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Sat Mar 14, 2015, 10:48 PM

Why We Celebrate Rivers (Happy Internat'l Day of Action for Rivers!)

Why We Celebrate Rivers


...In India, rivers like the Yamuna and Narmada are worshipped as goddesses. Rivers feed us, connect us, and give us a sense of identity. This is why we celebrate them with an International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14 every year.

Scientists confirm what our ancestors knew from experience. Rivers connect land, freshwater and marine ecosystems. They host some of the world’s most diverse plant and animal communities. Rivers sustain much of our agriculture, and their fisheries nourish millions. Their sediments protect our coastlines against erosion by the sea, and pull carbon out of the atmosphere. Healthy rivers act as natural buffers that balance ever more serious floods and droughts.

We often ignore that we depend on rivers for our long-term prosperity. We are damming them, polluting them and sucking them dry. Some rivers don’t even reach the sea anymore. Between 10,000 and 20,000 freshwater species are at risk of extinction or have already died out. Because their migration routes have been cut, the survival of 24 of the world’s 26 majestic sturgeon species is threatened or near-threatened.

Rivers and other wetlands are more strongly affected by the loss of species than any other major ecosystem...

...Please take a moment to think about what you can do to protect the arteries of our planet. We can all avoid products that waste and pollute valuable water. We can educate our children about a way of life that respects the ecosystems of our planet. We can raise our voices and cast our votes to support the protection of the environment. We can get engaged in local watershed groups and support organizations like International Rivers. Because, after all, rivers are in our hands.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/03/14/why-we-celebrate-rivers


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