Board of Directors

As a membership organization, Save The River's members have the opportunity each year to vote and select new Directors to the Board and/or renew terms of Directors whose terms are expiring. Save The River Board members may serve two, three year terms.


Jeff Garnsey - President

Jeff Garnsey is a 7th generation resident of Clayton and a 3rd generation fishing guide. He grew up on Grindstone Island where he started working as a deckhand for his grandfather when he was 10 years old. He recently retired from the Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer with 26 years in the Submarine Service and moved back to Clayton. Since returning he has become a member of the Board of Directors for the Thousand Islands Museum and the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce. He is the Director of the Muskie Hall of Fame and does volunteer work for the Antique Boat Museum. He owns Garnsey's Classic Island Cruises and operates the Muskie and the Fin and Feather which provide fishing, wine & cheese cruises and educational tours of the river.


Lauran Throop - Vice President

Lauran Throop is a native of central New York, a longtime resident in the Rochester area and a newcomer to Clayton in 2010. With her husband Dan, she has two children. In 1998 she moved to Dubai, UAE with Dan, where she was a member of the American Women's Association and an active supporter of the local humane society. After extensive travel throughout the Middle and Far East she returned to her home in Victor in 2004. She and her husband decided to buy a home in Clayton after two summer seasons on Wellesley Island where she learned to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the Thousand Islands. Their home on Windward Cliffs is now the year-round family homestead where their two children, grandchildren and future generations will come to enjoy the beauty of the River.


John H. Butts III (Jack) - Secretary

Jack comes from a long line of River Rats. He spent his early childhood on Butts Island near Ivy Lea, where he learned to love the River. Jack now calls Sunnyside Island home. Jack is active in various other organizations on both sides of the River. Jack is the President and CEO of Rome Specialty Company, Inc. (ROSCO). ROSCO is the oldest and largest manufacturer of terminal fishing tackle in the USA and currently in its 4th generation of family leadership. Part of his company's stated mission is to "advocate for the preservation of fisheries and endorse the use of sustainable fishing practices worldwide".


John Peach - Treasurer

John spends a significant portion of the year with his wife Pat on Huckleberry Island in the Lost Channel near Ivy Lea. John spent the last 20 years as an international business consultant, working on projects in the US, Bahamas, and throughout Europe. John and Pat's two children, Sara and John Jr., are both active on the River. John has been on the board of directors since 2002 and is a past president of the board.


Rick Gregware - Member At Large

Rick has been involved with Save The River since it's infancy becoming a board member in 1981. He began a career in marine repair in 1969 working at H. Chalk and Sons where he was involved in keeping oil spill equipment running during the 1976 NEPCO 140 oil spill. He currently owns and runs Northern Marine and is a summer resident of Grindstone Island with his wife Janet and three children.


Bill Grater - Immediate Past President

Bill has been a board member since 1996 and has family ties to the Morristown and Chippewa Bay areas of the St. Lawrence River that date to the early to mid-nineteenth century. In 1992 Bill and his wife, Diane, moved their young family and architecture business from Washington DC to Clayton. Since then Bill has been occupied with the design of houses and other structures on the River focusing his efforts on careful planning and site design so as to preserve natural attributes and protect water resources.


Karen Douglass Cooper

Karen is currently the Communications / Community Outreach Officer for the St Lawrence Institute of Environment Sciences and serves as Coordinator for the Remedial Action Plan for the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern in Cornwall, Ontario. Karen began her career in communications with the Canadian Coast Guard through Nav Can (formerly Transport Canada Training Institute). For the last seven years Karen has worked exclusively on projects dealing with fresh water protection throughout the upper St. Lawrence River Watershed Region beginning with South Nation Conservation and the Dundas Environmental Awareness Group then with the provincially led Raisin ‐ South Nation Drinking Water Source Protection Program before joining the River Institute in 2012.


Jessica Jock

Swimming from boats and beaches between Barnhart Island, New York and Frasier’s Point, Lac Saint‐Francois, Quebec are some of Jessica’s earliest youthful summer memories. Raised in Bombay, New York and a 10‐year resident of Massena, she is a life‐time River lover. As an Environmental Scientist for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division in Akwesasne, she has worked 13 years on various River projects related to Superfund cleanup, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Professionally she has presented at local, state, and national conferences on River health; served on committees; and collaborated with many resource agencies and nonprofit organizations. She has volunteered and served on the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association, Inc., and Northern TRIBS Swimming, Inc. board of directors. When not coaching, swimming, educating, advocating, or agitating; her interests include traveling, hiking, camping, scuba diving, cycling, kayaking, white water rafting, and anything ‘outdoors fun’.


