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Save The River Wraps Up Summer Beach Watch Program: Reports Water Quality Good in 2014

September 5th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

This summer, Save The River volunteers monitored water quality at six popular swimming areas along the St. Lawrence River for unsafe levels of E.coli. during a nine week period from July to August. Water quality at every beach was good all summer long this year. Water samples were collected and tested at Wilson Bay in Cape Vincent, Frink Dock in Clayton, Potter’s Beach on Grindstone Island, Lake of the Isles near Wellesley Island, Round Island near Clayton, and Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay. Each week, Save The River shared the results in the T.I. Sun and on social media.

Several organizations and volunteers provided key support to the Beach Watch program this summer.  Ben Lauraine, a Save The River intern, Jean and Ron Daly, Brandon Hollis, Mary and Tom Mitchell, Maria Purcell, John Slocum, Bill Taddeo and Dick Withington took samples every week and delivered them to the Save The River office. The Thousand Islands Land Trust provided staff support for sampling at Potter’s Beach. Each week, samples were held at T.I. Reality in Clayton before being taken to and analyzed by Converse Laboratories in Watertown, a state certified facility. Without the support of these volunteers and organizations, Save The River would not be able to conduct such an extensive water sampling program which has provided up-to-date water quality information to the river community since 1999.

Test results were compared to New York State Department of Health standards for beach swimming water quality. Water at swimming beaches is deemed unhealthy if there are 235 colony-forming units (CFU’s) or higher of E.coli bacteria per 100 milliliters of sample water. None of the samples taken this summer for the Beach Watch program exceeded this guideline.

Exposure to high levels of E.coli bacteria can cause serious health problems. The elderly and young children are especially susceptible. Symptoms of infection include: chills, fever, diarrhea and cramping.  To stay safe, be sure to never swallow swimming water and always wash hands after swimming and before eating.

Scientific studies have also indicated that the presence of Cladophora, a type of green algae that occurs naturally in the River and throughout the Great Lakes region, can harbor unsafe levels of bacteria.  Swimmers should always look for the presence of Cladophora algae before swimming at most locations on the River.

Click here to read the 2014 Beach Watch Fact sheet with sampling results. Be sure to check up on your favorite swimming spots once Beach Watch resumes next summer.  Results are always available at the Save The River office in Clayton, its website and the smart phone app SwimGuide.

To get involved with Beach Watch 2015, call Save The River at (315) 686-2010 or e-mail info@savetheriver.org.

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2015 Save The River T-shirt Design Contest

August 11th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

Save The River announces the 2015 Save The River T-shirt Design Contest

T-shirts (Straight from Save The River’s Archives, 36 years of T-shirt history!)

Calling all River Artists! Save The River is searching for next year’s t-shirt design and we want it from you, our members.

Artists and designers of all ages and abilities please submit your original design that best captures the essence of Save The River and the excitement of the St. Lawrence River for the next iconic River T-shirt!

The winner will receive a free t-shirt, 2 tickets to Rock for the River 12, as well as recognition for your design in our storefront and in any materials promoting the 2015 Save The River t-shirt.

To be considered, submissions must follow ALL specifications and rules below:

1. You must be a Save The River member. Not a member? Join today!

2. All designs submitted must be original work from the artist.

3. Designs should be simple and able to be easily transcribed to a t-shirt.

4. Designs should include the following: Save The River and 2015.

5. Designs should be no larger than 12” tall and 9.5” wide.

6. Designs may include up to 4 colors.

7. Designs and rights to it will become the property of Save The River.

8. Submissions must be received NO LATER THAN November 14, 2014. Photos will not be accepted.

Please send your submission and contact information to:

2015 Save The River T-shirt Contest, Save The River, 409 Riverside Drive , Clayton, NY 13624

or email a PDF of your design to Save The River at info@savetheriver.org,  Re: 2015 Save The River T-shirt Contest.

Questions? Please email: info@gmail.com

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Save The River Reports on Week 2 of Beach Watch Program

July 17th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Clayton, NY (July 17, 2014) – Save The River’s Beach Watch Program is in the process of monitoring popular summer swimming locations on the River from July 7th through August 25th. Save The River reports all samples passed in Week 2.

For the 2014 sampling season Save The River volunteers are collecting water quality samples at six swimming areas along the River: Wilson 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. Save The River’s unique program provides a glimpse of the water quality at popular swimming areas during the peak recreational swimming season. Sampling dates for this year are July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11, August 18, and August 25.

As in previous years, Save The River will be testing for e. coli bacteria in all of our swimming locations and will compare water quality results with state and federal regulations. Save The River The results will be made available to the public each week with a pass/ fail system that is available at the Save the River offices, website and by following Save The River on Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be posted on www.swimguide.org and in the T.I. Sun.

Additionally, Save The River is currently looking for volunteers to help with the Beach Watch Program at Wilson Beach in Cape Vincent, NY. Water samples would need to be taken Monday morning and brought to the Save The River office in Clayton by 9:30am. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Save The River.

For more information please contact the Save The River office at (315)-686-2010 or visit www.savetheriver.org.

