Our hearts are breaking for the violence and anger erupting across our country. On top of the exhaustion of months of uncertainty and anxiety around the global pandemic and record unemployment, we are witnessing the result of centuries of racism and injustice reaching a new and unprecedented tipping point.
River Partners stands with those seeking justice. The future of our nation requires a definitive end to systemic racism.
Our organization has always stood for people. We bring life back to river landscapes for wildlife and for human beings who depend upon our rivers for clean water, places of respite and solitude, commerce, recreation, and for the continued health of our planet. All people deserve and depend on these things, not just those who have the benefit of privilege.
There is no doubt that injustice affects every single one of us, and correcting injustice requires all of us: birders, clergy, teachers, rafters, police, engineers, children, leaders, biologists, elderly, rich and poor.
Do our rivers have anything to do with correcting the social degradation of our legacy of racism? Yes. Healthy rivers wash, invigorate and sustain every one of us.
Does river restoration have anything to do with quelling the anger and anxiety of decades of injustice? Absolutely. Caring for our rivers connects us to one another and to our earth, and spreads hope that we can recover, we can do better.
Our healthy lands, waters and forests are frustratingly inaccessible to millions of us. River Partners is a small part of a worldwide force committed to healing our planet for the benefit of future generations. We can offer this one small contribution: dedication of our hearts, our minds, our work, and our resources to empower people to revitalize their rivers for the public good. We will speak up when we witness injustice and seek to build a more equitable world, from the ground up. We will continue to toil every day to ensure that all people can access the beauty and value of our rivers.
Today, and into the future, we will continue to offer snapshots of good news from the front lines of river revitalization. We can rebuild what was lost and repair the damage. Hope is not just the comfort that we need right now, it is our strongest weapon.
* Header photo by Jason Mrachina.