Posts Tagged ‘impact’

NANPA News* highlights NWNL and Alison M. Jones

November 7, 2014

*North American Nature Photography Association newsletter.

Jones_080204_ET_8207I’ve always enjoyed water. I grew up on a small rural stream with frogs, moss, trout, rocks and fog. Years later, copiloting over sub-Sahara Africa, I saw clearly that where there was no water, there was no life. Thus, No Water No Life ® (NWNL) became the title of my quest to combine the powers of photography, science and stakeholder information to raise awareness of the vulnerability of our fresh water resources.

The following are my daily mantras:

African proverb: “You think of water when the well is dry.”

Leonardo da Vinci: “Water is the driver of nature.”

The Dalai Lama: “The first medicine on this planet was water.”

Words are powerful.
But, if one photograph has the power of 1,000 words, then a photograph that is captioned must be worth 100,000 words.

NANPA award recipient James Balog said, “Science gave me a new lens through which to see the world… a more holistic view and appreciation of the natural environment.” I too relish having science and NWNL goals attached to my lenses, endowing my images with greater impact.

In 2 years the Isle de Jean-Charles, inspiration for the Academy Award-winnning “Beasts of the Southern Wild” will probably be lost to sea-level rise and subsidence.

In 2 years the Isle de Jean-Charles, inspiration for the Academy Award-winnning “Beasts of the Southern Wild” will probably be lost to sea-level rise and subsidence.

In eight years NWNL has completed 22 expeditions to six case-study watersheds in Africa (Nile, Omo and Mara river basins) and North America (Columbia, Mississippi and Raritan river basins). Resulting imagery, research and blogs are on our website (http://www.nowater-nolife.org) — and those of International Rivers, American Rivers and others. NWNL documentation is further shared via social media, lectures, exhibits, and in books and magazine articles.

We’ve focused on glaciers and tarns (in the Columbia, Mississippi and Nile basins), lakes (including Kenya’s Lake Turkana, now imperiled by Ethiopian hydro-dams on the Omo River), meadows and Texas playas, wetlands (half of these naturally-filtered nurseries are already gone), tributaries, forests (disappearing from Earth at a rate of 36 football fields per minute), riparian corridors, flyways, estuaries and delta lands (disappearing from the Mississippi Delta at the rate of one football field per hour).

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Subsistence fishermen on Kenya’s remote Lake Turkana are learning that intensive water extractions by Ethiopian commercial agriculture will ruin their lake and fisheries.

NWNL has interviewed hundreds of scientists, stewards and stakeholders. These commentaries, which we call “Voices of the River,” discuss pollution, climate change, fracking, population growth in Africa, dams and levees, water usage by agriculture and industry, and tropic cascades of predators—anything impacting the health of watersheds. NWNL has recorded solutions from Canadian glaciologists, Maasai wilderness guides, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, historians, farmers and others on how to protect riverine corridors and ecosystems and ensure freshwater availability and quality.

Jones_070804_NJ_7826The overall NWNL goal is to transcend boundaries, bridge divisions and differences, suggest the shape of the future, capture imagination, stir consciences and create change. At NANPA’s 2002 Jacksonville Summit, art critic Vicki Goldberg described the power of photography to meet these objectives: “A photograph is like a lobbyist who sways a legislator.” Apollo 17’s “Blue Marble,” probably the most widely distributed image in human history, is a great example of imagery awakening a global awareness of our unique watery bonds. The connection with Earth’s beauty, which that image evokes, mirrors a comment by Terry Tempest Williams at the October 2014 observance of the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act: “We have no choice but to stand for what we love… We the people must walk with the river.”

NWNL will be collating and publishing many more images, videos and essays in online and print media. Upcoming NWNL photoessays will assess and compare water issues in developed and developing worlds, rural and urban regions, upstream and downstream. NWNL will also continue its newly initiated “Spotlights” on critical water issues such as the devastating drought in California.

NWNL appreciates the voluntary contributions of student interns’ research and guest photographers on our expeditions. We also thank photographers working in our case-study watersheds who share their images and findings with NWNL.

NWNL fiscal support comes from individuals, family foundations, grants and generous in-kind donations. To support NWNL in raising awareness of the vulnerability of our freshwater resources, checks to No Water No Life can be sent to Alison Jones, director of No Water No Life, 330 East 79th Street, NY, NY 10075 or via PayPal offered on the NWNL website http://nowater-nolife.org/supportUs/index.html).

Alison M. Jones is a conservation photographer who has documented ecosystems and resource management for more than 25 years in Africa and the Americas. She is the director and lead photographer at NWNL.

