A River That Needs Love

Last evening I took a tour of the mighty Duwamish river in South Seattle.  It was lead by the Cleanup Coalition, whom I have worked with before in our monthly blessings/celebrations.

The Duwamish was the home of the Native American tribe by the same name for over 10,000 years, but in this last century has seen some of the heaviest industries as well as polutants to it’s shores and ecosystem.

There are five areas along the trip that have been designated Superfund sites and some of them have been successful cleaned, but the downside is that within a year they are recontaminated.  Several companies along the river do not practice the most ‘green methods’.  In fact, an interesting fact is that most contaminants nowadays are actually from runoff water.  One company shreds metal (cars) that is later used to make re-bar.  These mountains of metal wash their toxins into the water each time it rains.  And it rains a lot in our city, so the run-off from the streets is held in vaults beneath the city’s surface.  One vault, under our county airport spills out into the river and has been emitting a brown effluage that the airport says is non-toxic, but is coming under pressure for further tests.

I am always reminded that our healing work along this river is as important as the environmental activities.  The park we gather at to celebrate with food, song and community, Duwamish Waterway Park is where we meet every 15th of the month through October from 7-8pm.  It was wonderful to see it from the the ‘other side’ and realize all the helpful individuals who have come to this site to offer their prayers.  I like how the streams of light through the trees were captured in this picture, to me, representing hope.

There is one company, Delta Boats, one of the largest boat manufacturers in the US that has deliberately decided to do their business practice ‘green’.  It’s evident by all the flora and fauna near it’s naturally flowing creek and provides a good model for others to follow.   I encourage all who are interested in the health of the river as well as of the land in which we live to take a tour or a hike along the mighty Duwamish shores,  the August 27th festival the Coalition is sponsoring, or come out to a blessing to give your love to a river that still very much needs it.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. wildreiki
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 09:21:05

    Hi Eileen, so glad you got to take the tour. It really does put our work at the Blessing Ceremonies in perspective when you have the opportunity to see the challenges the river faces from the water’s viewpoint.

    I went on a similar tour in 2008. Here is a link to the photos I took and some of the information that was shared with us by the dedicated individuals from various organizations that are working toward healing the Duwamish and creating a better environment for people and wildlife:

    Hyundai container ship cranes

    See you on August 15 for the next Blessing Ceremony!

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