Welcome to this edition of my weekly blog, this week we’ll learn more about the River Alliance of Wisconsin. For the past four or five years, I’ve taken photos at their annual River Bash, this year held at the UW Memorial Union, that recognizes volunteers and contributors for their efforts to protect Wisconsin’s waters. Like most nonprofit organizations, it operates on a shoestring so relies on volunteers and sponsors to support their cause. It also means they have a small but energetic staff so I’m honored to be asked to volunteer my time for this important cause.
The River Alliance of Wisconsin was organized over 25 years ago in 1993 with the mission to empower people to protect and restore water. They do this through a membership of over 1500 individuals, businesses and advocacy groups as well as hundreds of volunteers. These folks help to find and eliminate aquatic invasive species; educate the public about threats to ground water; work with local organizations and agencies on the contamination of water from mining activities; and work to reduce run off pollution from farms, streets and roads, factories and sewage treatment plants. They also work with over 80 citizen based river and watershed groups from around Wisconsin on issues of local importance. If this post peaks your interest in working on water issues, click here for more information.
The River Bash brings together River Rats as they affectionally call themselves. This year they honored three people as River Champions, an award given to river and water advocates in Wisconsin. Drs. Michael Alfieri and Ted Wilson of Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance were the honorees. Lindsay Wood Davis was honored with a Lifetime Service Award for his work advocating for water issues before the state legislature and Congress as well as educating people through his work at a local radio station. After receiving his honor, he stated that he’s only 69, does that mean his life is over?! I thought that was hilarious. The keynote speaker at this year’s event was the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, Mandala Barnes who encouraged the attendees to keep up their important advocacy work. It was a pleasant evening that included food, drinks conversation and lots of photo taking.
That does it for this week, hope you enjoy learning more about the River Alliance and the work they do. Next up, the first of many posts from my travels to Australia.
Until then, happy travels.