Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cleaning Up the River

Photo: Eddy Miller found some trash when he was paddling the Deschutes River and carried it for miles until he got to a public trash can. Way to go Eddy!! Thanks for setting such a great example!

Some people just don't get it. They throw something away and forget that "away" is just another way of saying "somewhere-else-other-than-next-to-me". And that attitude is really annoying when I'm on the water and see trash either floating, sunk or on the shoreline. Throwing anything into the water that isn't easily biodegradable (like your apple-core is) only results in pollution.

A side effect of getting on the water regularly, is that we are becoming more aware of water quality. Things that we never really paid much attention to before we stepped into the water regularly, like toxic algae blooms (a natural phenomenon on some of the Cascade Lakes) or agricultural water pollution (a big deal in the Columbia Gorge, Oregon) are now personally important.

And, considering the effects that Global Climate Change is having and predicted to have upon our planets fresh water systems and seas, becoming sensitive to water quality issues is important. Water purity and healthy freshwater rivers and lakes are fed from rain and snow. In North America (and other countries whose latitude puts it closer to the poles) global climate change is already resulting in changes to the snow pack.

This past winter 2009, our daughter Isabella competed in the Cross Country Skiing Junior Olympics, held in Truckee, California. Allison Gannet, founder of Save Our Snow Foundation spoke eloquently about the interconnection of the snow packs around the world and the effect on water. Take a moment to look at her site and learn about how to shrink your own carbon foot print. Shrinking your carbon foot print is a pro-active and personal way to support our water ways.

Stand up paddle boarding has not only changed our lives by being such fun and introducing us to cool and interesting people, standup paddling is awakening us to our intimate human connection with the water system. See you on the water!

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