June 21st, 2012 | Posted by Jennifer
Save the River has started it Beach Watch program again this summer! With the help of our amazing volunteers we test for E.coli at several popular swimming spots in the Thousand Islands. Currently Save The River is looking for volunteers at Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, and Waddington Beach in Waddington. You can insure a safe and fun summer for all beachgoers!
As a Beach Watch volunteer you will:
• Take a water sample and return it to our office that day
• Receive water quality reports from Save The River
• Learn about what water quality is and what affects water quality
• Be outdoors!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) When do I need to be available?
Sampling dates are set for an every Monday from July 2nd through August 27th. Water samples will need to be taken at 9am in the same location each week and be returned to Save the River no later than 10 am that same day.
2) What will I be doing?
Volunteers will be taking water samples at their sampling location(s), observing the river environment at that location, and reporting the information to us.
3) What if I’m unable to make a sampling date?
Save The River asks that each volunteer be available on the sampling dates but if problems arise we arrange for the sample to be taken by someone else.
4) How do I sign up?
Volunteers may sign up for the 2012 Beach Water Program by contacting Sara Orvis at (315)-686-2010.
5) Why is the Beach Watch Program important?
Save the River monitors the water quality popular swimming location along the river that would otherwise go unmonitored. The Beach Watch Program helps to ensure that the water we all enjoy is safe to swim in.
6) Why is water quality important?
Water quality is important because poor water quality can lead to a variety of harmful effects which include damage to native plants and wildlife and gastrointestinal problems in humans. Save the River is committed to tracking down the cause(s) of poor water quality on the river.
June 18th, 2012 | Posted by Jennifer
Tickets for Save The River’s 9th annual Rock for the River benefit concert, to be held Saturday, July 7 at the Clayton Opera House, are on sale now!
Join Save The River for this special musical event celebrating the River. Event founder Jay Nash is once again bringing some of the best original song-writers and musicians from around the country for an amazing night of live music in support of Save The River. This year’s line-up includes Jay Nash, Joe Purdy, Garrison Starr, Eliza Moore, Amber Rubarth, and very special guests.
All ticket proceeds directly support Save The River’s advocacy, education and research programs. Advance tickets are $30/members, $35/nonmembers. Event day tickets are $35/members, $40/nonmembers. Purchase tickets by calling Save The River at (315) 686-2010, or by visiting the Save The River office on Riverside Drive, in downtown Clayton next to the Opera House. Save The River is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Special thanks to our generous event sponsors – The Duane and Dalia Stiller Foundation, Cerow Agency, and Rak’s Department Store.
June 11th, 2012 | Posted by Jennifer
The International Joint Commission’s comment period on Plan Bv7, the new proposal for regulating water levels on the River and Lake, ends this Friday, June 15.
Your voice is needed in support of Plan Bv7 and the restoration of the River and Lake Ontario. (Learn more about Plan B7.) Here are a few ways you can show your support….
Sign our petition - Add your name to the list of more than 1,000 citizens from around the region that have signed the petition in support of Plan Bv7. On June 15, the petition will be sent to the IJC and regional elected officials to show the broad support for the plan and restoring the River and Lake.
Write or Call Your New York State Elected Officials – We know the IJC values the input from elected officials. Call your state elected officials and tell them to support Plan Bv7.
Call or write Governor Cuomo
Call or write your New York State Senator (click on ‘Find My Senator) or Assemblymember
Submit Comments to the IJC - You can also submit your own comments to the IJC by June 15.
Not sure what to say? We’ve put together some talking points to get you started…
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore the health of the river/lake. I support Plan Bv7 and urge its full and speedy implementation. The plan will begin to reverse more than 50 years of damage to our lake/river, and ensure that future generations have a chance to enjoy and inherit a world-class resource.
- For more than 50 years, our river/lake have been damaged by a water levels plan that only looked out for a few interests. The plan is a balance approach that addresses the needs of all users – from the environment to property owners to shipping and hydropower production.
- As a local resident/cottage owner/business owner who relies on the lake/river I support Plan Bv7’s approach because it shows that benefits for the environment and the regional economy can go hand-in-hand. For example:
- The community I live in relies heavily on tourism for our economic well-being. The health of our local economy is directly tied to the health of the river/lake.
