A Weird Yet Wonderful Earth Week

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A Weird Yet Wonderful Earth Week

Dear Black Warrior Riverkeeper supporters,

What a long, strange week it’s been!  For Black Warrior Riverkeeper staff and volunteers, Earth Week normally involves several large public gatherings such as scholastic Earth Day fairs, Enviro Days at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., and our biggest annual event, Earthbound’s Earthfest.  With COVID-19 rendering such celebrations temporarily impossible, we followed Waterkeeper Alliance’s call to observe Earth Day’s Fiftieth Anniversary by gathering online.

Sure enough, I had the privilege of helping lead a statewide gathering online this week: Alabama Rivers Alliance’s new “Water is Life” series.   Check out our partners at Coosa Rivekeeper in the next episode!

We also made our mark nationally this week.  America’s most widely read magazine, Parade Magazine has a circulation of 32 million and a readership of 54 million through over 700 newspapers.  Their Earth Day focus this week highlighted 1 group and activity in each state.  Black Warrior Riverkeeper was proud to represent Alabama and Waterkeeper Alliance on slide 1.  Bham Now published a local perspective on this national spotlight.

Also in nationwide news, America’s vital but vulnerable waterways had a massive victory this week as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting water from pollution!

Good news occurred locally too, as EPA Region 4 awarded the Freshwater Land Trust and many partners – including us and Cahaba Riverkeeper – a grant to install more Litter Gitters in the Black Warrior and Cahaba River watersheds!  And just as one of our land trust allies got stronger, so did another when The Nature Conservancy in Alabama hired our longtime friend and partner Mitch Reid as their new executive director!

With all these excellent developments occurring for us locally and nationally, it is essential to remember that we are only as strong as our support base – you!  Please review our diverse list of ongoing ways to help Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Waterkeepers Alabama, and your local waterways during the pandemic.

Cleanups – either solo or with your family – are an especially fun and healthy way to help your water and neighbors as the beautiful spring weather emerges.  Please send an email to [email protected]  to get some easy guidelines, and then email us pictures from your cleanups.  You might even end up in the news!

Amidst all the good environmental news and opportunities, threats remain and you can help.  Please continue to report pollution as we continue to patrol waterways, test water quality, review polluters’ discharge reports, and file lawsuits.  We also hope you will learn more about the looming threat of coal ash, and how you can take action, by visiting this website we recently launched with several strong allies across the state: AlabamaCoalAsh.org.

Thank you all so much for supporting Black Warrior Riverkeeper during these strange times.  I continue to pray that you and your families are safe.  As I type while my three little kids are bouncing round the room, I am reminded how crucial it will be for the first 50 years of Earth Day to make a positive ripple for the next 50.

For Cleaner Water,

Charles Scribner
Executive Director
Black Warrior Riverkeeper
[email protected]

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