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Tremendous video from the IJC summarizing the need for and benefits of Plan 2014

December 6th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

For the first time in over 50 years, we have a unique and rare opportunity to reduce the ecological impacts of unnatural water levels management on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Plan 2014, if implemented, will allow for more natural variability in water levels, set a positive precedent for deliberations on the Upper Great Lakes water levels regulation, and set the stage for the restoration of 64,000 acres of coastal wetlands – easily the largest single example of Great Lakes restoration to date.

Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River enhance the quality of life for all citizens who live, work and recreate in the coastal zones of the Lake and River. Since 2001, the IJC has worked with governments and stakeholders in New York, Ontario and Quebec to develop a new set of procedures for regulating the flow of water through dams in the St. Lawrence. This plan will “contribute to the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence system” (the IJC’s previously stated goal for a new regulation plan).

The benefits of Plan 2014 are not limited to the environment – recreational boating, hunting, fishing, increased coastal wetland resilience in the face of climate change, and cost-effective shipping all are strengthened under this new approach to regulation. Plan 2014 continues to provide considerable protection for coastal property as well.

It truly is time for #Plan2014Now.

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Vote!

November 8th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

vote.

Vote as if your children and their children’s access to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water depends on it.

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Demand that our elected officials at every level work for a healthy St. Lawrence River that provides safe drinking water, is home to a thriving range of indigenous species and supports sustainable economic activity.

 

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Another Anniversary of the Clean Water Act; And Still No New Water Levels Plan!

October 18th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

For over 50 years the St. Lawrence River has suffered under a destructive water levels management plan. On this 44th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, almost 20 years after the destruction of over 64,000 acres of wetlands habitat and the precipitous decline of species dependent on those wetlands was identified and more than 2 years after a plan to begin the restoration of those wetlands was referred to them by Most Endangeredthe International Joint Commission, the U.S. and Canadian federal governments still have not acted, and the St. Lawrence remains one of America’s most endangered rivers.

This is not right!

In June following American Rivers designating the St. Lawrence as one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers, we wrote about it on their website. At that point we and a broad coalition of groups and individuals supporting a modern plan for managing the River – Plan 2014 – had collected over 22,000 expressions of support for the plan. Now we have over 36,000.

Now is the time for our federal governments to act. Now before we reach any more anniversaries. Now before we lose any more wetlands and the species dependent on them.

It is time for #Plan2014Now!

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Join Us

October 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Join us in our work to protect, preserve and restore the St. Lawrence River now and for future generations.Value

We do this by educating children about the River, and how to live with and sustain it and the creatures that depend on it being healthy. And we work for policies that will protect it from invasive species, toxic chemicals and untreated waste dumping, microplastics and an outdated dam management plan that has decimated tens of thousands of acres of wetlands and species.

But to do it well and to reach even more children and adults and bring about meaningful policy change we need a community of members that is large, vocal and supportive.

We need you! Please join Save The River today and become a partner in our effort to pass on a healthy St. Lawrence River for generations to share.

Click here.

Thank you.

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Executive Director interviewed for Public Television on Water Levels

October 9th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Taking every opportunity to make the case for our two federal governments to lift their pens and concur with the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014 and begin restoring wetlands, Northern Pike, Black Tern and so much more to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Riverkeeper and Save The River executive director speaking to tvo’s The Agenda, Nam Kiwanuka, for broadcast on Detroit Public Television while at the Great Lakes Public Forum in Toronto.

It’s time for #Plan2014Now.

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More on the Documentary “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers”

September 30th, 2016 | Posted by admin

As we reported here in an earlier post, “St. Lawrence River & Key Figures Play Big Role in Upcoming Film“, in June the crew from Changing Currents, PLU MediaLab, came to New York, Ontario and, specifically the St. Lawrence River for interviews and filming for “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers”, an examination of river pollution and restoration efforts in North America.

In a recently released trailer for the movie portions of an interview with Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Save The River Executive Director Lee Willbanks are shown. “I am honored to be able to speak about the work we and many others have done to preserve, protect and restore the St. Lawrence River as part of what looks to be an excellent documentary about the threats to freshwater bodies across North America and some of the restoration efforts occurring in communities across the continent.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 50 percent of rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for swimming or fishing. The mission of the film is to educate others on ecological river health, encourage environmental stewardship and advocate for dialog regarding effective river protection. The film is currently in pre-production and will premiere on Nov. 12, 2016 in the Theatre on the Square at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Washington.

