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NFC: Fw: RiverCurrents: March 22, 2002

-------- Forwarded message ----------
From: American Rivers <action at action_amrivers.org>
To: robertrice at juno_com
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 14:31:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RiverCurrents: March 22, 2002
Message-ID: <3324791.1016836313859.JavaMail.IWAM_EUG-APP01@eug-app01>

RiverCurrents: March 22, 2002

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The online community for river activists and river friends

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* California: Transporting water...in giant baggies?
* Midwest: Indiana's "polluted waters" list now at 485
* Rockies: Taking recycling to the next level

* Dam removal: it's about rebirth, not destruction
-- by Ted Williams

* For efforts to restore Maine's Atlantic salmon

* Readers list their favorite river tunes

* Readers share their own ideas

* "Sacrificing the Salmon" by Michael C. Blumm



1)        CALIFORNIA
Community speaks out against water transport scheme

San Diego wants more water-- and Alaska entrepreneur Ric Davidge 
believes he has the solution: Tap northern California rivers and 
pump the water into giant baggies, then sell the baggies south.

Community members gathered in Mendocino County on Saturday for a 
standing-room only public meeting about the proposed plan. As 
reports the Press Democrat (3-17-02), as Davidge outlined the 
details for his plan to capture water from the Gualala and Albion 
rivers, "expressions in the crowd of about 200 people ranged from 
bemusement to outrage."

A "giant straw" would carry the fresh water into the ocean where 
it would be pumped into giant poly-fiber bags. Davidge's company, 
World Water SA, has created bags "100 feet wide, 800 feet long 
and 25 feet deep to carry enough water to supply at least 40,000 
homes for one year."

The Press Democrat reports, "About 14.7 million gallons of water 
would be transported during each of nine round trips a week during 
the rainy season between the Mendocino Coast and San Diego."

Many community members are amazed by the proposal and have already 
vowed to fight it. "Before the meeting, about 50 demonstrators 
gathered at the Highway 1 bridge over the Gualala River, parading 
with signs to the honks and cheers of passing motorists." 
(Press Democrat, 3-17-02).

"This is only the beginning," Albion resident Linda Perkins told 
the newspaper. "We will not allow anyone to drain our rivers to 
benefit greedy corporations and urban consumers."

"When people in San Diego empty their swimming pools and close down 
the golf courses, then maybe I'll take some of this seriously," Sea 
Ranch resident Ursula Jones told the paper.

"This scheme not only threatens listed fish species and the local 
economy and water supply, it sets a lousy precedent for sustainable 
water management," said American Rivers' Steve Rothert from his 
office in Nevada City, California.

Davidge's proposal must still undergo substantial review.


Last week we unveiled our River Tunes web page -- now, come
see the growing list of "readers' favorites!" 



2)        MIDWEST
Indiana's "polluted waters" list now at 485

Indiana's waters are in bad shape, according to a new survey. 
A significant majority of the state's streams, rivers, creeks, 
and lakes have pollution problems.

As reports the Indianapolis Star (3-18-02), "The Indiana Department 
of Environmental Management intends to add 277 Hoosier streams, 
rivers, creeks, ditches and lakes to its inventory of environmentally 
impaired bodies of water later this year as a result of the survey. 
The additions will bring the number of troubled waterways in the 
state to 485."

"This does not mean that the waters in the state have gotten worse," 
Cyndi Wagner, head of the Indiana Department of Environmental 
Management's impaired water systems program, told the newspaper. "It 
means our ability is significantly better to find pollutants that 
have been out there all along."

Pollutants fouling the waters include fertilizers, industrial 
chemicals, animal wastes, human sewage and pesticides. According to 
the Indianapolis Star, a top environmental official says people 
should think twice before swimming in, drinking from, or eating fish 
caught in the state's rivers, streams, and lakes.

The list of polluted waters will be shared with the US Environmental 
Protection Agency and will make the state eligible for federal 
cleanup grants.

Ed Kassig, a high school biology teacher, has taken his students to 
collect water samples from the White River each month for the past 
two years. The White River is on the state list.

Kassig is an avid fisherman and canoeist but told the newspaper he 
"won't eat the bass and perch he pulls from the river. He avoids any 
body contact beyond barefoot wading."

But he also says the river is improving, and is a "haven for ducks, 
herons, and osprey."

"I have lived here all my life," he told the paper. "The river is 
much cleaner now than it was 25 or 30 years ago."


