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Book cover for "The Water Defenders"
Beacon Press / Beacon Press

At a time when countless communities are resisting powerful corporations—from Flint, Michigan, to the Standing Rock Reservation, to Didipio in the Philippines, to the Gualcarque River in Honduras—The Water Defenders tells the inspirational story of a community that took on an international mining corporation at seemingly insurmountable odds and won not one but two historic victories.


In the early 2000s, many people in El Salvador were at first excited by the prospect of jobs, progress, and prosperity that the Pacific Rim mining company promised. However, farmer Vidalina Morales, brothers Marcelo and Miguel Rivera, and others soon discovered that the river system supplying water to the majority of Salvadorans was in danger of catastrophic contamination. With a group of unlikely allies, local and global, they committed to stop the corporation and the destruction of their home.

Based on over a decade of research and their own role as international allies of the community groups in El Salvador, Robin Broad and John Cavanagh unspool this untold story—a tale replete with corporate greed, a transnational lawsuit at a secretive World Bank tribunal in Washington, violent threats, murders, and—surprisingly—victory. 

Swimming is much more than an Olympic event. According to 2017 data 27 million Americans swim for fitness. Similar data is reported from English cities where more than 4 million men and women's swim at least once a month. USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, has 400,000 members and 2800 teams in the country.

Howard Means has just authored the new book "Splash: 10,000 Years of Swimming."

From 2001-2010, kayakers from around the world traveled to the Hudson Valley for the Great Hudson River Paddle, hosted by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

In 2017, Hudson River Valley Greenway was awarded a grant to revive the beloved Paddle. For this year’s excursion, Hudson River Expeditions, a private kayaking adventure operator based in Cold Spring, was chosen to breathe new life into the Paddle over the next three years.

The company plans to relaunch the new Hudson River Paddle with some significant changes including all-inclusive offerings for participants. This year’s paddle takes place August 1-5 and registration is open now.

Brian Grahn is the owner of Hudson River Expeditions.

In his new book "Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism," David Schuyler describes the efforts to reverse the pollution and bleak future of the Hudson River that became evident in the 1950s.

Through his investigative narrative, Schuyler uncovers the critical role of this iconic American waterway in the emergence of modern environmentalism in the United States. Oblong Books in Rhinebeck is having an event tomorrow night at 6 p.m. featuring Schuyler, who will be joined in discussion by Paul Gallay, President of Hudson Riverkeeper.

David Schuyler is Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College and is the author of numerous books, including the award-winning "Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820–1909."

Andrew Bird
Reuben Cox / http://sacksco.com

Andrew Bird is playing at The Egg in Albany, New York on Monday, March 5 and at UPAC in Kingston, New York on Wednesday, March 7.

The Chicago-born, LA-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist, master-whistler, and lyricist has been creating music for more than twenty years. Bird’s most recent release, “Echolocations: River,” was recorded as he stood ankle-deep in the Los Angeles River under The Hyperion Bridge. “Echolocations: Canyon” was released in 2015 and was recorded inside the Coyote Gulch canyons of Utah. The recordings are filmed by Tyler Manson.

He joined us to preview his upcoming shows and talk about the unique process he used to create the Echolocations albums.

Clearwater Sloop
clearwater.org

For over 45 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., founded by Pete Seeger, has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, and providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people.

Clearwater will honor former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck at the organization’s Third Annual Spirit of the Hudson Gala on Sunday, February 11 at The Garrison in Garrison, NY.  Enck will be given Clearwater’s "Spirit of the Hudson Award" for her longtime service to the environment.

Judith joins us along with Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director for Clearwater. 

From the California drought, to the Oroville Dam flood, to the drilling of the Dakota Access Pipeline - environmental and humanitarian issues are at the forefront of conversation as the new administration takes the helm.

Water problems in the Western United States are just the tip of the iceberg, and they can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and remove the lawyers the equation.

In Where The Water Goes: Life And Death Along The Colorado RiverNew Yorker writer David Owen takes a closer look at a vast man-made ecosystem around the Colorado River that is far more complex and interesting than the headlines let on. 

nyalert.gov

The sewer leak into a tributary of the Mohawk River began Monday morning. A NY-Alert Wednesday afternoon says the untreated sewage, caused by a broken pipe, was flowing into the river at an estimated 50 gallons per minute.

The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn't just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history.

The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face to face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity.

The new book: Heaven's Ditch by Historian Jack Kelly illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this "psychic highway" from its opening in 1825 through 1844. 

Jack Kelly will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck July 14, at the Schenectady Canal Festival at Mabee Farm Historic Site July 16, and at Northshire Books in Saratoga July 17. 

Work began Wednesday  in the western Massachusetts town of  Pelham to remove a public safety threat and at the same time provide an ecological benefit to the region.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Environmental officials, and others celebrated as work began to remove a stone dam on the Amethyst Brook. It will result  in better water quality and open a corridor for the migration of aquatic wildlife, according to  Wendi Weber, the northeast regional director for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

A third year of dredging for PCBs has begun on the upper Hudson River. The Environmental Protection Agency says dredging started for the season Wednesday. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

General Electric Co. plans to start with a single dredge about 40 miles north of Albany and ramp up work over the next few weeks.  Three to four dredges will eventually be operating all day, six days a week along a two-mile stretch of river south of Fort Edward.