River Protectors Swim Across the Qiantang


Colorful Body-Painted River Protectors Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China

By Green Zhejiang, reposted with permission from the Green Zhejiang blog.

Translated by Katherine Olson

用中文阅读 / Read in Chinese

At 8:40 AM on the morning of August 25, the opening ceremony for the 2019 “Swim Across the Qiantang River” activity was kicked off at the Hangzhou Qianjiang New City Balcony. Now a traditional scenic race of Hangzhou and one of the city’s two biggest outdoor recreation events, the Qiantang River crossing swim event originated in 2006 and has become more and more popular each year it is organized, attracting swimming enthusiasts from around the country.

As the starting bells rang, over 2,000 brave swimmers took to the river, leaping into the water from the starting point on the south bank and swimming tirelessly to the finish line at the north bank on the opposite side.

The Qiantang River Waterkeeper Team (Green Zhejiang) has participated in the event for six years in a row, and this year, they were given the honor of being the leading group for the entire river crossing event.

This year’s Qiantang River Waterkeeper Team consisted of 52 individuals from various fields in the private and public sector as well as college, secondary, and primary school students. The team was given strong support by Taigu Coca-Cola and had the slogan of “We Care: Protect Our Mother Rivers, Protect the Qiantang,” calling the public to action to make river protection measures a reality.

Colorful Waterkeepers Send Forth the Voice of Beautiful China

This year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and it was the first time that the Qiantang River Waterkeeper team decorated themselves with paint. Volunteers from Hangzhou Normal University’s College of Art painted various slogans and phrases on the bodies of the Waterkeeper Team swimmers, including their back, face, arms, chest, and more.

Protect the Qiantang, I love China, I love Hangzhou, Waterkeeper Alliance, “We Care”… these were but few of the slogans painted on the bodies of the Waterkeepers, celebrating 70 years since China’s founding. This also provided a reliable method for others to recognize which members of the swimming event came from the Waterkeepers team.

The body paint designs on the Waterkeepers team members drew the attention of the media and spectators at the event, who eagerly snapped photos of the Waterkeepers doing various poses.

Qiantang River Waterkeeper receives a global honor

Of all the teams participating in the river crossing event, Green Zhejiang’s Qiantang River Waterkeeper Team was the most special group. Chairman Bangqin Lin of Wenling Environmental Protection Volunteers Association has already participated six times and took part with Qiantang River Waterkeeper. He said that the Qiantang River Waterkeeper team isn’t just a group of swimming enthusiasts—they are environmental protection activists. 

Hao Xin, the Secretary-General of Green Zhejiang, participated in the river crossing for the fifth time. He explained that the Qiantang River Waterkeeper Movement was started by Green Zhejiang, and in 2010, the organization became the fourth Chinese member of Waterkeeper Alliance. Qiantang River Waterkeeper is working alongside over 300 other Waterkeeper groups to protect water resources around the world.

From 2010 up until now, Qiantang River Waterkeeper has taken part in a variety of internationally-influential environmental work: among many other contributions, they created an interactive environmental information map for citizen scientists, discovered and pushed for the resolution of over 600 environmental pollution cases, helped with the fruition of Zhejiang’s major government policy, “Treatment of 5 Waters,” promoted the establishment of citizen River Chiefs, organized environmental remediation round tables to promote cross-boundary dialogue, and directly participated in the creation of international standards for water resource management. This year is the 20th anniversary of Waterkeeper Alliance, and Hao Xin was selected as one of the “20 Waterkeeper Warriors;” in July, the water protection stories of all of these individuals and their Waterkeeper organizations, including that of Qiantang River Waterkeeper, was displayed on screens in New York City’s Times Square.

Water-Earth Successors Cross the Qiantang

This Qiantang River Waterkeeper river-crossing event is also an important part of the Coca-Cola “Water-Earth Successor” public benefit event series. Compared to several previous times, team members found that this year, the river’s waves were unusually large, which was quite challenging for young student swimmers.

In addition to that, this year’s water levels were lower, and more than 20 meters worth of muddy banks were exposed—team members had no choice but to slog through the mud to reach the finish line.

