Our world is defined by rivers. From China’s mighty Yangtze River to the smallest hidden stream in New England, rivers unfurl across the land like a network of great blue ribbons, joining nations and drawing people together; reducing the distance between rural and urban.
And the water flowing through rivers and streams is nothing less than the Earth’s lifeblood. Pick a place, and you’ll find that water supports its local economy, nourishes its culture and sustains the health of its people and wildlife.
Yet many of Earth’s rivers are dangerously imperiled. In America, nearly three quarters of all rivers are compromised by pollution or altered water flows. The cost of that loss is unimaginable; the value of clean and abundant fresh water incalculable.
To sustain life on Earth we must protect rivers, but the protection of the water flowing within them is but one step in the process. From its headwaters to its outlet, each river is composed of essential elements. And each of these parts must be kept in good working order for the entire river to be healthy.
Then find out how you can help! There are many ways individuals can conserve water and rivers, from reducing water consumption to getting involved with a local conservation organization, each of which helps sustain Earth’s precious lifeblood.
“The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.” Tanaka Shozo, 1910
March 22, 2011