Our Great Migrators

*NWNL thoughts prior to World Fish Migration Day-5/24.*

Many are unaware of the exquisite sarabande of life personified by our migratory species: anadromous fish, birds, monarch butterflies, dragonflies and others.

Most migratory species are threatened in one form or another during their annual passages by manmade impediments. Today, on expedition along the Snake River, NWNL is following the struggle of the Columbia River migratory salmon, steelhead and lamprey to overcome dams, pollution, warmer streams and other challenges as they seek their traditional spawning grounds. Fish passages at dams and fish hatcheries have helped them avoid extinction, but more help is needed to bring back healthy numbers of salmon.

US: Washington, Columbia River Basin, Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River, bypass for juvenile salmon migrating downstream.

NWNL Expedition Spotlights California Drought! 

 Chasing California’s Thirst
  March 14-26, 2014 Expedition

No Water No Life will visit the Sacramento Delta from San Francisco Bay to Antioch, the Sacramento River from the Delta north to the Butte Sink region, and the San Joaquin River from the Delta south to Bakersfield to document causes, impacts and solutions of California’s drought with photography, video and stakeholder interviews.

PROBLEMS:
– Increased Population and Growing Irrigation Demands with Finite Water Supplies
– Neither Consumers nor Regulators have sufficiently addressed The Value of Water

JUSTIFICATIONS:
– It affects us all!  CA supplies 50% of US veggies, fruits and nuts.
– No Water – No Irrigation – No Farms – No Food – No Jobs = Economic hit for all of the US!
– CA’s Drought Solutions can help solve the global problem of  “More people – Less available clean water.”

PURPOSE:
NWNL will document causes, impacts and solutions to CA’s Drought.
How will CA move from Water Scarcity to Water Sustainability?

How Wolves Change Rivers

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

Ethiopia: Dams threaten Indigenous communities, Omo Valley, Lake Turkana

A Cascade of Development on the Omo River by International Rivers, with photos by Alison M. Jones, 2014 (11:19).

This film outlines how Ethiopia’s new Gibe Dams will cause a 70% water-level reduction over the next 3 years – and thus drastically impact Ethiopia’s Omo River, its Lake Turkana terminus in Kenya, and ½ million residents in this Rift Valley’s Cradle of Humankind. These hydro-dams – and the new commercial agricultural plantations they will irrigate – threaten the livelihoods of local indigenous tribes and their ecosystems. The Gibe Dams will also imperil the Omo-Turkana Basin’s migrating birds, fish and crocodile populations, and the scant amount of wildlife left.

The film pleads that water flows be managed so as to maintain the sustainability of the Omo River, Lake Turkana, and today’s indigenous communities who represent 6000 years of self-sustaining flood-recession farmers and fishermen. For more information on the Omo River :
 Download the factsheet on Gibe III Dam by International Rivers.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FROM NWNL:  For many millennia, the Omo’s annual 60 foot floods from the highlands’ monsoonal rains have supplied nutrient-rich silt and irrigation for the crops of the Mursi, Suri, Karo, Hamar, Nyangatom, Dassanech and other
unique indigenous cultures. In a 2008 NWNL interview…. Read the full story here.

“GLOOP” threatening global watersheds

GLOOP by Gaby Bastyra, 2010 (3:48).

A documentary short told as a nursery-school chant by a young girl tracing the discovery and impacts of plastic on our oceans, rivers and environment in general. Putting this message in the mouth of today’s youngest generation adds a gutsy impact to the now-familiar story of the forever-here debris of non-biodegradable plastics that seem to be in every corner our life.

“…Plastic doesn’t go away, all plastic things are here to stay…”

I Am RED – a must see video poem

The Colorado River —
The Most Endangered River in America 2013

I have run these canyons for six million years.

I have traveled from the Rocky Mountains to the deserts, through scorching heat, and freezing cold. 

From the land of the dinosaurs to fields of food.

I lend my hand to seven states, two countries, nine National Parks and 36 million people across an arid west.

I am not the strongest or the largest, but I am the hardest working.

People love me, my playfulness, my beauty, my power, my life.

But I don’t think I can offer any more.

I am tired, tapped and tied.

Of the hundreds of major rivers in the world, I am one of the few who no longer kisses the sea.

Battles to harness my soul have been won and lost.

Use me wisely and I will sustain you.

Use me like you have and I will break.

My name is Red.

The Grand River, Red.

The American Nile.

The Canyon Maker.

I am the Colorado River.

And I am the most endangered river in America.

—-

Directed and written by Pete McBride Productions.
Cinematography: Pete McBride, Ron Chapple, Skip Armstrong, Kontent Films.
Still Imagery: Pete McBride
Voices: Duke Beardsley, Alma del Rio.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER THE FUN!

THE TENNESSEE AND OHIO RIVER NO WATER NO LIFE EXPEDITION HAS JUST ENDED!

How many miles did Alison’s ’88 BMW (a.k.a. Black Beauty)
travel within the Tennessee and Ohio River Basins
during No Water No Life’s 5 week documentation of the
values and vulnerability of fresh water resources in
WV, VA, NC, TN, AL, MS, KY, IL, IN, OH, and PA?

It only costs $5 for each guess you submit!
Submit as many as you want! (Submit by Nov 8th!)

WINNER gets ¼ of the pot and a signed photo by Alison
Use Paypal or mail cash or check.
Include your mileage guess in an envelope or
e-mail to: alison@nowater-nolife.org

* Need a hint?
View the Expedition Itinerary.
View Distance Calculations below.

Check out photos from NWNL’s expedition on Instagram and Flickr!

Good Luck and Thank You for your support!

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.59.41 PM