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St. Lawrence River & Key Figures Play Big Role in Upcoming Film – Updated

August 5th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

In June the crew from Changing Currents, PLU MediaLab, came to New York, Ontario and, specifically the St. Lawrence River for interviews and filming for “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers”, an examination of river pollution and restoration efforts in North America.

While here they interviewed two of Save The River‘s strongest partners in our efforts to preserve and protect the St. Lawrence and the larger Great Lakes system – Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER and Jeff Ridal, Executive Director of the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Featured, as well, are Angie Barnes (Tsionerahtase) and Dr. Mary Arquette (Iotenerahtatenion). Both have dedicated their lives protecting the waters, culture, and environment for future generations in Akwesasne on the St. Lawrence River and both are employees of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, a strong and important voice in St. Lawrence River restoration.

Also interviewed was our very own Board President, Jeff Garnsey, as a local business owner and seventh-generation resident.

In the just released trailer we hear Jeff at the beginning, Angie at the 5 second mark, see Jill at the 30 second mark, Jeff at 46 seconds and Dr. Arquette at 55, all making excellent points. The whole trailer offers a glimpse of how impactful this production will be.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 40 percent of rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for swimming or fishing. The mission of the film is to educate others on ecological river health, encourage environmental stewardship and advocate for dialog regarding effective river protection. The film is currently in pre-production and will premiere on Nov. 12, 2016 in the Theatre on the Square at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Washington.

 

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Our River Should NOT Be One of America’s Most Endangered!

August 4th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

You Know You Want To!

You Know We Want You To!

You Know It’s the Right Thing To Do!

SO DO IT!

Be creative if jumping into the River isn’t your thing. Just support‪ #‎Plan2014Now‬ for a healthy River for now and future generations.

Click here for tips on how to “Take the Plunge” & Support #Plan2014Now

American Rivers named New York’s St. Lawrence River among America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2016, shining an international spotlight on the threat outdated dam operations pose to imperiled fish and wildlife and local communities. From the mouth of Lake Ontario to the Moses Saunders Dam, the 114-mile endangered coastline of the Upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario constitutes the largest coastal environment in Quebec, Ontario and New York State.

With the stroke of a pen, U.S. and Canadian governments can restore this vital shared waterway. For over 50 years, the levels of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have been regulated by the Moses Saunders Dam, whose operating plan was developed with pre-computer technology. A new plan, known as Plan 2014, is ready for enactment and will adjust the dam’s operating plan to work with nature.

Learn more about the plan to restore the St. Lawrence River, one of America’s most endangered Rivers at: http://plan2014now.savetheriver.org/

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Congresswoman Stefanik, “Now is the time for Plan 2014. Protecting our natural treasures cannot wait.”

July 27th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik pens a powerful post supporting Plan 2014

Writing on the American Rivers website, the Congresswoman makes clear her strong support for the modern water levels plan that is awaiting Secretary of State John Kerry’s approval.

Her conclusions are spot on:

“Protecting our natural treasures cannot wait. The work done by the St. Lawrence River community has been steadfast, as for the last two decades they have worked together to see this new plan developed.

We must continue to build support for this critical plan to preserve our ecological gems for future generations.

Please join Save The River/Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, American Rivers and countless other Americans and Canadians in asking Secretary John Kerry and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion to protect and restore the St. Lawrence today.”

NY CD-21 Congresswoman Elise StefanikOf course, we urge you to join the Congresswoman in her call to protect the natural treasure that is the St. Lawrence River with the adoption of #Plan2014Now by visiting Support Plan 2014 and signing our letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion.

 

Her full blog is on the American Rivers website.

 

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Plan 2014 Necessary for Tourism

July 15th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

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Ron Thomson, owner of Uncle Sam Boat Tours knows “the economy of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario region depend on the health and beauty of the lake and river and their ecosystems. Moving toward more natural water flows in these bodies of water will not only improve the environment, it will also provide substantial economic and shoreline benefits.”

#Plan2014Now “will enhance this ecosystem and improve the economy at the same time.”

Ron’s full blog on the American Rivers website.

It is time for a modern water levels plan to begin restoring the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for current and future generations.

Learn more and take action at Support Plan 2014.

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