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How to Help Clean-Up Our Watery Planet: #NoDAPL 9/13, CA Cleanup Day 9/16

September 13, 2016

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APOD’s image for Sept. 11, 2016 was this one, above, titled “All the Water on Planet Earth” because that’s indeed what it illustrates — all of the water on earth represented by this small drop on top of our large in comparison planet.

From our perspective from the shore or from Cousteau Society or National Geographic specials or from images of Earth from space, we think the Earth has an abundance of water, albeit mostly salt water (according to USGS, 96.5%). But the truth is that while oceans cover “70 percent of Earth’s surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth’s radius.”

Jack Cook and Adam Nieman of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Howard Perlman of USGS created this illustration which APOD explains as depicting “what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth’s Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn’s moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How even this much water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth’s surface remain topics of research.”

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In this illustration, according to USGS, the large sphere, about 860 miles in diameter, represents “all water on, in, and above the Earth” while “the smaller sphere over Kentucky represents Earth’s liquid fresh water in groundwater, swamp water, rivers, and lakes” (169.5 miles in diameter). While that seems like a lot of fresh water, most of it is underground and unavailable to us. The water we do have access to is represented by the small blue dot only 22,339 miles in diameter or 35 miles high: that’s water in lakes and rivers.

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With this perspective in mind, I encourage you not just to save water, but to help keep it clean by joining 60,000 people at the 32nd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday, September 17th, 2016. Help remove debris from beaches, creeks, rivers, and lakes all around California to protect wildlife from harm while taking care of our environment.

But you don’t have to go anywhere to protect our wildlife from the threat of single use plastic. Start by reducing consumption first and foremost of single use plastic. Second, when possible, reuse (but don’t reuse plastic disposable water bottles!) Third, keeping in mind that plastic has little resale value, recycle.

For more about why recycling plastic water bottles is more of a problem than a solution, check outThe Story of Water and the Story of Stuff.

Motivated to change your plastic consuming ways? Here are 16 tips to reduce plastic waste. 

The production of single use plastic from oil is also highly destructive to the planet.

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Right now, the Sioux are fighting to protect their water supply because the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens it as well as sacred lands;  over 7000 protectors are staying at the Sacred Stone Camp in support of Standing Rock making Watford City the 12th largest city in North Dakota!

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But you don’t have to go there. People throughout the country are showing their support and solidarity TODAY in various ways.

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Locally, in Ojai on Tuesday, September 13 join a peaceful rally at Libbey Park Pergola from 5-6:30pm to call on President Obama to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits for this dirty oil pipeline. Please bring art and banners — and be sure to share on social media with #NoDAPL.  More on this important issue to follow!

According to organizers,

If built, Dakota Access would carry toxic fracked oil from North Dakota across four states and under the Missouri River, immediately upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. That makes it a threat to the sacred land and water of Native communities and a disaster for the climate.

Thousands of Indigenous activists have set up prayer camps along the pipeline route in a historic moment of nonviolent resistance. They’re fighting with everything they have to protect their water, the land, their history, and the climate — and we need to fight with them.

To defeat a pipeline, it takes a movement of people from all corners of the nation. That’s why on Tuesday, September 13, people around the country are taking part in a day of action in solidarity with Standing Rock calling on President Obama to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits for this dirty oil pipeline.

Find a #NoDAPL action near you.

What can you do TODAY? Actions targeting financial institutions funding the pipeline are happening around the country between now and September 17. Join one!

Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 telling President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Spread the word on social media using #NoDAPL

 

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