Some team members even expressed that crawling through the mud on the banks was more exhausting than the swim itself, while others jokingly called this year’s Cross the Qiantang event the “Mud Crawling Competition.”

Lie Shu, the general manager of a construction company, uses pubic participation activities such as this one to know the Qiantang River on a deeper level. To him, participating in protecting the Qiantang is a very meaningful thing, so he has persistently taken part six times on behalf of the Qiantang River Waterkeeper Team.

 

52名钱塘江护水者成功横渡钱塘江 彩绘身体向建国70周年致敬

作者: 绿色浙江

翻译者:Katherine Olson

8月25日上午8时40分,2019“横渡钱塘江”活动在杭州钱江新城市阳台钱塘江江面盛装开启。作为杭城的传统景观赛事和两大户外体育运动之一,横渡钱塘江自2006年恢复举办后越来越受欢迎,得到全国各地游泳爱好者的青睐。

随着发令枪响,两千余名横渡勇士,从钱塘江南岸起点跃入江中,劈波暂浪向北岸终点奋力游进。

今年的纯悦·钱塘江护水者队,也是绿色浙江连续第六次组织参与横渡,并且作为今年整个横渡活动的特别亮点被安排“打头阵”。

今年的钱塘江护水者队共有来自政府、企业、大中小学等各行各业护水队员52名,并得到了太古可口可乐的重要支持,队伍打出“我们在乎:保护母亲河,保护钱塘江”的口号,呼吁公众以实际行动保护钱塘江。

彩绘护水者传递美丽中国声音

今年是中华人民共和国建国70周年,钱塘江护水者队员们首次玩起了彩绘。来自杭州师范大学美术学院的志愿者为钱塘江护水者队画上了各种宣传口号,队员们在背上、脸上、手臂、胸前等画上自己喜欢的主题文字。

保护钱塘江、我爱中国、我爱杭州、护水者联盟和“我们在乎”口号……护水者们用身体宣传环保理念,致敬70周年国庆,这也成为了此次横渡识别钱塘江护水者队的最好的方式。

现场的钱塘江护水者队员们的各种彩绘,也吸引了各路媒体和观泳者,纷纷拿起相机请求护水者们摆个POSE。

钱塘江护水者获选护水者全球

在参加横渡的方阵中,绿色浙江的钱塘江护水者队是最为特殊的队伍。来自温岭市环保志愿者协会名誉主席林邦勤已经是连续第六次以钱塘江护水者的身份参加横渡了,他说钱塘江护水者的队员不仅是游泳爱好者,更是环保行动者。

绿色浙江秘书长忻皓也是第五次参加横渡,他介绍说绿色浙江发起的钱塘江护水者行动,2010年成为中国第四家全球护水者联盟的成员,钱塘江护水者和全球360多家护水者机构共同致力于全球水域保护。

从2010年至今,钱塘江护水者开发公众协作互动环境信息地图,发现并推动600多起环境污染案件解决,助力浙江“五水共治”重大决策,推动设立民间河长,组织环境治理圆桌会实现跨界对话,直接参与水资源管理国际标准制订等国际环境事务。今年是全球护水者联盟20周年,忻皓为代表的钱塘江护水者获评“全球20大护水英雄”,今年7月纽约时代广场电子屏幕还专门介绍了钱塘江护水者的故事。

水未来使者勇渡钱塘

此次钱塘江护水者横渡活动也是可口可乐“水未来使者”系列公益活动的重要组成。相比于以往几次,队员们普遍觉得今年的浪更大,这对队伍中的学生挑战更大。

此外,由于今年上岸点水位较低,离上岸点20多米处便是泥潭,队员不得不靠爬泥上岸。

一些队员表示上岸爬泥所花费的体力比在水中游花费的还多,更有人戏称今年的横渡钱塘江是“爬泥大赛”。

浙江省一建建设集团十公司总经理俞列表示,通过这样的公众参与方式,让更多人认识钱塘江、参与钱塘江保护很有意义,所以他坚持六次代表钱塘江护水者队参加横渡。


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