Archive for September, 2013

NWNL on the Clinch River for World Rivers Day!

September 29, 2013

Did you know that more than 48 freshwater mussel species can be found in the Clinch Valley region?
The Clinch River flows through the southwestern tip of Virginia to join the Tennessee River which in turn joins the Ohio, a major tributary to the Mississippi.
Mussels purify the water and a single mussel can filter up to 1.25 gallons per hour!
So healthy mussels = healthy rivers.

At least 15 mussel species inhabiting these waters are on the federal endangered species list. NWNL Director and Lead Photographer, Alison M. Jones, is on the river documenting restoration efforts and interviewing water stewards. More updates from the field will be posted in the following weeks.

Read a related article in the NY Times about oysters filtering
river pollutants.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

It’s National Estuaries Week! Sept 23-29, 2013!

September 27, 2013

Can we afford clean water?

September 24, 2013
USA: New Jersey, Lower Raritan River Basin, Raritan River Estuary, Sayreville, Portuguese fisherman in front of industrial complex (Reliant Energy, et al) with rods to catch dinner, despite advisories against pollution

USA: New Jersey, Lower Raritan River Basin, Raritan River Estuary, Sayreville, Portuguese fisherman in front of industrial complex (Reliant Energy, et al) with rods to catch dinner, despite advisories against pollution

“Can we afford clean water? Can we afford rivers and lakes and streams and oceans which continue to make possible life on this planet? Can we afford life itself? Those questions were never asked as we destroyed the waters of our nation, and they deserve no answers as we finally move to restore and renew them. These questions answer themselves.”


~ Senator Ed Muskie of Maine, arguing for the passage of
the Clean Water Act in 1972

Beautiful scenes and terrifying views of how humankind intersects with water resources.

September 11, 2013

WATER, an upcoming exhibit of Edward Burtynsky photographs, is on NWNL’s radar. His photography addresses categories: distressed ecosystems, infrastructure control, agriculture, aquaculture, waterfront, and waterway sources. Two NYC galleries will feature his work in mid-September-November: Howard Greenberg Gallery and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.

Watermark, a documentary film by Burtynsky in collaboration with Jennifer Baichwal, explores the impacts of consumption and development on our planet’s water resources.

Conversation with Burtynsky on his Water exhibit: http://framework.latimes.com/2013/09/05/reframed-in-conversation-with-edward-burtynsky/#/0

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

2nd Annual ‘Mara Day’ to raise awareness of degradation of Mara River basin ecosystem

September 5, 2013

On September 15th, stakeholders from Kenya, Tanzania and surrounding communities will come together to celebrate Mara Day to focus on the health of the Mara River. Informative activities and presentations aim to foster discussions on water quality, pollution, deforestation, drought and other environmental and social challenges facing the MRB and its sustainable development.

More than 1.1 million people live in the MRB and a wealth of flora and fauna depend on its resources. It’s no coincidence the event takes place during the famous wildebeest migration in which the perennial Mara River becomes the destination for the world’s largest mammal migration of almost 2 million wildebeest and zebra. For more information about Mara Day: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307261515.html?viewall=1

The Mara River would seem to be pristine and unfettered as it runs from Kenya's highlands to Tanzania's Lake Victoria shores...

The Mara River would seem to be pristine and unfettered as it runs from Kenya’s highlands to Tanzania’s Lake Victoria shores…

But its very critical source, The Mau Forest in Kenya, has been suffering devastation for years as industry – and local people needing wood – have cut down this forest.  The forest’s retention of water during the seasons of heavy rains plays a crucial role to the entire watershed.

The Mara River, fed by waters from the Mau Forest, nurtures iconic plains species that bring lucrative tourism and jobs; commercial and subsistence farmers; fisherman; and the ecosystems of its Lake Victoria terminus.

And perhaps most important, the Mara supplies drinking water to its inhabitants and their livestock, yet it can no longer be guaranteed to be clean, healthy water.

In NWNL’s expedition covering the length of the Mara River and in our interviews with many stakeholders and stewards en route, it became clear that education is the key.  Those who live in the Basin now must learn the upstream-downstream consequences of their water and forest usage, and why it is critical for tomorrow and future tomorrows to adjust their habits and practices to ensure the sustainability of livestock, flora, fauna and their own communities.

View NWNL’s video “The Mau Forest, Source of the Mara River” from the 2009 MRB expedition here.

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