Friday, May 14, 2010

The Dalai Lama and Missouri Stream Teams.



This week Kate and I traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to take some time off in that beautiful university town (maybe the coolest place ever if you're into architectural limestone) and hear the Dalai Lama speak.  He's an amazing, inspirational man, and it was touching to see thousands of people of all beliefs gather to hear him.

Home tonight I was further inspired by an email announcing the Missouri's Stream Team program's 20th anniversary and 4,000th local chapter.  The program was created by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to involve laypeople in monitoring and protecting local streams, and has been phenomenally successful.  I was lucky to have been working for MDC's Streams Unit when this program was conceived.

This new video celebrates that achievement.  In it you'll see environmentalists of many stripes.  If your job is in stream conservation, watch it (it's long, but worth your time) and you'll be reminded that there are hundreds of thousands of laypeople out there who appreciate and will support you.  And it's particularly powerful if you need an antidote to ridiculous "environmentalist wacko" labels.

Ozarkian streams are my favorites (see underwater video I shot here),  and I've maintained close ties with Missouri colleages.  We have pending proposals to work with MDC and the Stream Team program to place river models and curriculum throughout Missouri.  I have high hopes of working with these inspiring volunteers.

River conservation these days is a frustrating battle.  To quote the Dalai Lama, "Never give up, no matter what is going on around you, never give up."

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