Day 7 – From Lock 9 to Fort Plain/Lock 15

photo-6Yesterday Lindsy and I left the fun home of fellow “hashers,” Don and Marie, to embark on another multi-lock day on the Mohawk River stretch of the Erie Canal. They were a very gregarious couple-Lindsy had contacted them thru this network of “hash runners,” which is basically, they run through the woods and etc in search of hidden beer. They also assume funny trail names like the hikers of the Appalachian Trail do. Marie, apparently because she was once very loud in her formative years, is known as “DeciBel”. Until she reached out to them, Lindsy had no clue what their real names were.

It became a sprint workout between locks o get to all the locks I needed to get to in a timely manner, that is before 5. Kind of a relief to discover that lock 15 is a 24 hour lock and that they’ll open 14 if need be. Ahead of me is the biggest lock-40 feet of elevation to be gained. That’s going to be interesting. I was stoked to arrive here and be offered a shower!

Yesterday while on the water I’d gotten a call from Doug O’Malley, of Environment NJ. He shared with me the good news that the EPA was going to finalize the new Clean Water Rules. This is sorely needed as it will help ensure all of our water is protected for us to drain and recreate in. Every day drives home the need for this as I paddle along the Canal where the greater threat is the pollution you don’t see. While the plastic debris that is so typical in my local waterways is not as prevalent in this area so far, there are other things, remnants of industry gone by the wayside and industry that is constantly granted waivers to pollute that are still an issue. At issue, too, is contamination of areas which don’t always connect with our navigable waterways. These sometimes wetlands and sometimes dry creek beds are vessels of contamination during rainy seasons and flooding. This is NOT about the puddles in your driveway. This is everything about protecting our water resources.

So far I’ve been hearing from everyone about the problems that you can’t see in the water. This usually happens after I remark to whatever local person I’m speaking to about how the trash is relatively a non- issue in so much of this stretch compared to my home waters. (Yes, NJ, and even Pa, I’m casting shade!)

So please, if you care about clean water, please sign a petition, email, make a phone call and thank the EPA for these common sense solutions which will go a long way to help stem the flow of water pollution. Clean water rules; dirty water sucks, and we need these Clean Water Rules!

Oh oh- for some interesting experiences on FB concerning the locks- please visit here-
https://m.facebook.com/groups/243649935698799?tsid=0.7490143615286797&source=typeahead&feed_ufi=comments

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