March 16th, 2017 | Posted by Lee
Seriously?! NO Great Lakes Restoration funding, ZERO!
Page 42 of President’s budget plan released today “Eliminates funding for…Great Lakes Restoration Initiative”. This program has received bipartisan support in every budget since its inception in 2010. Over $130,000,000 has come to New York State to improve wetlands, fish habitat, invasive species detection and prevention, pollution abatement and other important projects that have created direct and indirect jobs, improving our environment and our economy. Over $6.4 million has been spent directly in the St. Lawrence River watershed.
Zero it out? Seriously. Decidedly. Outrageous!
It is just one part of the budget’s assault on programs that protect the water we depend on for our world-class fisheries, to sustain our recreation and tourism based economy, AND to drink!
Among many other programs cut or zeroed out is a Department of Agriculture program that assists communities with fewer than 10,000 people with water and sewer infrastructure.
It’s hard to imagine describing the St. Lawrence River as “great” if the water is no longer swimmable, fishable, or drinkable.
The President’s budget plan is chock full of disappointments for anyone who has benefitted from the last half century of progress the United States has made in air and water quality and human health.
Common sense tells us we have more to do to make sure every American has access to clean air and water, both basic human rights.
Instead for Save The River / Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and our members and supporters, this budget is nothing less than a full on assault on the health of one of North America’s most important waterways and the people and communities that depend on it being and staying healthy.
Call the Congressional switchboard, (202) 224-3121, to connect with your Senators & Representative with the simple message “I support clean water programs – GLRI, revolving loan funds, & EPA”. Then call White House with same message (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111.
Please also consider becoming a member of Save The River to strengthen our ability to fight for a healthy St. Lawrence River, now and for generations to come. Add your voice to thousands of others working to preserve, protect and restore one of the great rivers in North America.
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March 13th, 2017 | Posted by Lee
Watertown Daily Times calls President Trump’s approach on vital Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River programs a, “Budget blunder.” And they are absolutely right!
In a March 11th editorial the Watertown Daily Times called out the President for his proposal to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and his intention to “wrench most of this from the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative”.
The Times had reported the day before “Mr. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget request calls for funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to fall from $300 million to $10 million, a 97 percent reduction. Reuters reported the Environmental Protection Agency’s overall budget will be cut about 25 percent.”
This is simply outrageous.
As the Times editorial points out, “[t]o date, the GLRI [Great Lakes Restoration Initiative] has invested more than $2.2 billion in restoration projects in the Great Lakes.” In an earlier story the Times noted, “the GLRI provides funding for thousands of projects pertaining to wetlands restoration, combating invasive species and cleaning up toxins in the Great Lakes and along their shores.”
The GLRI has received bipartisan support in Congress since its inception. It is a keystone in the nation’s commitment to restore the health of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River; the largest freshwater system on earth, drinking water supply to millions and a recreational mecca that draws visitors from all over the world.
GLRI funded projects have certainly benefitted the environment of the communities where they are located. But these projects have also supported the economy of those communities with the direct and indirect jobs they have created and by the increased commercial and recreational use of the waters they have restored.
Save The River wholeheartedly agrees with the Times’ conclusion that, “Mr. Trump cannot be allowed to finance his plans at the expense of the health of the Great Lakes”.
And, while we are fortunate on the St. Lawrence River that Congresswoman Stefanik and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand support the GLRI, we know that restoration of these draconian cuts will not be easy to reverse and the effort will take more than the support of our local representatives.
For these reasons Save The River is committed to working with groups from all of the Great Lakes states to stop the President’s plan to slash the EPA and GLRI funding. You can help two ways:
- Call your representatives at (202) 224-3121:
- If they support full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; say “Thanks”. Positive messages work to shore up support.
- If they don’t support the GLRI; Tell them why it is important to you that they do. Personal stories help them understand how these programs impact real people.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in New York State by the numbers:
Read the full Watertown Daily Times editorial and stories at these links:
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March 1st, 2017 | Posted by Lee
As the Riverkeeper for the St. Lawrence River, downstream of the 5 Great Lakes, drinking water for 40 million people, collector of human and industrial wastes from 8 states, we know full well the impact of the President’s order. And like the Waterkeeper Alliance and all freshwater groups in American, we will fight this.
From the Waterkeeper Alliance statement, “We also know that pollution flows downstream and poisons larger waterways used for drinking water, fishing, and recreation. This is why Congress passed the Clean Water Act more than 40 years ago — Waterkeeper Alliance will fight every effort to destroy these longstanding clean water protections.”
Full statement here, Waterkeeper Alliance Responds to Anti-Clean Water Executive Order
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February 25th, 2017 | Posted by admin
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February 23rd, 2017 | Posted by admin
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.
Great Lake Connection is the IJC’s monthly newsletter linking science and citizens for action. To sign up for Great Lakes Connection, click here.
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February 2nd, 2017 | Posted by Lee
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.
Click here for the agenda for the day.
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.
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January 31st, 2017 | Posted by Lee
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.
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January 30th, 2017 | Posted by Lee
Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose district covers the entire length of the St. Lawrence River in the U.S., will speak at our 28th Winter Environmental Conference.
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
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January 18th, 2017 | Posted by admin
“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.”
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January 14th, 2017 | Posted by admin
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
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