River Voices: September 2022
Welcome to the September 2022 edition of River Voices. This month, dive into community-led research (CLR) through a story map highlighting the work of four network members employing CLR to equitably and successfully carry out climate resilience solutions in their communities.
ICYMI: We the People of Detroit shared how you can help the residents of Jackson, Mississippi.
Communities across the US are more and more frequently impacted by climate change and increasingly face problems like property damage and health and safety issues as a result of flooding and extreme heat. Inadequate wastewater treatment and lack of access to safe and affordable drinking water in many communities compound these threats. Community-based organizations in our network have repeatedly emphasized that to equitably and successfully carry out climate resilience solutions, it’s imperative to directly engage with community members to deeply understand how the problems directly impact them. In our latest story map, learn more about this work and meet four community projects in detail.
“It’s always what’s next, what can we do to support the people in the community? You never know what the community will bring. We’re a family and we keep in touch with each other. I’m proud to say that other neighborhoods around Houston are incorporating these ideas. “
-Doris Brown, West Street Recovery
“This ‘Owner’s Manual’ is our guide to personal involvement in the most important decisions about our rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes and estuaries.”
We couldn’t put it better than President Jimmy Carter did for the 2nd edition in 2005. We’re thrilled to be updating and reissuing the Manual to commemorate this landmark legislation’s 50th anniversary and mark our continued resolve to protect waterways across our country.
Doris is West Street Recovery’s Co-Director of Community Research, Organizing, and Special Events and a co-founder of the Northeast Action Collective. She has advocated in the Houston area since she was 12 years old. Now with West Street Recovery she works to mitigate flooding in five different zip codes in the northeast part of Houston.
In the interview, learn more about this work and a West Street Recovery’s CLR project illustrating flooding in Northeast Houston.
“I believe similar to how a wide range of plant and animal species make for a strong and healthy environment, it is critical to have, and make accessible, ALL voices represented at the table for a more equitable and inclusive present and future.”
Grace joined us in August as the Community Engagement Associate, supporting the corporate partnerships program by connecting with local partners to implement programs that enhance and protect water quality for all.
At River Rally 2022 in Washington, DC, attendees collaborated on a collective mural, thanks to the innovation, creativity, and enthusiasm of the Blue Art Collective. The mural seeks to answer the questions ‘what does water give us,’ and ‘what can we give water’? Each plank you see above was inspired by these questions, with participants reflecting on the first question in the top half, and the second question on the bottom.
Now, the mural is installed at the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) in DC for visiting school groups to see on field trips. We’re grateful to the Blue Art Collective, the DC Department of Energy and Environment and AREC, and all the Rally participants who spent time artmaking with us!
Is your river facing a decision in the coming year that will impact its fate? America’s Most Endangered Rivers® is the most influential national campaign to galvanize public action and secure victories for rivers, clean water and communities. American Rivers is now accepting nominations for their 2023 report from interested groups throughout the United States. American Rivers would especially like to highlight rivers where communities are impacted by environmental justice concerns.
The 10 rivers selected as America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2023 will be spotlighted in a report released on April 18, 2023. If you have questions about the (or have trouble with the nomination form), please contact Simone Sampson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events & Learning Opportunities
Sept. 17, 9:30a MT
Colorado folks! Join our team, Ball Corporation, Protect Our Rivers, and local volunteers at Gold Strike Park to celebrate National Clean Up Day and remove trash from to help us pick up one of the most polluted stretches of Clear Creek. The RN team will be in town for a staff retreat and onsite as well!
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1
Throughout the week, American Water Works Association will be raising awareness about the importance of caring for our beautiful drinking water sources.
Source Water Protection Week materials are now available, and many additional resources will be added between now and Sept. 25.
Join the Hispanic Access Foundation from October 11-14 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous People’s Day, and uplifting the nexus between Latino, Black, Indigenous and other communities of color and the lands, waterways, ocean and climate we call home.
Nov. 9 & 16, 9a PT/12p ET
Organizations of all sizes are facing budget challenges this decade driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting funder priorities, stimulus money and more. In this two part series, we’re host The Fellows Group to talk about budget approaches and how to adapt as your needs and circumstances change.
What We’re Reading (And Watching)
This month, we have two reading lists to share!
- Desiree Adaway’s Summer Reading List: founder and principal of the Adaway Group, check out Desiree’s reading list for titles on mutual aid, ableism, and critical race theory.
- The Joy Trip Reading Project, Fall 2022: James Edward Mills’s learning community has quite the list for this fall! From Catherine Coleman Flowers’s Waste to Majora Carter’s Reclaiming Your Community: You Don’t Have to Move out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One, read along with James and register for the online forum to connect with the authors.