By: Ellen Simon
In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, Waterkeeper Alliance is making plans to continue our important mission-driven work, strengthening and supporting Waterkeepers around the world as they protect the bodies of water they love.
Right now, our employees are all working from home. Our NYC office is closed through March 31 and all in-person meetings are canceled until at least March 31.
Our work supporting our 350 Waterkeeper groups around the world, however, continues.
It’s important work. Our Waterkeepers are grassroots water defenders. They’re also community resources. They teach school children about fish. They run kayak operations. They organize cleanups.
Like so many small community groups, Waterkeepers are threads in the fabric of their communities, woven into the place you call home.
Following recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and public health officials, North Carolina’s Mountain True—home to French Broad Riverkeeper, Green Riverkeeper, Broad Riverkeeper, and Watauga Riverkeeper—is canceling all public events, hikes and training sessions for this spring, and its volunteer-based water monitoring programs, river cleanups, and public lands workdays will be on hiatus until further notice.
But the organization posted an activity guide on its website, and sent an email to supporters with seven things people can do during the pandemic to support clean water and the health of their communities, including signing a petition to support a comprehensive river clean-up plan, planting a native garden, and going out for a hike.
Savannah Riverkeeper has filled its Facebook feed with tips on environmental books, podcasts, and films to watch while at home.
“Our movement has a history of being the voice of care, the voice of the community, the voice of information,” says Krystyn Tully, vice president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. “It is no different now. We have the knowledge, experience, and information that can make this time easier for people.”
A connection to nature preserves our health—both our mental health and our physical health.
The work Waterkeepers do helps to preserve places we love, places we can visit for moments of respite, moments of calm.
Find your local Waterkeeper group here to learn about outdoor resources in your community.
In these trying times, we invite you to join us in supporting this work.
Feature image by EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock