
If you have a few favorite River photos that you would like to share please send them to us, and include a title and your contact information.
The deadline for submission is Friday, February 10, 2017.
All images will be considered including prints and digital images. Digital images must be high resolution, greater than 300dpi and approximately 3MB or larger. To be considered every photo must include a title and the photographer’s contact information.
Submit your photos to Save The River via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Photo Contest’ in the subject or via mail to Save The River, Attention Photo Contest, 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624. Don’t forget the deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017.
Photos selected for one of the 14 featured images (calendar cover and 13 months) will earn the photographer bragging rights and a complimentary calendar.
Photographers submitting photos grant Save The River a non-exclusive right to use the image for any purpose in perpetuity. Ownership of the image will remain the property of the photographer.
The calendar will be on sale at Save The River beginning Memorial Day. All proceeds from the sale of the calendar go directly to support Save The River’s River protection programs.
photo credits (clockwise from top left):
Jennifer Werndorf, Bruce Parker, Skye Morey Heritage, Andrew Kane, and John Elwood Cook
Plan 2014 went into operation on January 7. And we are all interested and eager to know more about the new plan.
Frank Bevacqua, Public Information Officer International Joint Commission, will present “Plan 2014 – The Long-Term Perspective”
It was a long journey, but Plan 2014 is a historic achievement. Managing water levels to improve ecosystem health has never been carried out on such a large scale. Frank will talk about the road to Plan 2014 and what it means for the future.
Frank and Rob Caldwell, also from the IJC (Canada), will cover different aspects of the new plan in their presentations to give attendees a comprehensive view of the plan.
Frank grew up in Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan. He has been worked at the International Joint Commission to engage people in issues related to the waters shared by Canada and the United States since 1978. Whenever possible, he enjoys canoeing and kayaking.
So join us, your friends – old & new at Clayton’s 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel to celebrate and learn about the River we love.
Schedule: Saturday, February 4, 2017
9:30am – Registration and morning coffee
10:00 am – 4:00pm Presentations
4:00 pm – Cocktail Reception with cash bar
Conference fee: $50 (includes coffee, lunch, & cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres)
RSVP no later than Friday, January 27, 2017 to Save The River using the form found here or by calling us at (315) 686-2010.
We’ll see you there!