This World Rivers Day, September 24, the Rose Foundation reflected on the value of rivers, and our role in protecting these vital veins and arteries of our planet. In many ways California is on the leading edge when it comes to environmental protection, yet of the over 66,000 miles of assessed rivers in the state, over 90% are too degraded or polluted to meet state water quality standards.
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Special thanks to ARTA River Trips for donating a rafting trip to the Rose Foundation and our New Voices students! Our work often centers on protecting our California rivers, but we rarely get a chance to jump right into them.
Last Wednesday 250 members of farm-working communities joined Californians for Pesticide Reform in Sacramento to call for a ban on the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. The EPA has failed to ban Chlorpyrifos despite extensive scientific evidence of its harmfulness, leaving it up to the state government to protect farmworkers from this dangerous chemical. CPR has petitioned Governor Jerry Brown with a letter supported by 167,000 signatures calling for a statewide banned on chlorpyrifos.
n June 26, we were happy to welcome our students for the first day of the Summer Climate Justice Youth Leadership Academy! On Wednesday our students toured the EcoCenter and on Firday they went on an environmental justice tour of Modesto lead by Friends of the River and the Tuolumne River Trust.
On June 1, New Voices student-interns joined local youth and visited Phil Tagami’s office in downtown Oakland to ask why he won’t drop his lawsuit against the city’s ban on coal exports. The students wore elf hats saying “it’s Christmas in June, don’t give the kids coal.”
With pollution, dams and climate change altering the face of our watersheds, our rivers are starting to look less and less familiar. On River Day, May 3, our New Voices youth interns went to lobby at the California State Assembly for bills AB 1667, 1668 and 1669 to protect water in California. These three bills together increase agricultural water efficiency, help communities prepare for drought years, and set standards for urban water conservation.