Thousand Islands

Courtesy: Save the River

On June 23, 1976, an oil barge called the NEPCO-140 ran into a shoal on the St. Lawrence River, spilling 300,000 gallons of crude into the heart of the Thousand Islands. The "Slick of ‘76" remains one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history.

That tragic incident changed how local residents viewed the St. Lawrence River. Many felt a strong urge to protect it from future catastrophes.

Save the River

On June 23, 1976, an oil barge called the NEPC-140 ran into a shoal on the St. Lawrence River, spilling 300,000 gallons of crude into the heart of the Thousand Islands. On this, the 40th anniversary, the ”Slick of ‘76” remains one of the largest inland oil spills in the United States.

Coyote Moon

 

Coyote Moon Vineyards, in the Thousand Islands, has won New York Winery of the Year. The family-owned business from Clayton has earned hundreds of awards in the eight years it’s been making wine.

Coyote Moon is the winery that first brought canned wine to the North Country. Owner Tony Randazzo said the decision to can their wine illustrates the family's mission behind their company. They aim to be creative and unpretentious.

St. Lawrence Spirits

The Clayton Town Planning Board will allow St. Lawrence Spirits to launch their distillery on Route 12E in the Thousand Islands.

The decision comes days after a state Supreme Court ruled that the proposed location for the distillery does not violate zoning laws.

The lawsuit against St. Lawrence Spirits and the town of Clayton was filed by neighbors who claimed the business was too close to their homes. They fear noise from the planned inn, restaurant and distillery would be a problem.

Lawrence Sinclair / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources in the next 15 years. That has wind developers eyeing the farm land along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

One energy company has revived an interest in constructing a wind farm in Jefferson County that would extend across the towns of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme.

Residents are divided over the idea of wind in the Thousand Islands. Local environmental groups are weighing in too.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

The town of Orleans, between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, may be on its way to clean drinking water. Members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff along with the State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation met with Orleans officials Tuesday in Albany.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Something is wrong in Orleans, a small town in the Thousand Islands. Tap water there is contaminated with high levels of salt. The water is not only unfit to drink, it eats bathroom fixtures and destroys washing machines. The problem has gone on for at least a decade. Homeowners suspect road salt from a nearby salt barn is to blame, and they want help from the state.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

John Rogers grew up adjacent to Butterfield Lake in Redwood. That’s in the Indian Lakes region in Jefferson County.  When his grandparents passed they left him 100 acres of pristine wetland and grassland. Now, Rogers has transformed his backyard into a tourist attraction.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

Trees in the North Country are clinging to the last of their leaves. In Alexandria Bay, you can take a walk to admire what remains of fall foliage at Otter Creek Preserve. The trail is now open to the public for the first time. It snakes through more than a hundred acres of woods, wetlands, shrub and grasses.

Ellie George, Paradox Lake, NY

If you’re been anywhere near a lake or a river this summer, you may have seen a big white bird diving into the water to catch fish. Ospreys have made a big comeback. But for many years, the bird was threatened. On Wellesley Island, for example,  Ospreys  are everywhere.

Dennis McCarthy

If you cross the international border between the U.S. and Canada by land, there’s an official border crossing.

But if you're traveling across the border on a boat in the St. Lawrence River, the process isn’t so clear.

The border  splits the river, threading through the Thousand Islands.

For over a century, this was a “soft” border, barely acknowledged by generations of boaters.

Summer Destinations: 1000 Islands

May 21, 2015

Enjoy many destinations perfect for the summer months in the Thousand Islands, including:

Antique Boat Museum

The Antique Boat Museum is the premier freshwater nautical museum in North America. Located in the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River, the ABM's galleries feature over 300 unique and beautifully-preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts. With the longest running antique boat show in North America, the museum celebrates 51 years this summer.


Julia Botero / WRVO News

Clayton welcomed a slew of new visitors last week. A luxury cruise ship on its maiden voyage from Montreal stopped at the town’s docks. The ship was filled with nearly 200 tourists from France, and most on board were seeing the Thousand Islands for the first time.

The MS St. Laurent drifted down the St. Lawrence River and came to rest in Clayton just around 9 on Thursday morning. The ship is an eye-catcher, docked in the center of the village, its royal blue hull contrasting with the colorful row of Adirondack chairs facing the river,  

Great Lakes Cruise Company

A luxury cruise ship on its maiden voyage up the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Chicago will stop in Clayton this May. It will be the first visit there for the MS Saint Laurent. The ship’s new route will bring it to the Thousand Islands village almost a dozen times this summer, each time with as many as 200 people aboard.

Byrne concedes; Russell wins 116th by a hair

Dec 2, 2014
Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D-116th) has been re-elected for her fourth term representing the 116th Assembly District also known as the "River District." The district includes parts of Jefferson and Watertown Counties. Her Republican challenger John Byrne conceded the race yesterday afternoon as the last absentee ballots were counted at the state Supreme Court in Watertown. 

River Hospital

Beginning in August, River Hospital in Alexandria Bay will partner with Syracuse's Upstate Medical University to bolster the Thousand Islands' hospital's services.

The goal is to bring more physicians to work in River Hospital's emergency department, according to chief executive officer Ben Moore. He says the hospital is receiving about $1.4 million in state and federal funding this year to bring in between six and nine additional physicians.

Tourism Economics

According to new research, tourism spending rose across every region of New York state last year, with overall growth of more than six percent. Traveler spending reached a new high of nearly $60 billion statewide and upstate New York, in particular, did well.

The biggest areas for growth upstate were central New York, Niagara, and the Thousand Islands, with a bump of at least five percent in each region.

But Adam Sacks, lead author of the report and president of Tourism Economics, says the real indicator of the industry’s importance lies in job growth.

Another new St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario water levels plan

Jun 14, 2013
Photo: Jenni Werndorf

People along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario will get a chance to weigh in on a new water levels plan next month.

Regulators say the plan, called “Plan 2014,” still helps the environment by returning more natural ebbs and flows to the water bodies. But they would have caused more shoreline damage on Lake Ontario.

Clayton Hotel development underway

May 31, 2013

A big redevelopment project is getting underway in the village of Clayton. The first pieces of equipment have been at work on the former Frink Snowplow Factory site in recent weeks. This represents the beginning of an aggressive construction schedule that aims to bring the Clayton Harbor Hotel to life by Memorial Day 2014.

Kristi Dippel, head of the Clayton Local Development Corporation, says it's gratifying to see all the planning on the project coming to fruition.

"After over 10 years that this has been in the making, and we finally have activity on site, it's definitely the talk on the street, it's the talk of the town. People are very excited to see something happening over there," she said.