Story and photographs by Alison M. Jones.
Published by the North American Nature Photography Association.

An elephant’s memory of water

August 18, 2014

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The African savannah elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. In folklore, elephants are known for not forgetting. For the African savannah elephant, memory is a tool for surviving challenges that may come intermittently over decades. Long-term memory tends to be vested in the older females, called matriarchs, without which the herd could die of starvation or dehydration. During the drought of 1993 in Tanzania, elephant matriarchs that remembered a similar drought 35 years before led their herds beyond the borders of Tarangire National Park in search of food and water. Groups with matriarchs that were not old enough to remember the previous drought suffered a 63 percent mortality of their calves that year. (Source: Wildlife Conservation Society)

< Click on thumbnails below for captions and larger view. >

Elephants are not human, of course. They are something much more ancient and primordial, living on a different plane of existence. Long before we arrived on the scene, they worked out a way of being in the world that has not fundamentally changed and is sustainable, and not predatory or destructive.
~Alex Shoumatoff

Discover more interesting facts about Loxodonta africana.

Read the story of Satao, a bull elephant who lived in the arid plains northwest of Mombasa, who had tusks so long that when he walked they nearly scraped the ground.

Take the IFAW pledge to PROTECT ELEPHANTS!

Kenya: Samburu National Reserve, female African elephant with two young adults and baby drinking from Uaso Nyiro River

Kenya: Samburu National Reserve, female African elephant with two young adults and baby drinking from Uaso Nyiro River

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

NWNL Pointers on Stayin’ COOL

June 24, 2014

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Sparked by a blog by John Cronin, Hudson Riverkeeper (1983-2000), Founding Director/CEO of Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and now Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs at pace Academy.

As John Cronin wrote: “According to Stan Cox, author of the 2010 book “Losing Our Cool,” air conditioning in the US has a global-warming impact equivalent to every US household driving an extra 10,000 miles/year.”

Since global warming impacts every watershed on the planet, NWNL wants to brainstorm about what we each can do to reduce further problems.

Please send us ways you avoid using a/c so we can all
stay cool without it.

Watering hole in Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri.

Watering hole in Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri.

The obvious for our NWNL Team is to “hang out” in water – a stream, a pool, a cool shower, the ocean, a kayak, a canoe…. But there’s also:

• Wake up earlier when working conditions are cooler; and then nap midday to make up for it.

• Spruce up a cool garage or basement for some summer movies – or a game of Charades.

• Install and use overhead fans in lieu of A/C if your rooms have high ceilings

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• Explore the fun of hand-held fans! Go to China Town for strongly made, efficient fans; and share with children how to fold a rectangle of paper into a fan.

• Ask doormen / shopkeepers to keep doors closed if the A/C is on.

• Wear clothes that are made of cotton, linen or breathable, wicking fabrics on hot days.

• Have friends over for an ice-cream social!

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• Ride bikes and scooters instead of hot, steamy subways.

• Slip into “Porchin”:  a rural tradition of screened-in card games, loose clothing and flowing iced tea.

• Try swimming instead of running for your regular exercise.

• Take cool – rather than hot – showers. Go to bed with wet hair to be cooler as you go to sleep.

March 5, 2014

“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” ― Wendell Berry

Read a related article: The Race to Save Ethiopians Damned by the Dam, by Al Mariam  

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

How Wolves Change Rivers

February 26, 2014

This video, How Wolves Change Rivers, explains the “balance-of-nature“ phenomena scientists call a “trophic cascade.” NWNL also documented this on its Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Expedition in 2008. When wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, it had a very beneficial impact on the ecosystem and on water flows. Although the video mislabels the elk as “deer”, its message is relevant.

The influence of just a small group of wolves on river systems is as magical as the cry of the wolf itself. For a sense of being on the Yellowstone River in the Missouri-Mississippi headwaters, do look at our Yellowstone Species photo gallery.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

Your T-shirt and water consumption

February 8, 2013
Cotton in bloom, TX, Mississippi River Basin

Cotton in bloom, TX, Mississippi River Basin, © Alison M. Jones

Did you know that the total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources?

How the world uses freshwater:
• about 70 percent for irrigation
• about 22 percent for industry
• about 8 percent for domestic use
Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Did you know that the t-shirt on your back has a major impact on the planet? Producing it took approximately 710 gallons of water, plus it takes a lot of energy to get it from the cotton fields to your closet. But some of your t-shirt’s biggest impacts are in how you care for it. WWF and National Geographic ask: ‘How much stuff do you need?’ Here’s how you can help reduce its effect on the environment.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

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