We want clean water – 2012 World Water Day
Every year, March 22 is World Water Day and is dedicated to the importance of freshwater and looking after this valuable resource. For the rowing community this importance is paramount for the enjoyment and success of our sport – whether you are a competitive rower, a spectator, a recreational rower or participate in coastal rowing.
This Thursday, 22 March, World Rowing is marking the day. World Rowing’s strategic alliance with WWF is a direct reflection of our commitment to the value of clean water.
Around the world, communities are working towards improving their local waterways.
The London 2012 Olympic Games, amongst other projects, has become a reason to get behind making many of London’s waterways cleaner. This is especially evident in East London, the site of the Olympic Park. The Big Waterways Clean Up has been organising ongoing volunteer-based activities to improve the rivers and canals of East London. These activities include litter removal, wildflower planting and invasive weed clearing.
Great Britain’s rowing Olympic and World Champion, Mark Hunter, who grew up in East London, is right behind the Clean Up and stated on msn.com: "The rivers of London are what first inspired me to take up rowing and are now obviously a huge part of my life. I feel quite privileged to have such access to rivers and I think we have a great responsibility to look after them.”
East London is home to several rowing clubs including Hunter’s original club, Poplar, Blackwall and District Rowing Club. There is also the Royal Docks Rowing Club and Thames Rowing Club amongst others.
Clean-up activities are being organised by waterways charity, Thames21. Marketing and Communications Officer for Thames21, Emily Braham says that already a difference can be seen in the planting and litter control but it will take some time to see real changes. “Of course it’s ongoing so we’re not going to miraculously see a difference straight away.”
It is expected that the development of the Olympic Park will mean a higher usage of the canals and rivers in the vicinity and the Big Waterways Clean Up is helping to ready the area for this.
“We will continue the clean-up up to the Olympics,” says Braham, “and then there’s ongoing work with the local communities. So we’ll be doing training to support and empower the locals to continue the work.”
The Big Waterways Clean Up is just one example of projects that are going on throughout the world.
World Rowing would like to hear how rowers around the world are caring for their water environments. Let us know on www.facebook.com/WorldRowing!