About Us

About the Coalition

The Coalition formed in June 2009 when a dozen concerned citizens met and discussed a plan to divert $16 million from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).  The funds were leftover from the failed St. Lawrence River Aquarium & Ecological Center, a project intended to bring both economic and environmental benefits to the area, and the group felt the funds should likewise be used for both economic revitalization and environmental improvement.  It was also feared that the IDA would undertake projects without regard for environmental impacts and the concerns of ordinary citizens.  A local political process that will decide the fate of the NYPA funds was underway, and the group understood that no one person or organization could succeed in the process; a group effort would be needed.  The St. Lawrence Valley Environmental Coalition was created to fulfill that need.  The founding members agreed on the following three objectives:

  • advocate for the natural environment,

  • promote using a significant portion the NYPA funds for environmental projects and programs, and,

  • work cooperatively with other stakeholders within the St. Lawrence River valley community to ensure all projects undertaken will yield the most local economic benefit with the least environmental harm.

 We have made significant progress along these lines, but have also encountered resistance from officials not accustomed to integrating environmental thinking into economic development projects.  Click DOCUMENTS and IN THE NEWS to track our efforts. You will see that we are deeply involved in a political process that will decide the fate of a great deal of what goes on in the St. Lawrence Valley for many years to come.  

While the Coalition’s present focus is on the allocation of NYPA funds, it is expected  that the members will want to address other issues, problems and opportunities in the future.

Our Members

The Coalition now has 30 members, including the original founders.  Many members are affiliated with other groups, organizations and institutions serving the public good through environmental education, protection, conservation, stewardship, remediation, advocacy, action, and research. Active members have access to our full Membership List, as well as updates, Minutes and other current information not always available to the general public.

How We Operate

A five-person Steering Committee was elected by the founding members to guide the Coalition’s efforts.  Two additional persons have since been added to the Committee.  The Steering Committee communicates with the Members intermittently as required, and vice versa, usually by email.  The Steering Committee may from time to time call a meeting of the full membership as the need arises. 

Any Member may suggest that a new issue be taken on by the Coalition.  The decision to take on a new issue is based on an affirmative vote by a majority of the members who vote.  Other decisions, such as electing Steering Committee members, shall be similarly decided.  Votes may be cast by email, phone, snail mail or at a meeting. 

As new issues are taken on by the group, members will have the opportunity to opt-out of the Coalition’s position if they are uncomfortable with it.  Thus, a person’s membership in the Coalition does not automatically imply that they support the Coalition’s position on all issues.  Members choosing to opt-out of a particular issue will be listed on the website.         

How You Could Fit In

 The Coalition’s primary challenge is to influence decisions regarding the use and management of our land, water and other natural resources.  Our strength and effectiveness as an advocacy group is enhanced by members from all walks of life and from all parts of the St. Lawrence valley.  We want to be a conduit for your views on matters affecting the environment.  Please consider joining the Coalition now.  Our success will come easier if lots of people like you step up and say Yes, I want to make a difference, please sign me up as a member of the St. Lawrence Valley Environmental Coalition.  Click JOIN US now.

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