Thursday 29 June 2017

Waterkeepers in the News (171)

What an amazing weekend in DC! Thanks to the weeks of preparation by local Riverkeepers, artists and spiritual women, the Waterkeeper movement had one of the best presentations at the People’s Climate March. In the weeks before the March, Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks, Anacostia Riverkeeper Emily Franc, Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman and Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined Spring of Light and EcoHermanas at sacred water ceremonies on 3 Saturdays in April. The public was invited to participate in cooperative art-making led by visual artist Caryl Henry Alexander. Blue totems were created to represent the stories of our local rivers and the spirit of the water at the People’s Climate March. On the eve of the march, the 30 totems were brought to the culminating Honoring Our Sacred Waters ceremony and festival on the banks of the Anacostia at Poplar Point. Waterkeepers from across the region and nation brought water that was joined together for a moving and inspirational blessing of the waters ceremony. The water collected represented waters from as far away as the Cook Inlet in Alaska and the Puget Sound. Rabiah Al Nur of Spring of Light and Linda Velarde, a curandera from New Mexico, traveled on Anacostia Riverkeeper’s boat across the river gathering water along the way. Penny Gamble-Williams opened the circle with a Wampanoag wind blessing. Coracão Dance Collective, a local African dance group, performed a dance in honor of water. Then Linda joined her husband Guillermo in an Aztec dance and Rabiah led a circle dance. The evening closed with an amazing light display from the Detroit…
A scourge of the EPA takes over at the EPA TO STAND on a pontoon besides the Anacostia River, which runs for 8.5 miles through Maryland and the southern part of Washington, DC, is to gauge the progress America has made in cleaning up its waterways. The Anacostia, which empties into the Potomac close to the Capitol, was once a slow-flowing garbage dump; on a recent sunny afternoon, hardly a soda can or plastic bag ruffled its sluggish brown surface, over which cormorants fizzed like arrows, rigid with intent. They are a sign that the river’s ravaged fish stocks are beginning to recover. But you still wouldn’t want to eat them. The most hopeful development on the Anacostia, for example, takes the form of a $2bn sewage overflow system, which is due to come into use in 2018. It has been built by DC Water, which manages much of Washington’s sewage system, after it was sued over its discharges into the river by environmental groups. They had tired of the EPA’s failure to take action. Though 168 drains will still flow into the river, bringing dog faeces and gasoline from the capital’s roads, this should make the Anacostia swimmable for the first time in decades. “We’re getting close to dramatic progress,’ says Emily Franc, who serves as the Anacostia’s riverkeeper, a non-governmental watchdog role. “This is no time for the EPA to pull back.” READ MORE Published on February 25, 2017 in The Economist
How Trump EPA reform affects Delmarva's wetlands Water pools into puddles here and there in a landscape covered with decaying leaves and peppered with bare trees. The earth sinks with each step in this seldom-trod swamp near a park in the Wicomico County hamlet of Bivalve. Although this mucky spot lies just a few dozen yards from the Nanticoke River and is undeniably damp, it used to rest outside the jurisdiction of America's nearly 50-year-old clean water rule. That's because the area remains unconnected to the river and only brims with standing water at certain times of the year. Some environmental advocates fear that rolling back the law could weaken efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay. If the federal government can't protect headwaters of its tributaries from harm, then waters farther downstream, including the bay itself, will suffer, said Jay Ford, executive director of the Virginia's Eastern Shorekeeper. READ MORE Published on February 28, 2017 by Jeremy Cox in Delmarva Now