"It's about rebirth, not destruction" 
--by Ted Williams

Ted Williams, conservation editor of Fly Rod & Reel magazine,
writes about the benefits of removing dams that don't make sense.




The Maine Congressional delegation has secured $1 million from 
the US Congress to support a second year of funding for restoration 
efforts on behalf of Maine's diminished wild Atlantic Salmon 
populations. Grants can go to non-profit groups, local governments, 
and others working to restore salmon in certain Maine watersheds.

Click here for details:


3)        ROCKIES
Taking recycling to the next level

To Julee Herdt, wheat, soy, and sunflowers aren't just things you 
find at the local market - they're construction materials you can 
use to build your home.

Herdt, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of 
Colorado, is building her 4,700-square-foot house using as many 
bio-based and recycled materials as she can - proving that it's 
possible to significanly reduce one's impact on the environment.

As the Denver Post reports (3-21-02), Herdt wants to prove that 
it's not only possible, but "also livable and affordable."

Sunflower plants and soy adhesives are used to make the cabinets 
and wall panels. Wheat straw, drywall made from pressed wastepaper 
and other building products made from agricultural waste or 
recycled material, are used to make particle board. Insulation 
materials in the walls include sheep's wool and ground-up blue jeans. 
Herdt got the wood for some of her countertops from bowling alley 

A geo-exchange system heats and cools the house, using "liquid-filled 
pipes to transfer heat between the house and the ground 150 feet 
below, where the temperature remains constant at about 50 degrees. 
The system can be used to heat the house in winter and cool it in the 
summer. A photovoltaic or solar panel system helps run the heating 
system, so electricity costs for the rest of the house run about $50 
per month." (Denver Post, 3-21-02)

"I think people can pick up one or two ideas that they can use in 
their own homes," Herdt told the newspaper.

While the average per-square-foot cost to build a new home in 
Boulder, CO is $141, Herdt says it only cost her $65 per-square-foot 
to build her home.

"We're normal people; we can't be spending a ton of money to do 
this," Herdt told the Post. 



RiverCurrents readers have been emailing us their own strategies 
for conserving water and energy at home. We share some of the 
ideas below. If you have ideas of your own, please email them 
to asouers at amrivers_org.

**Just say no to climate control!**

"Your energy saving tip says to set the thermostat at 78 in summer--I 
have lived my entire life without using air conditioning, even though 
I have spent the last 11 summers in relatively sultry Cincinnati.  If
you let your body get used to the heat, it's actually a more pleasant 
way to live--you are not trapped in your house.  You need good cross 
ventilation and lots of trees, but people can survive this way.  In 
fact until recently, everyone had to!  I think people should be 
encouraged to forego air conditioning entirely--climate control is 
one of many things sending our climate out of control."
-- C. & J. Willis

**You know the old saying...**

"Since I have been receiving these news shorts on rivers, I have 
seen several dealing with sewage contaminating rivers. I believe 
American Rivers could perform a good service to its readers by 
suggesting that it is not necessary to flush the toilet every time 
it is used. I forget the old trite saying exactly, "yellow is mellow; 
brown, flush it down," but I believe this would help reduce the 
problems of sewage flowing into storm sewers. People seem to think 
there is an endless supply of water, which there isn't, and they 
should be encouraged to use their water, including that used in 
the toilet, more carefully and conscientiously."
-- T. Wong



Get Outside and Help Rivers!

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Outside will make a donation to American Rivers conservation 



"Sacrificing the Salmon" by Michael C. Blumm

Pacific salmon runs from California to Alaska function as barometers 
of the health of the watersheds they inhabit. Their decline 
throughout the twentieth century is a reflection of the deterioration 
of Pacific Northwest watersheds....In this book, Professor Michael 
Blumm explains the role of the law in the decline of what were once 
the largest of the Pacific salmon runs, those of the Columbia 
Basin....There are several lessons in this case study which may 
applicable to other resources in other regions.

Click here to learn more:



RiverCurrents is a weekly summary of river news and information as 
reported by media outlets and other sources across the country. The 
inclusion of a story or point of view in RiverCurrents does not 
necessarily indicate endorsement by American Rivers. Unless American 
Rivers' position is clearly indicated, stories or points of view 
expressed in RiverCurrents are solely those of the groups and 
individuals named and not those of American Rivers. 

If you have clarifications or corrections about a story in 
RiverCurrents, please send them to asouers at amrivers_org.

Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and 
restore America's rivers.

To contact American Rivers, email Rebecca Sherman at 
outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550, ext. 3052.

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