imageSave The River was designated the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.

What is a Riverkeeper?

Riverkeepers work to protect the public's right to clean water by

  • Patrolling local waterways
  • Tracking down sources of pollution
  • Responding to citizen complaints
  • Identifying problems that impact water quality
  • Advocate for environmental laws and regulations to ensure clean water

Waterkeepers are full-time, privately-funded, non-governmental advocates for an identified river, lake, bay, or sound. They are recognized by their community, local government, and media as the voice for that particular body of water.

Most importantly, Waterkeepers advocate compliance with environmental laws, respond to citizen complaints, identify problems which affect their identified bodies of water and devise appropriate remedies to address these problems.

Who is the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper?

As Executive Director of Save The River, Lee Willbanks also serves as the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper. In this role, Lee serves as the primary voice and advocate for the Upper. St. Lawrence River.

Take Action!

You can help be our eyes and ears out on the River by joining the Riverkeeper Monitoring Program. Volunteers learn about how to identify wildlife and pollution issues, and how to report pollution problems.

To learn more about this program, visit our Riverkeeper Volunteers page.

Latest News

Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director named Freshwater Hero and Citizen Advocate of the Year
In naming him Citizen Advocate of the Year, Freshwater Heroes said the following about Lee: “. . . you can trust that Lee is there, standing up for the St. Lawrence, each and every day.” read more

Protect the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River from radioactive material
Today more than 100 organizations from around the Great Lakes are calling on the Canadian and American governments to list radionuclides as a “chemical of mutual concern” under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. read more

Erie County Pennsylvania passes the strongest microbead ban in the nation
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who is pushing for a statewide ban, has estimated that 19 tons of microbeads enter New York waterways each year read more

Show us why you love the River!
Swimmable Water Weekend is July 31 - August 2, and we want you to post photos with the hashtag ‪#‎SwimmableWater‬ whenever you're out enjoying the water! read more

Great Lakes Waterkeepers and Waterkeeper Alliance Urge Canadian Authorities to Ditch the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump
Environmentalists in the Great Lakes Basin are opposed to a new report from a Canadian Joint Review Panel that has called for the support of the Canadian Minister of the Environment to approve a deep geological repository for nuclear waste in Kincardine, Ontario due to its proximity to drinking water supplies for 40 million people in the United States and Canada. read more

US EPA and Army Corps Issue Weak Clean Water Rule
The Upper St. Lawrence River has 5,000 square miles of watershed and all of the waterways in it deserve protection under the Clean Water Act. It isn't right to roll back over 40 years of working for clean water. read more

Every day is World Water Day
All citizens of the world should have access to swimmable, drinkable and fishable water. read more

Swimmable, Fishable, Drinkable Water
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper,Ottawa Riverkeeper & world-wide Waterkeeper Alliance to promote Swimmable, Fishable, Drinkable Water.We speak for the waters we defend. read more

Save The River’s Winter Conference to Feature Panel on Oil Transport
The proposals for new pipelines and ship terminals are still around. History shows we frequently construct beyond our ability to mitigate. The river community needs to shape the debate about such shipments and demand that not one drop of heavy oil should be put on a ship or in a rail car on or near the St. Lawrence River until response plans have been developed and tested and the Coast Guard and local first responders have the equipment and training to effectively implement them. read more

Coast Guard not prepared for a ”heavy” oil spill on the St. Lawrence River
“Response plans and organization are not capable of responding to heavy oil spills” according to Rear Admiral Fred Midgette, commander of the Coast Guard’s District 9, which includes the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. 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