Thought for the Day

“If we pollute the air and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us”   David Suzuki

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Ways to Complain

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NO one has called, but the White House comment line is closed!
No one has made calls to Donald Trump complaining about his renewal of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines??? The White House comment line has been closed for a few weeks!  This is what he said this week, “As you know I approved two pipelines that were stuck in limbo forever. I don’t even think it was controversial. I approved them. I haven’t even had one call from anybody saying that was a terrible thing you did. I haven’t had one call … Then as you know I did the Dakota Pipeline and no one called up to complain.” Donald Trump
The telephone comment line to might be closed , but you can send a tweet @realDonaldTrump or send a post card. I hope you will do both. You can also call one of his businesses: https://whitehouseinc.org/  or contact him through this link: http://p2a.co/xdL9jbf

Some background:

  1. This is an excellent analysis from NRDC.
  2. More information from Ecowatch
  3. An idea for a postcard from NRDC “I am outraged that you have issued executive memoranda clearing the way for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines with no input from the American public. I urge you to reverse course on these dangerous and dirty fossil fuel projects.
    These pipelines are not in our national interest and I, along with millions of others, will fight you every step of the way if your administration moves forward with them.” Idea from NRDC for postcard20170124_153543

 

 

Plunging Into the Unknown

15823364_718364334989461_4505640581112931957_nThe year ahead is impossible to predict. As with every year, many unknowns lie ahead. Most of us like being in control, and the unknowns are scary. What can we control in 2017? How we treat other people, and how we treat the earth are things we can control.  What kinds of kindness can we spread?

I hope 2017 fills you with kindness!

Kindness to our air and water!
Kindness to our air and water!

Protecting our Waterways

Keep our lakes and rivers clean
Keep our lakes and rivers clean

The leaves are falling, and it is raking season.  What does this have to do with water quality?

The substances that turn our lakes and rivers green each summer come from our lawns and yards. We think of leaves as waste, but to a lake they are food. The algae in lakes love leaves, and when we feed lakes too many leaves, algal blooms turn our lakes and rivers green and smelly. Protecting water is everyone’s job What can you do? Simple–remember the land/water connection! What we do to the land we do to the water. Clean your streets when the leaves fall from the trees, and when you mow the grass clean your streets, also. Keep our lakes and rivers clean.

One River Drains Lake Superior

Magnificent Lake Superior has over 300 rivers and streams that drain into it. Last week it was a brown lake because of mega rainfall in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan where many rivers dumped sediment from the storms. I am on a road trip from Duluth, Minnesota along the south shore of Lake Superior to Sault Ste Marie and the St. Mary’s River. Canada is on the other side of the lake and across the St. Mary’s River.

An ore boat leaves Lake Superior on the St Mary’s. River headed toward Lake Huron

Even though 300 streams drain into the big lake only one, the St. Mary’s River, carries boats and water away from Lake Superior. The St. Mary’s River carries about 42 billion gallons of water from Lake Superior daily.

Lake Superior, looks browner than this picture below appears.  I think the sun makes it look bluer than it is.

What happened to our “Sky Blue” waters?

Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.
Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.

Minnesota, the land of “Sky Blue Waters” is adding more than 300 lakes, rivers and streams to its list of lakes and streams that are impaired. The story from MPR is here.

About two-thirds of Minnesota watersheds have been tested and 40 percent of Minnesota rivers and lakes have been found to be impaired by farm runoff, bacteria, mercury or other pollutants.

 

The below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, and the EPA, and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
1 .Be conservative with your water use.
2. Recycle as much as you can with the 4 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. And….NEVER burn trash.
3. Curb Yard Pollution. Put your lawn on a chemical-free diet!!
4. Stop aquatic invasives by cleaning plants and animals off your boat.
5. Plant native plants, and reduce turf grass.
6. Plant native trees According to Audubon, oak trees are the best for attracting insects and birds.
7. Install a rain barrel
8. Create an energy-efficient home.
9. Bring hazardous waste to waste collection sites.
10. Love our lakes!

I would add several more:
1. Rain gardens are excellent for capturing harmful water runoff.
2. Keep leaves and trash out of streets and storm drains-Adopt a storm drain!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

3. Never use cleaning products or hand sanitizer with triclosan.
4. Reduce all plastic use–If you must use plastic bags and bottles, be sure you recycle them.                                                  5. Pick up all liter.

 

 

 

If You Love The Lake!

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Minneapolis is a city of lakes. “Walking the lake” is a big deal for most of us, and the lakes are magnets for people from all over the Twin Cities metro area and state. I am impressed with this educational campaign taking place along the walking paths of the Minneapolis lakes.
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Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.
Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.

It looks like a thirsty future for the world. The Pacific Standard Magazine has just publish a map of the world’s troubled waters  and some of the politics around water.  More things you can do to protect our water bodies here.