Monday, December 8, 2008

The Riverkeepers

A while back, Julie and I were cleaning out a few closets, and one of the boxes I had targeted for disposal was a rather hefty box of old marketing books. Times like these are always a good excuse to head for Half Price Books, as it represents a chance to do some recycling, and browse for some new intelligence at the same time.

This day, I happened across a volume called “The Riverkeepers,” written by John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

If you’re into river restoration, this is a very good book, chronicling the early era of environmental protection. The authors provide a vivid picture of the challenges they faced, as stewards of the Hudson River Valley in New York, and efforts that ranged from simple river cleanups… to precedent-setting litigation. As well, the story illustrates the important role everyday people can have in detecting environmental problems, and stopping them at their source. Cronin and Kennedy have convincingly argued that clean water is not just an environmental issue (which it is), but a constitutional matter as well; one of our very basic Civil Rights, and as such, deserving of protection.

This is not a new book (1997 hard cover, 1999 paperback by Touchstone), nor is it a new story. But it provides inspiration and insight that still applies today; I will benefit from this read, and so will the rivers I am involved with.

Important to note: Riverkeepers is not just the title of the book… it is the name of an organization intent on preserving the Hudson River Valley watershed. Here’s a link to their web site: The group eventually helped found The Waterkeeper Alliance, designed to provide guidance to others who aspire to protect other waterways. Here is a link to that web site: The “Keeper” monikers are a closely protected trademark of their respective organizations; for the record, neither I nor my blog are members of their organization at this writing.

© Mike D. Anderson

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