Join Save The River members and friends for a fun evening cruise along the Potomac River! Each year, Save The River members from the Washington, D.C. area organize a fundraiser that’s a great way to support our River protection and education programs while meeting fellow ‘river rats’.
Save The River D.C. Cruise
Monday, May 17, 2010
6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
(Boat departs at 7:00 p.m.)
Climb Aboard with Capitol River Cruises
Washington Harbor, Georgetown – 31st & K Street, NW across from the Riverside Grille on the dock
$100 per person and $150 per couple; proceeds support Save The River’s advocacy, education and research programs
Silent auction on board, so bring your checkbook and be prepared for fun!
Interested in attending or need more information? Contact Bridget at Save The River at (315) 686-2010 or email@example.com
Unfortunately, the denial of this petition was not unexpected. The Seaway has a history of opposing efforts that would bring transparency to their operating procedures. Even as most other federal agencies are working to comply with a recent white house memo requiring an unprecedented level of openness in government, the Seaway persists in its pattern of closing out stakeholders from important decisions that impact the health of the River and the safety of River communities.
Save The River and River communities have raised serious concerns about the early opening of the Seaway and winter shipping because of the dangers posed to the delicate ecosystem of the River. Risks of shipping in ice conditions include:
Icebreaking and winter shipping can cause significant damage to property and important wildlife habitat;
Spill response assets, such as boats and boom, are not accessible and usable due to ice conditions making clean-up of any spill near impossible until the ice has melted; and
Lighted navigation aids are not in place, raising concerns about the safe passage of ships.
In their denial, the Seaway hides behind Canada, by saying that a rulemaking cannot happen unilaterally; however nothing in Save The River’s petition prohibits the Seaway from coordinating with Canada in order to pull back the curtain on their decision making process and provide answers to the many important questions raised about winter shipping.
Save The River is working closely with our partners at the Conservation Law Clinic, which helped Save The River develop the petition, to determine options for moving forward, and ensure protection of the St. Lawrence River.
Pre-Film Reception with Mark Achbar, Executive Producer of Blue Gold
5-7 p.m. at Phoebe’s Garden Cafe Tickets: $55/person; $100 per couple
To reserve tickets, contact Syracuse Film Festival at 315.443.8826.
Screening of Blue Gold: World Water Wars followed by a discussion with Executive Producer Mark Achbar and Director Sam Bozzo.
7:30 p.m. @ Palace Theater Admission: $10
Tickets Available at the door
About Blue Gold: World Water Wars
The international award winning documentary, Blue Gold: World Water Wars, sheds light on the world’s rapidly approaching water crisis and suggests that wars of the future will be fought over water, as they today over oil, as the source of all life enters the global marketplace and political arena. The film is based on the ground-breaking book by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Executive Produced by Mark Achbar and Si Litvinoff, and narrated by Malcolm McDowell.
The world’s fresh water is disappearing. As we pollute and waste away our very limited supply, corporate giants are working to make the building block of our globe a commodity, privatizing developing countries’ fresh water. In the midst of this, military control of water is rising, setting the stage for world water wars. The film follows various examples of people fighting back against the powers that be – from grade school protests to court cases to revolutions. As the specters of drought and death loom, the film finds people willing to risk everything for their right to water, their right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?
On Monday, Save The River released the following statement in response to the study:
Save The River applauds the work of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in pushing for answers to the many concerns surrounding icebreaking and winter shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Unfortunately, the Seaway agencies are inappropriately using the study results to imply that this one, narrow study puts to rest the issue of winter shipping and icebreaking on the St. Lawrence River.
First, the study was very limited in scope, only examining the physical shoreline impacts of icebreaking and only assessing a small 60-mile stretch of the River from the Snell Locks to Lake St. Francis. The study does not address many of the questions raised by River communities and state and federal agencies over the years including – what are the impacts of icebreaking and winter shipping on fish and wildlife habitat and population; what is the capacity and ability of the Seaway and related agencies to clean up spills and respond to shipping accidents in ice conditions; how does icebreaking impact narrow channels and natural shorelines in the Thousand Island region? While the research in this study may be valuable in furthering our understanding of impacts of icebreaking on tribal lands, it is entirely inappropriate for the Seaway to imply that the results of this study can be extrapolated to make recommendations about impacts of icebreaking on the length of the Seaway.
Second, despite the declarations of collaboration and partnership included in the Seaway’s press release, it is important to note that the only reason the Seaway engaged in this study was because it was forced to as the result of a lawsuit brought by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. It is high time that the Seaway embarks on a good-faith effort to share information openly and willingly with all stakeholders along the River. A strong first step in this effort would be for the Seaway to respond to Save The River’s recent rulemaking petition, filed in mid-February. This legal petition simply requests the Seaway to put in writing, as required by law, it’s procedures for setting the Seaway’s opening date.
At the end of the day, it is clear that we have more questions than answers about the Seaway’s increasingly common practices of icebreaking and winter shipping. Before Seaway managers can state that icebreaking and winter shipping has ‘no impacts’, a full, transparent, and impartial investigation of the risks and impacts of these practices is necessary.
Last week, NY Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander ‘Pete’ Grannis notified the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation of their support of Save The River’s legal petition for rulemaking, which asks the Seaway to make public the procedures for setting the Seaway’s opening date. In Commissioner Grannis’ letter, Mr. Grannis noted continued concerns about the impact of winter shipping on nearshore habitats as well as concerns about containment and clean-up of spills in ice conditions.
Many thanks to Commissioner Grannis and NY DEC for continuing their long-standing position on this important River issue.
No Response to Legal Petition
Save The River filed the legal petition in February in an effort to bring transparency to the process for setting the opening date for the St. Lawrence Seaway. The legal petition is a formal request asking the Seaway to make public the procedures for setting the opening date for the St. Lawrence Seaway, taking environmental and safety criteria into consideration. Currently, no clear, publicly available rules exist for this annual process.
Although Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson was quoted by the Watertown Daily Times as saying that Save The River’s petition will be denied (Seaway chief: opening date up to us (3/18/10), we have received no formal response.