Cicely Johnston

Born and raised in the Thousand Islands, Cicely loves calling the River her home. Cicely is 5th generation in her family‐owned business Ed Huck Marine of Rockport, Ontario. She started working at the marina quite young and quickly found that she shared a passion for the 1000 Islands with her fellow River Rats whether they were locals, cottagers or boaters. This connection has taught her the importance of a clean, sustainable River not only for recreation but commerce as well. After attending Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Cicely became a full‐time fundraiser for her alma mater, and holds a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University. In addition to being co‐chair of a Queen’s University Senate Committee, Cicely is also a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, South Eastern Ontario Chapter.


Diane H. Leonard, GPC

Diane, is the owner and President of DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC, a national grant writing firm based in Clayton, NY. Diane is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association serving on their Social Media Committee and Grant News Committee, is an “Approved Trainer” through the Grant Professionals Association and a Certified Grant Professional. Diane is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations. Diane and her husband, Erich moved to Clayton to be year-round residents ten years ago. They are raising their two young daughters to love and respect the River that is such a critical thread of their family's story.

Latest News

Conference Welcome Address to Reflect on 40th Anniversary of Save The River
Ann Ward, past president and Board member emerita will reflect on 40 years of challenges and accomplishments of Save The River. read more

St. Lawrence River & Key Figures Play Big Role in Upcoming Film – Updated
In June the crew from Changing Currents, PLU MediaLab, came to New York, Ontario and, specifically the St. Lawrence River for interviews and filming for "Changing Currents: Protecting North America's Rivers", an examination of river pollution and restoration efforts in North America. read more

Save The River Annual Meeting Held New Board Members and Officers Elected
It is great to have Karen Douglass Cooper, Jessica Jock, and Cicely Johnston, each of whom come from previously under-represented regions of the St. Lawrence River, join our Board read more

John Peach’s Fish Tale … in an Antique St. Lawrence Skiff
Muskie Catch and Release from an Antique St Lawrence Skiff Written by John Peach posted on December 13, 2014 I had just dropped back my antique Skinner Muskie spoon and started to pull on the oars of Perry, our antique St Lawrence skiff, when the reel on the pre 1920 wooden rod started to scream as […] read more

Jack Butts, Sunnyside Island Voted to Save The River Board New Officers Elected
Save The River held its Annual Membership Meeting August 21. At that meeting John (Jack) H. Butts III became the newest addition to the Save The River Board of Directors. read more

Restoring the Common Tern in the Islands
Each year Save The River teams up with the Thousand Islands Land Trust, Dr. Lee Harper of St. Lawrence Bird Observatory, and numerous volunteers to monitor Common Tern nesting grounds on the River. Save The River Board member John Peach has written an excellent history of the effort for the July 2014 issue of T.I. Life Magazine. read more

See our blog for more news!     

About Us

Founded in 1978, Save The River is a non-profit, member-supported environmental organization whose mission is to restore, preserve and protect the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education and research. Since 2004 Save The River has been a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance as the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper.

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The River

The St. Lawrence River is one of the largest Rivers in the world and a magnificent place to live, work and play. Save The River has been working for more than 35 years to protect the River for current and future generations.

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Join or Give

Over half of Save The River's budget comes from individual memberships and contributions. Supporting us with an annual membership donation will keep our River advocacy, education and research programs going strong.

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Save The River was designated the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. The Waterkeeper Alliance is the world’s fastest growing environmental movement, with more than 200 local Waterkeepers patrolling rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on 6 continents.

Photos from around the River

Off to the races by Pam Quimby  Resting by Pam Quimby  On the Rocks by Nick Apel  Classic Sunset by Barb Hupp  TI Park Library by Meg Kerr  Fall by Carrie Kerr  Girls by Juliane Bauer  Winter Navigation by Sherman Ward  Off on the River by Jenni Werndorf  A Seaway View by Devon Colby 
 Pictures from our Flickr photostream

409 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624

(315) 686-2010


© Save The River 2014