Friday, March 17, 2017

PROTECT, PADDLE & PETITION


In the spring of 2015, hundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on Pudget Sound to protest Shell Oil Company to resuming oil exploration in the Arctic. The paddle-powered environmental groups vowed to disrupt the oil company’s efforts to use of Seattle as a home base for their rigs returning from Alaska's northwest coast, saying that drilling in the remote Arctic waters could lead to an ecological catastrophe. Kayakers paddled around the rigs yelling “Shell No.” and unfurled banners for “Climate Justice.” 

And just like that the term "Kayaktivism" was launched. Ever since  paddlers have rallied in places to protect on nation's waterways. In North Dakota, canoeist and kayakers gathered on the waters of the Cannonball, a tributary of the Missouri River to battle to stop the construction Dakota Access Pipeline.

Others groups spoke out against dismantling of the stream protection rule, a safeguards streams from pollution created by mountaintop removal and surface coal mining. The bill was eventually signed by President Trump.

Lake Michigan

While in Great Lakes region of U.S. and Canada many are sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the Great Lakes. The Trump administration's potential cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative reported by the Detroit Free Press would slash annual funding for the $300 million program to $10 million.

“Lake Michigan is our Yellowstone,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chicago Tonight, “That is our Grand Canyon. We have to treat it with that same type of respect and investment in the future"

So in an aim to protect wild rivers and public lands, Outside Adventure to the Max is joining in the efforts of American Rivers, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018. We are teaming up to ask Congress to protect 5,000 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers and one million acres of riverside lands. This then ensure that wild rivers flowing through public lands remain unharmed by development and pollution.
Otter Tail River

"As you probably know, fresh water is one of the big issues of our time. It is essential to our health, wealth, and security." Jeff Wiedner, American Rivers' Director of Online Community, wrote in an email, "But our rivers  the main source of water for most Americans  are under tremendous pressure. Too much water is being pumped out, too much pollution is being dumped in, too many dams block our rivers, and too much pavement is smothering riverside habitat."

He continued by saying that there are many challenges ahead but success depends on people getting involved.

"We believe every community deserves a healthy river," he stated, "Because communities with healthy rivers will enjoy ample clean water supplies, economic opportunity, and a high quality of life."

St Croix River

Sign the petition to Protect Wild Rivers
Support Protecting 5000 New Miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers

“In celebration of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the national Wild and Scenic Rivers System we urge you to defend and protect our nation’s 208 national Wild and Scenic Rivers and the public lands through which many of them flow. Join us in calling for additional Wild and Scenic protections for 5,000 miles of rivers and 1,000,000 acres of riverside lands across the country. At a time when we should be celebrating nearly 50 years of wild river protection, some of our best rivers flowing through public lands across the country are at risk. We urge you to oppose any efforts by Congress or the Administration that seek to weaken existing protections or transfer our treasured public lands and Wild and Scenic Rivers."