It’s #CleanWaterWednesday so in honor of that I’m gonna focus my blog on some relevant articles I’ve been keeping around the house. Total bonus points for now relegating these papers, which have been accumulating on my dining room table, to a position below the bird perches in the house. Aside from making bagels on Monday this is as domestic as I’ve gotten this week…
The milage and stops still need to be solidified for this year’s route down the Mississippi and Tenn-Tom Waterway, but the options for potential stops have been pinned. While zooming in with Google Earth to plot points, I noticed that homes and trees looked a little funky, they all appeared to be underwater. Some of the satellite images for Google Earth that I was using for this area (by Jackson, AL) was January 4, 2016. Widespread flooding happened this year in January as well as in Florida, and along the Mississippi River (click here to see a collection of images), something which I had totally forgotten about until plotting out this route. In Texas, more floods took a toll even more recently as well. Flood waters, in addition to be devastating for the pure loss of homes, disruptions of lives, and deaths, present a huge problem for water quality, as contaminants from people’s garages, industrial areas, septic tanks, and sewage systems get carried away downstream with rising waters.
Last week the front page of my edition of the New York Times had a photo of a kid sitting on a little ramshackle bridge leading to her home. Apparently she and the other families living in that area will be among the first of our country’s “climate refugees.” I think about this stuff a lot as I drive around or paddle in my own state’s coastal and tidal areas and witness the rising tides with my own eyes. One thing is for sure, we can keep debating climate change, debating about the issues concerning our fresh water and ocean resources or we can start working on solutions now and planning for the future.
Preparing for this “downstream and upstream and back down again” paddle in our fresh waterways does not in any way diminish the thoughts running around in my head about our poor ocean, my favorite playground, or the need to address the issues harming our ocean. While I sit here grounded on terra firma and unhappy at my computer, my eyes catch another article I’ve been saving, like a crazy horder lady, about the damages many of us knew would happen as a result of the ACoE’s plan to dredge the port of Miami. According to this article, “South Florida has the only coral reef in the continental United States and 80 to 90 percent of it has died or been badly harmed over the years…” Then along comes the dredging project with the results being pretty much along the lines of what those “crazy enviro nuts” predicted.
But still, I hafta hope. We can fix things, we just need a concerted effort, we need, as a friend of mine says, “laser focus” on the issues confronting our ocean and our fresh water resources. We need to make it abundantly clear to our election year hopefuls that the many issues of water, from water quality to rising tides, need to be addressed like no other time before (well, okay, there was Love Canal, oh yea, and of course what happened in Toms River, NJ,…but do we need to wait for a recurrence of burning rivers? Do we need more kids put at risk from lead and other contaminants in their drinking water?). Water and the state of the ocean have become huge, pressing global issues, never mind national issues. We cannot live without clean water or a healthy ocean. At all costs, we must protect these resources for the health and well being of our future generations as well as our own.
Please help me make a big stink for our ocean and fresh water, so they don’t! If you can’t make it out to the upcoming fundraiser, please consider making a donation. No amount is too small; every little bit counts!