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River Organizations Object to US Fish and Wildlife Eagle Taking Rule Change

February 20th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

Save The River has joined with the Thousand Islands Land Trust and the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative to oppose to a recent rulemaking change that could be a threat to Bald Eagles in the Thousand Islands Region. This week the organizations sent a letter to register opposition to the Department of Interior’s decision to issue permits for up to thirty years to developers of renewable energy projects to “take” (injure, kill or otherwise disturb) bald and golden eagles.

The letter states: “The Upper St. Lawrence River valley is a home and critical seasonal foraging habitat for a variety of winter raptors, including a growing number of over-wintering bald eagles…. The Department’s thirty year permit provision will likely become a “license to kill” these majestic and iconic birds.”

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Long Awaited Report Released on How to Stop Asian Carp

January 17th, 2014 | Posted by Lee
Take Action to Keep Asian Carp Out of the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence River.
Long Awaited Report Released on How to Stop Asian Carp
The much anticipated Army Corps of Engineers’ report identifying options to stop the spread of Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River waterways has been released. The “Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study” (or GLMRIS) lays out the financial and environmental costs of eight (8) different options for dealing with a range of potentially environmentally and economically devastating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River from Mississippi River waterways.
Citizens from around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin have made it clear to decision makers — the U.S. Congress — of the need to move forward with the most robust solution for the Lakes and our River – physical separation from the Mississippi River system. Actions that do not move us toward this goal are just distractions that further delay this desperately needed permanent solution.
Take Action! This is a critical moment in our fight to stop Asian Carp:
·         Attend a public meeting and make a comment supporting separation (click here for dates and times). Be sure to scroll down to get to the list of meetings. You will need to register to speak.
·         Attend the webinar scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st from 4:00pm to 7:00pm CST. To attend the webinar click here up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Web Access ID: c3lrc02p1. After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented.
·         and, please provide comments on the GLMRIS website before the March 3rd deadline!
Points to Make:
·         The most effective solution is “physical separation,” or restoring the natural divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and creating barriers elsewhere.
·         We must recognize the real threats associated with aquatic species introductions in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. These waterborne invaders can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year to human health, commerce, recreation and the environment. Separation is the only surefire way to stop that from happening.
·         Urge Congress to move forward the strongest permanent solutions presented in the report, including either:
o    Option 5: Lakefront hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at four locations along the lakefront of Lake Michigan, or
o    Option 6: Mid-system hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at two mid-system locations.
For more information check out:
the Alliance for the Great Lakes page on the threat from Asian Carp; and
the editorials supporting physical separation from around the basin on the Healing Our Waters website.
Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Take Action to Keep Asian Carp Out of the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence River.

The much anticipated Army Corps of Engineers’ report identifying options to stop the spread of Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River waterways has been released. The “Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study” (or GLMRIS) lays out the financial and environmental costs of eight (8) different options for dealing with a range of potentially environmentally and economically devastating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River from Mississippi River waterways.

Citizens from around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin have made it clear to decision makers — the U.S. Congress — of the need to move forward with the most robust solution for the Lakes and our River – physical separation from the Mississippi River system. Actions that do not move us toward this goal are just distractions that further delay this desperately needed permanent solution.

Take Action! This is a critical moment in our fight to stop Asian Carp:

· Attend a public meeting and make a comment supporting separation (click here for dates and times). Be sure to scroll down to get to the list of meetings. You will need to register to speak.

· Attend the webinar scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st from 4:00pm to 7:00pm CST. To attend the webinar click here up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Web Access ID: c3lrc02p1. After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented.

· and, please provide comments on the GLMRIS website before the March 3rd deadline!

Points to Make:

· The most effective solution is “physical separation,” or restoring the natural divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and creating barriers elsewhere.

· We must recognize the real threats associated with aquatic species introductions in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. These waterborne invaders can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year to human health, commerce, recreation and the environment. Separation is the only surefire way to stop that from happening.

· Urge Congress to move forward the strongest permanent solutions presented in the report, including either:

o Option 5: Lakefront hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at four locations along the lakefront of Lake Michigan, or

o Option 6: Mid-system hydrologic separation with physical barriers separating the basins at two mid-system locations.

For more information check out:

Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Maude Barlow, water rights advocate, keynote at Winter Conference

January 14th, 2014 | Posted by Kate

BarlowMaude Barlow, internationally renowned activist, author and advocate of the principle that water must be held as a public trust, will be the keynote speaker at Save The River’s 25th annual Winter Environmental Conference.

Ms. Barlow, is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, founder of The Blue Planet Project, a founding member of the International Forum on Globalization, and a Councilor with the World Future Council.

Regarding the Great Lakes, The Blue Planet Project website states, “In order to protect the waters of the Great Lakes for future generations, we must establish a new narrative that recognizes the lakes a living commons, public trust and protected bioregion.”

In 2005 Ms. Barlow was one of the “1000 Women for Peace” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received the Right Livelihood Award. She was awarded the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, and in 2009 received the Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environment Achievement Award. That same year she received the prestigious Lannon Cultural Freedom Fellowship, known as the “Alternative Nobel” given by the Swedish Parliament.  In 2011 she received the Earth Care Award, the highest international honor of the Sierra Club. Ms. Barlow is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates.

