Local Knowledge: The Key to Restoring Proctor Creek

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Growing up in Savannah, GA, I always felt a strong tie to water. There was the Savannah River I would see when I would walk down River Street, the many bike rides to the marsh close to my house, and the countless trips to the beach for fun and with my school. These experiences created the foundation for me to pursue a career in water management. With each additional experience, I gained a greater appreciation for what was happening around me – much like a river’s flow increases with each tributary. Such powerful experiences can shape, not only who you are as a person, but who you become. They can shape how water resources are managed and conserved.

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Broken Pipes, Pumps, and Practices: America’s Big Water Infrastructure Crisis

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It’s no secret that infrastructure—including electric grids, fossil fuel pipelines, public transportation lines, bridges, railways, and roads—are in a rapid state of decline in the U.S., and that there is not nearly enough money allocated to their repair and maintenance. Central to that problem and probably the most alarming aspect of it is the fact that water infrastructure systems—the pipes that bring us treated water and the sewer lines that take waste water away—are in various states of disrepair all around the country.

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Water as a Human Right: Public Health Research and Advocacy in Detroit

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As a community-based grassroots organization, We The People of Detroit (WPD) aims to inform, educate, and empower Detroit residents on imperative issues surrounding civil rights, land, water, education, and the democratic process. WPD has worked tenaciously with its network of volunteers to provide water to Detroit residents and advocate for a sustainable water future.

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The One Water Vision: a Movement Toward Equitable Water Management

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Presented by the U.S. Water Alliance, the One Water Summit is a conference that seeks to bring people from all over the country, from a variety of professions, to exchange knowledge and develop strategies for achieving “a sustainable water future for all” — that is, a future where everyone has access to sufficient quantities of clean water and where water management practices are tied to healthy and thriving ecosystems, communities, and economies.

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Have You Cracked the Code to Engaging Youth? by Emily Simonson

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“You’re not only the future, you’re also the today,” Catherine Cushway tells her students.

I met Catherine and her ninth grade class from C.A. Frost Environmental Science Middle High School at Teen Rally. River Network hosted its first Teen Rally as part of their annual River Rally conference in Grand Rapids, MI. C.A. Frost students and Upward Bound students networked with professionals, toured the Grand River, and engaged in stewardship projects at Calvin College.

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Learn a River’s Name Before It’s Gone by Akiko Busch

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Once, on a road trip with friends from New York to California, I kept a list of every river and stream we crossed, starting with the Hudson.

After the Delaware and the Susquehanna, we found ourselves crossing the Cowpasture River and Salt Sulphur Springs, Clinch River and Bog Swan Creek, Poor Hollow, Rio Puerco, Cottonwood Wash and Moore Gulch. Though I probably dozed off and missed a few, and many remained unidentified by signs, by the end of the trip there were 113 on my list.

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Rain Barrels: DIY Green Infrastructure for Your Home or Business

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You may have heard the terms point and nonpoint source pollution. To demystify these terms a bit, a point source is a known source of pollutants, such as a factory or a sewer treatment plant. Nonpoint sources are everything else: lawns, roofs, construction sites, driveways, and roads. Pollution from these sources can take a variety of forms, including mud, bacteria, fertilizers, and toxic waste like oil and paint. Stormwater collects these pollutants from multiple sources, then introduces them directly into our streams, rivers, and lakes.

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Reduce, Re-use, Recycle… and Innovate

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The average American produces a little over four pounds of trash each day. Even though many of us recycle, the amount of waste we produce is still higher than it was in the sixties. Together, Americans produce 220 million tons of waste annually, 55% of which end up in landfills (unless you live in San Francisco, which has managed to divert 80% of its collective trash to recycling and composting programs, and is well on its way toward the end goal of producing “zero waste” as a city). And while businesses, schools, and hospitals produce a lot of trash as well, 65% of the trash found in today’s landfills is produced by individual households.

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A Community-Driven Cleanup: Restoring the Duwamish River by Hannah Kett

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DRCC/TAG takes the time and energy to build relationships, listen to the communities’ interests and needs, and collaborate with them to develop action plans that focus on empowering their voices and actions. This, in part, has enabled DRCC/TAG to leverage a $60,000 EPA Urban Waters Small Grant into close to $1.5 million invested in Duwamish Valley community priorities.

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Cincinnati’s Unique Approach to Addressing Sewage Pollution

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At scales ranging from the neighborhood and city to the watershed and basin, communities around the country are finding ways to break down silos in water management to become more sustainable and to more equitably maximize benefits across their community and watershed. River Network is hosting a series of webinars with support from the Urban Waters Learning Network and the Pisces Foundation on Integrated Water Management, which cover multiple examples of how these approaches are taking root across the country.

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Diversity for Vision and Leadership

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“Diversity and Inclusiveness” represents a growing movement, consisting of people from all walks of life, who recognize that we need representation from a larger variety of people, especially those who grew up experiencing the worst effects of environmental problems. This includes people of color, and people from low income backgrounds: those who come from rural and urban communities that have the least political representation, who deal every day with hazards related to contaminated homes, workplaces, playgrounds, and schools, and who are on the front lines of big issues like climate change.

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The Den in Africatown, AL

It really was a “Watershed Awakening!” by Gail Heffner

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It really was a “Watershed Awakening”…the growing awareness and eventual decision made by Calvin College to turn its attention to Plaster Creek, the impaired creek that drains the watershed in which the college is situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Back in 2002, Calvin College began involving students in service-learning activities that evolved into today’s Plaster Creek Stewards, a highly successful collaboration of college faculty and students, urban residents, local churches and schools, and community partners working to restore the health and beauty of our 58 square mile watershed.

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