The fall waterfowl migration seems late this fall following the trend that biologists believe is driven by climate change. Board member Heather White has an excellent article in River Watch about the disruptive effects of night lights to migrating birds and other animals. This is an area of concern that can be remedied if we all take small steps in and around our homes to help wildlife and our neighbors.
This past summer was a very busy summer for Save The River (STR) staff. Our annual Beach Watch water quality sampling was again made successful by a dedicated group of volunteers, led by Program Manager Lauren Eggleston and Development Director Bridget Wright. While there were a couple of “fails” due to high levels of e.coli in the water, our team quickly retested the sites and sent the “all clear” word out as soon as the new samples passed state guidelines.
Trash Free River (TFR) Cleanups were held at multiple sites around the River. View Lindsey Leve’s article on TFR . My takeaway messages are that the cleanups would not have been successful without the support of the:
- Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation
- Northern New York Community Foundation
- 250 Volunteers and staff performing the cleanups
- STR Board members pitching in to help clean up the River
- Great community support from township and villages
- Leadership from TFR team captains that allowed us to widen our TFR areas
Household Hazardous Waste Cleanup Days (HHWCD) – This Fall was STR’s first cooperation with Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) on their semi-annual HHWCD. I believe any step STR takes to encourage islanders and shoreline residents to remove hazardous chemicals from their property before they deteriorate and drip or leech into the River is very important for the long term health of the River. We plan to ramp up our efforts to get more people to properly dispose of these chemicals over the next several years.
Winter Environmental Conference (WEC) 2022 planning is well under way with an exciting group of speakers already lined up for the virtual conference. We are all looking forward to the day we can return to a live WEC. Unfortunately, that will have to wait another year. Mark your calendars for the mornings of January 29 and February 5 to learn more about the River environment and issues affecting all of us.
As we move into the Thanksgiving holidays, all of us at STR want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always, we will continue to work on STR’s mission to restore, preserve and protect the Upper St. Lawrence River now and for generations to come.