CENTRAL PLATTE RIVER BASIN EXPEDITION, March 2017
Alison M. Jones (NWNL Founding Director, Lead Photographer)
Carolyn Bowman (Expedition Supporter)
NO WATER NO LIFE (NWNL): Since 2007 NWNL has combined photography and science to raise public awareness of the vulnerability of North American and African watersheds. NWNL funds come from grants, generous donors and in-kind gifts. Our expeditions have carried flags from The Explorers Club and Wings World Quest. The International League of Conservation Photographers provides 501c3 status for NWNL donors.
THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN: The Mississippi River Basin is the 4th largest in the world, draining water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Stretching from the Appalachian to the Rocky Mountains and Canada to the Gulf, this watershed supports 60% of North America’s birds and 25% of N. America’s fish. The Mississippi and many of its tributaries serve as a crucial US transportation corridor.
THE PLATTE RIVER: After the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers, The Platte flows east through Nebraska for 310 miles to the Missouri River, the Mississippi’s longest tributary. The Platte drains Nebraska’s Great Plains and the eastern Colorado and Wyoming Rockies. This broad, braided river affects resident humans, _ million migrating sandhill cranes, year-round birds, fish, wildlife, remnant bison herds and other prairie and sandhill species. In the mid-19th century, the Platte Valley was a well-trod route for westward-bound settlers. NWNL investigation will focus on:
- Climate Change Impacts: intense weather effects
- Biodiversity: Sandhill cranes, Prairie chickens, Sharp-tailed Grouse
- Infrastructure: dams and diversions for agriculture
- Ranching: impacts of methane emissions and nonpoint pollution
- Agriculture: main water user in the Cornhusker State
EXPEDITION METHODOLOGY: This expedition, informed by scientists’ research, will create photographic documentation and interviews of scientists, stewards and water users regarding watershed protection. Post expedition, NWNL will publish its documentation, share watershed management solutions, and create more educational reference tools. As with previous NWNL expeditions, outcomes are disseminated via print and online media, exhibits and lectures. Eight prior NWNL expeditions have covered the greater Mississippi River Basin.
EXPEDITION ENDORSEMENTS: NWNL thanks all who’ve endorsed our 17 watershed expeditions thus far, including The Explorers Club, The International League of Conservation Photographers, and Wings World Quest – supporters since 2007.