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“The current method of regulation [of water levels on the River] is antiquated, . . .

June 30th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Macfarlane Image 2

A great read on why we need to support #Plan2014Now.

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“The current method of regulation [of water levels on the River] is antiquated, recognized [by American Rivers] by the designation in April 2016 of the St. Lawrence as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. The history of trying to regulate the St. Lawrence River shows that there is an underlying conceptual flaw in the notion that we should control the hydrological regimes on rivers and lakes. Plan 2014 is a major step in the right direction.”


Daniel MacFarlane, a speaker at our 2016 Winter Environmental Conference, in a guest blog on the American Rivers website.


More information at: http://plan2014now.savetheriver.org/

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We’re Here; Supporting #Plan2014Now

June 29th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
#Plan2014Now

#Plan2014Now

You should be too!

Jump In!

Shoot a video!

Support #Plan2014Now

Check out the other videos.

Learn more at:
http://plan2014now.savetheriver.org

Learn more at Support Plan 2014!. . .

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Water Quality to be Tested at Popular Swimming Areas

June 27th, 2016 | Posted by Kate

Save The River’s annual summer Beach Watch Program will begin July 5th and will run through August 29th.  The program will provide weekly snapshots of water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season.  Sites to be tested include Wilson’s Beach in Cape Vincent, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Frink Dock in Clayton, Round Island in Clayton, Lake of the Isles on Wellesley Island, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay.


The samples collected each week are tested for Escherichia coli, (E. coli). E. coli is a fast spreading bacteria and can respond to environmental signals quickly in order to thrive in the water. Once tested, the bacteria levels in each sample are then compared to state and federal beach water quality standards, which are set at 235 colonies per 100 ml of water for the 2016 season. High levels of E. coli bacteria can cause health problems (including gastrointestinal illness), and can be dangerous to the very old, the very young, as well as those with a compromised immune system.


In 2015, all sites tested passed the weekly safety standard for E. coli levels, however, in previous years there have been occasional incidences of high bacteria levels, especially late in the summer season when water temperatures are at their highest. As a result, Save The River has continued to closely monitor water quality according to New York State Department of Health guidelines.


Beach Watch results are posted at the Save The River office and on the Save The River website, www.savetheriver.org every Thursday.  The results can also be found on the Save The River Facebook page, in The Thousands Islands Sun, online at theswimguide.org or on the SwimGuide app available on the App Store and Google Play.

Save The River summer intern Heidi Pearson conducts a pre-season assessment at Wilson's Beach.

Save The River summer intern Heidi Pearson conducts a pre-season assessment at Wilson's Beach.

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Riverkeeper Takes the Plunge! to Support #Plan2014Now!

June 20th, 2016 | Posted by Lee

Join Us!

Create your own video to show your love for the St. Lawrence River, recently named one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, and your support for a modern water levels plan to help heal it. (Instructions here).

Riverkeeper Taking the Plunge

Riverkeeper Taking the Plunge

Take the Plunge! (We did) to Support Plan 2014 Now

Be sure to use #Plan2014Now (where ever you post it). And don’t forget to tag @SaveTheRiver or email us a link so we can see and share your video.

And, have fun!

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Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director named Freshwater Hero and Citizen Advocate of the Year

March 30th, 2016 | Posted by Lee
Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director Recognized as Freshwater Hero and Citizen Advocate of the Year
Freshwater Future has added Lee Willbanks to its 2016 list of Freshwater Heroes and honored him with the distinction of Citizen Advocate of the Year.
Based in Michigan, the Freshwater Future has a singular and vitally important mission: to ensure the healthy future of our waters in the Great Lakes region.
This month the organization issued its list of Freshwater Heroes. The list includes extraordinary groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond to protect what they hold dear—our waters.
In naming him Citizen Advocate of the Year, Freshwater Heroes said the following about Lee: “From on-the-water monitoring and restoration efforts, to educating the next generation of river champions, to his persistent and passionate advocacy on complex policy issues like aquatic invasive species and regulation of water levels, you can trust that Lee is there, standing up for the St. Lawrence, each and every day.”
For more: http://ow.ly/1067E4

Freshwater Future has added Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Save The River’s Executive Director, to its 2016 list of Freshwater Heroes and honored him with the distinction of Citizen Advocate of the Year.

Based in Michigan, Freshwater Future has a singular and vitally important mission: to ensure the healthy future of our waters in the Great Lakes region.

