We don’t have big rivers. (Head nod to San Diego River Park Foundation, The Escondido Creek Conservancy and their brethren.) We don’t have big rivers like Pittsburgh. For four and a half days recently, Matt and I communed with more than 600 clean water advocates at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Pittsburgh. These already powerful rivers meet and give birth to the mighty Ohio River, which courses through four states and provides water for 3 million people before it joins the Mississippi River.
It is awe inspiring to see the force and power of the water coursing between the banks of these rivers; as it is to be in the company of so many people with a passion for our work. I recommend to anyone doing a job, pursuing a cause or reaching for a goal to find likeminded people and spend some time together. The River Rally brought together River Network and Waterkeeper Alliance member organizations. We celebrated with a speech by His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa, now working with the Waterkeeper Alliance to protect the Himalayan glaciers, which provide some of the drinking water for more than 1 billion people who live downstream. He spoke of his quest to protect this “roof of the world.” And he pronounced joy at the power of togetherness. Now, with the Waterkeeper Alliance at his shoulder, he can be more effective.
San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable, drinkable water in San Diego County. Despite at times feeling like a small force of just five in a town of three million, the truth is that we are one of 219 Waterkeeper organizations throughout the world fighting to protect this Earth’s water. And just as we tap into the experience and expertise of those organizations, we also have numerous local organizations on our team and thousands of volunteers. Together we have a confluence of power.