New Jersey’s Upper Raritan River rambles through historic hamlets, passes under one-lane bridges and offers a bucolic, misty contrast to the Lower Raritan’s industrialized, urban reaches. As homes increased along these tranquil tributaries, inadequate protection of wetlands and steep, forested slopes brought increased roads, asphalt driveways and commercial parking lots. The spread of these impervious surfaces further exacerbates destructive floods and resulting biological impairment caused by increasingly intense storms and snowmelt.
Nature Photography By Alison Jones Highlights Water Issues
Reprinted from The Huffington Post, June 3, 2011.
AS WATER WARS loom locally and globally, No Water No Life ® is dedicated to combining the powers of photography, science and stakeholder knowledge to raise awareness of the values of freshwater, consequences of watershed degradation and opportunities for sustainable water-resource management. The focus for this expedition-based project is on six watersheds: three in Africa (the Nile, Mara and Omo River Basins) and three in North America (the Columbia, Mississippi, and Raritan River Basins). Within developed and developing nations, No Water No Life documents the availability, usage and quality of critical freshwater resources, educates stakeholders via publications, lectures, exhibits and educational tools; and fosters partnerships within and across geopolitical regions.
Worldwide issues found within No Water No Life case-study watersheds include climate change, infrastructure development, resource extraction, pollution and habitat degradation. Each watershed highlights different issues. For instance, New Jersey’s Raritan River is the largest drainage in the United States’ most densely populated state and thus suffers from urban storm drainage issues, as well as two centuries of severe industrial pollution. There are 200 contaminated sites adjacent or draining into the Raritan River, twenty-four of which have become Superfund clean-up sites. To reveal positive watershed management solutions No Water No Life interviews scientists, stewards and stakeholders about environmental restoration, increasing efficiencies in water use, community-based conservation education and trans-boundary agreements. No Water No Life teams include photographers, scientists, educators and interns. Their backgrounds cover natural resource management, conservation biology, restoration ecology, forest ecology, conservation photography, videography and environmental education. NWNL has carried expedition flags from The Explorers Club and WINGS WorldQuest. The Scott Pearlman Field Award and generous private donations support the project’s expeditions. The project’s fiscal sponsor is WINGS WorldQuest, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.
Alison Jones is the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) May Photographer of the Month because of her passion and contribution to conservation through photographic excellence.