People will naturally spend the most energy to defend the things that are closest to them and this year's Water Week challenge involves encouraging us to know, love, and work to preserve our local lakes and rivers.
IA great example of this kind of commitment are Lake Simcoe's Ladies of the Lake. Inspired by the English "Calendar Girls," and their cancer fundraising calendar, the Ladies stripped off in 2006 and 2009 to produce calendars to raise awareness of the pollution in Lake Simcoe and its associated rivers. The group acts as a "bridge" between local people, lobbying groups, and politicians, commissioning research, organising the annual Splash festivals, and encouraging residents and cottage owners to consider the lake's health when they make environmental decisions. These incredible women are a model for local activists. Visit their website to learn more.
Alex and Tyler Mifflin, TVO's Water Brothers, are another great example of the power of individual action. These Canadian eco-adventurers travel the world examining the problems and solutions of the world's relationship with water. They also offer a free app called Quench, which allows residents of the GTA to find sources of free drinking water in the city.
If you want to get involved in protecting the rivers and streams in your area, Canadian Geographic has a great guide to protecting your local watershed.
Finally, if you still need more reasons to become a "water warrior," read this great post by Nancy Goucher celebrating Canada Water Week on Environmental Defence.
Save our Canadian waterways. Let's keep the Great Lakes great!