In 2008 Ms. Barlow was named the first Advisor on Water to the United Nations where she advised the 63rd President of the General Assembly for two years.

Her passion and concern for the future of water rights is evident in this video: Water – Maude Barlow

Ms. Barlow is the bestselling author or co-author of 16 books, including the international bestsellers Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water and most recently Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever.

To learn more about the public trust doctrine as it relates to water and Ms. Barlow’s contributions visit www.onthecommons.org/magazine/water.

Conference registration:

Registration is open until January 31, 2014

To register call 315-686-2010 or download the invitation, fill out your information and mail to Save The River: 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624

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Speakers announced for the 2014 Winter Environmental Conference

December 10th, 2013 | Posted by Kate

2014 Winter Environmental Conference banner

The 25th Annual Winter Environmental Conference will be held Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Clayton Opera House, Clayton, New York. Each year the conference provides attendees the opportunity to hear from and engage with knowledgeable and recognized speakers about topics of significance to the health of the St. Lawrence River.

The upcoming anniversary conference will feature two women with unique and critical perspectives on the current and future uses and protection of the River.

Maude Barlow, is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of The Blue Planet Project. She is the recipient of numerous environmental awards and has served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. Ms. Barlow is the author of the international bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water and, more recently Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, considered a call to action to create a water-secure world.

Betty Sutton, is the tenth Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Since being sworn in August 2013, Administrator Sutton has traveled the length of the Seaway meeting with a range of stakeholders. She has spoken frequently about the need to balance the economic interests of the shippers, industries and ports who use the Seaway with the environmental impact of those uses on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes.

Additional speakers will update attendees on emerging science about water quality issues in the Great Lakes and River, and share news about critical River fisheries and Save The River’s In the Schools program.

Conference Details: (Full Agenda to follow)

9:30 – Registration and morning coffee

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Winter Environmental Conference

4:00 p.m. – Cocktail Reception, cash bar and silent auction

Conference registration:

$40 Registration includes coffee, lunch, and cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres

Registration is open until January 31, 2014

To register call 315-686-2010 or download the invitation, fill out your information and mail to Save The River: 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624

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Local Business ‘Smokes’ Competition, Supports Save The River

October 30th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

Congratulations Nolan Knapp and Dustin Orvis of Reinman’s Ace Hardware team ‘Smoke on the Water’ for taking 1st place in both the chicken and rib bbq categories at Clayton’s 2nd annual Punkin Chunkin & BBQ Festival. Also a big thanks for choosing Save The River as your charity of choice, the BBQ was delicious and the donation is greatly appreciated! (pictured from left to right: Nolan Knapp, Melissa Tinney, Dustin Orvis)Smoke On the Water

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We are so honored to have such a talented & supportive friend in Jay Nash

August 8th, 2013 | Posted by Lee

From Jay’s blog, “Almost every positive memory from my youth and formative years came from the time that I spent on the St Lawrence River.”

And a little later, “The way I like to simplify it is that Save the River is the sole organization striving to preserve and protect the place that I grew up loving, so that my children…and their children may experience that same sense of wonder from the place that I did.

The whole blog deserves a read. Check it out here.

And for tickets to Rock for the River – Reprise, click here.

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Riverkeeper Monitoring Program Training Dates Set for August

August 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Kate

Save The River is pleased to offer 3 training sessions in August for its Riverkeeper Monitoring Program.   Dates include:

Friday, August 9th at 10:00am at Chippewa Bay Fish & Game Club in Chippewa Bay

Saturday, August 10th at 10:00am at Save The River, 409 Riverside Drive, Clayton

Thursday, August 15th at 10:00am at the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network, 19 Reynolds Road, Lansdowne, Ontario.

As the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, Save The River is the primary voice and advocate for the health of the River and our right to clean water from the River’s beginning in the vicinity of Cape Vincent to the Massena / Cornwall area. To cover an area that large it relies on volunteers to be its eyes and ears on the water.

Riverkeeper volunteers are trained to assess potential pollution problems and to effectively report these problems to the appropriate agencies. They also receive training to recognize wildlife die-offs, invasive species and subtle changes in the River that indicate negative impacts to this fragile and already stressed ecosystem.

Since Save The River began its Riverkeeper Monitoring Program in 2008, more than 250 volunteers have been trained and now use the skills they have acquired to monitor the River.

Attending one of these hour-long training sessions is all that is needed to become a Riverkeeper volunteer. All volunteers will be given Save The River’s Riverkeeper Identification Guide as an on-the-water guidebook and a free Save The River Volunteer t-shirt.

Become a Riverkeeper Volunteer! Interested volunteers should contact Save The River, 315-686-2010 or e-mail Kate Breheny, Program Manager at kate@savetheriver.org.  Be sure to let us know your shirt size!

Support for Save The River’s Riverkeeper Monitoring Program is provided by the St. Lawrence River Research and Education Fund.

Riverkeeper August Dates Flyer web large

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