- Healthier lake and river wetlands will support stronger populations of native fish and wildlife, improving the area’s hunting and angling, and strengthening the recreational economies that rely upon them.
- The economy of the Great Lakes region depends on the health and beauty of the lakes and their ecosystems. A 2007 cost-benefit analysis by the Brookings Institution demonstrates that each dollar of restoration brings two dollars of benefits to the economy of the Great Lakes region.
- The approach in plan Bv7 creates conditions for additional recreational opportunities by lengthening the boating season in most years. Although we may have a few years out of one hundred during which water is lower than I would like for boating, I’m willing to trade that off for a healthy river/lake.
- Plan Bv7 will result in increased hydropower production. The availability of low-cost, abundant hydropower is a major component of our regional economy.
- Hundreds of community members like me from around the region have attended public hearings and provided written comments over the past decade. Plan Bv7 clearly reflects input from this extensive consultation and reflects community support for this approach.
- Plan BV7 has clear benefits for recreational boating, hunting, fishing, hydroelectric production. The result will be a thriving lake/river environment that will enrich the quality of life for all citizens of the ecosystem.
- Plan Bv7 will ensure water levels are managed in ways that will not increase risk of flooding to shoreline property. Plan Bv7 will not let water levels exceed what is currently allowed, except in rare instances (once a century) when levels may be exceeded by 2-3 inches.
- Restoration of low water to Lake Ontario will help rebuild shoreline property. In some areas, once sandy beaches have been replaced with rocks and cobbles, a result of the current plan’s absence of naturally occurring low water conditions.
- When compared to no regulation Plan Bv7 saves shoreline property owners money. Plan Bv7 is estimated to save property owners on the lake and upper river $24 million dollars a year by reducing the cost of maintaining shoreline properties when compared to no regulation. This may be 11% lower than the current subsidy offered to shore-line property owners, but it is still a significant subsidy.
Thank you for speaking out in support of the River and Lake!
June 6th, 2012 | Posted by Jennifer
Save The River is celebrating the completion of the From the Founders to the Future fundraising campaign and a major building renovation and expansion project with a community open house celebration on Saturday, June 9 from 1p.m. – 4 p.m. The open house will also provide community members an opportunity to meet Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s new Executive Director. Light refreshments will be served.
Save The River’s From the Founders to the Future…A Campaign to Enhance River Protection fundraising campaign raised over $780,000, exceeding its goal of $700,000, to support the expansion and renovation of Save The River’s offices, provide seed funding for program growth, and begin an endowment-like Legacy Fund.
As part of the campaign, Save The River announced the lead campaign gift of $100,000 from Dan & Peggy LeKander. The generous gift is the largest single gift the organization has received in its 30-plus year history. At a reception for campaign donors to be held on Friday, June 8, the conference room in the new building will be dedicated to the LeKanders in recognition of their generous gift.
Through a detailed strategic planning process several years ago, Save The River’s Board of Directors and staff identified the need to expand its advocacy and education programming. However at the time, Save The River’s office space in downtown Clayton barely fit its existing staff members, meeting space, and a busy information center. To meet Save The River’s space needs and set the stage for future program growth, the Board of Directors launched the From the Founders to the Future…A Campaign to Enhance River Protection. Funds raised through the campaign will be used in three areas:
- Building Expansion & Renovation – Save The River contracted Grater Architects and Goutremout Brothers Construction to design and build an addition for the organizations’ historic office space. The expansion roughly doubled the building’s square footage and includes energy efficient renovations on the current structure. The new space provides additional office and meeting space. The old building remains as the Save The River information center, which will include displays about St. Lawrence River issues along with the organization’s storefront.
- Seed Money for Program Growth – Over the next three to five years an additional two and half staff members will be added, which will enable Save The River to expand its growing environmental education and citizen monitoring programs, expand its advocacy and outreach programs to all communities on the Upper St. Lawrence River, and strengthen current advocacy programs.
- Seed Money for a Legacy Fund – The Board of Directors strongly feel that there will always need to be a Save The River to watch, protect, and promote the River. Campaign funds will be used to start a Legacy Fund, which is an endowment-like fund, to increase the organization’s financial stability and reduce reliance on external funding streams over the long term.