This month the organization issued its list of Freshwater Heroes. The list includes extraordinary groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond to protect what they hold dear—our waters.

In naming him Citizen Advocate of the Year, Freshwater Heroes said the following about Lee: “From on-the-water monitoring and restoration efforts, to educating the next generation of river champions, to his persistent and passionate advocacy on complex policy issues like aquatic invasive species and regulation of water levels, you can trust that Lee is there, standing up for the St. Lawrence, each and every day.”

2016 Freshwater Future Freshwater Hero Award
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Last Chance to Have Your Year End Gift Matched!

December 27th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Year End Appeal (last chance)

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St. Lawrence sewage dump: City releases test results

November 19th, 2015 | Posted by admin

From the CBC News Montreal:

St. Lawrence sewage dump: City releases test results
Fecal bacteria far above average concentrations, resemble numbers seen during heavy rains

The big spike on Nov. 12 was registered by a station close to one of the pipes that spewed the raw sewage, near LaSalle Boulevard and Stephens Street in Verdun. . . The reading that day was 2.7 million coliform units per 100 mL of river water.

While well upstream from Montreal, it is still useful to note that in New York State a fecal coliform level of 1000 units per 100 mL in the St. Lawrence River (or any freshwater body) can lead to the closure of beaches to swimming.

Making the comparison of the deliberate dumping of sewage to a rainy day is very concerning.

Looking Beyond Montreal:

Despite the obvious problems with Montreal’s actions, there is another important story to tell. Montreal’s planned, undiluted dump is an egregious case of sewage pollution – but this is by no means a problem limited to Montreal.

According to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, more than 24 billion gallons of combined untreated sewage and stormwater is dumped into the Great Lakes each year, and the Environmental Protection Agency reports 772 cities across the U.S. have combined sewage and stormwater systems, which release untreated sewage into surface water in wet conditions.

What you can do:

Make sure your elected leaders know that you prioritize modernizing wastewater infrastructure…

Educate yourself…

Become an advocate for freshwater, become a member of Save The River. Your volunteer effort and membership contribution enables Save The River to continue to protect and fight for clean water in the St Lawrence.

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Tell Minister McKenna to say NO to Montreal Sewage Dump

November 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

Tell Minister McKenna to say NO to Montreal Sewage Dump. Email her at:http://www.canada.ca/en/contact/questions.html and tweet to @environmentca

The scientific panel reviewing the Montreal sewage dump says, “the city should only proceed with the release once steps are taken to better understandCWA-Post-Image-20151-1024x616and mitigate the environmental impacts.” It is now up to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to decide.

If the City of Montreal had taken those steps at the beginning of the Bonaventure Expressway project and put as much effort into planning how to deal responsibly with raw sewage as it did the streetscape and plantings, its leaders and the citizens along the St. Lawrence River wouldn’t be in this mess.

Per the CBC, “The panel has raised a number of questions about the plan, pointing out gaps in information about the environmental effects and the need to address them in the public interest.”

The City’s claim of “no alternative” is based on its own lack of planning and a reliance on past practice. That is simply not sufficient reason to put public health and the River at risk.

Full CBC story: http://ow.ly/UmDjd

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DELAYED! Montreal Ordered to NOT Dump Sewage!

October 15th, 2015 | Posted by Lee
DELAYED! Montreal Ordered to NOT Dump Sewage to St. Lawrence River Pending Further Review!

“The St. Lawrence River is one of Canada’s most important waterways,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Denis Lebel.

We agree.

This is a tremendous win for swimmable, fishable, drinkable water in the St. Lawrence River and fresh water across North America. Now is the time to stop the practice for good. Now is the time to make the investments needed to bring our infrastructure up to 21st century standards.

Executive Director and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper interviewed by CTV News about the decision. CTV News Interview

While our portion of the river is not downstream of where the City plans to release this massive amount of raw sewage, it is a part of the River we work every day to protect – the 3rd largest in North America, drinking water to millions and home to many threatened and endangered species. This is unacceptable and in this day and age we can and must do better. It is good to see the federal government in Canada take this interim step to what we hope will be a permanent solution.

The federal government is demanding Montreal stop its plan to dump sewage into the St. Lawrence river beginning on Sunday.
MONTREAL.CTVNEWS.CA

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Join Senator Schumer Tomorrow, Speak out about Montreal Sewage Dumping

October 8th, 2015 | Posted by Lee

2015-10-08 eblast

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