World Water Day is an international day celebrating freshwater, recognizing the importance of clean water, and discussing the issues imperiling the future of our water.
This year’s theme – Valuing Water – is something The Watershed Institute has been doing since our founding in 1949. Water is our most fragile and precious resource. Essential to all forms of life and to our economies, our water supplies face myriad threats ranging from pollution to climate change. Keeping our water clean, safe, and healthy in the face of these challenges is the heart of the Watershed’s mission.
Our strategy for doing so involves scientific investigation, advocacy at the state and local levels, enhanced land and water stewardship, and education to expand environmental literacy.
We believe that clean water is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, far too many people do not have access to clean water, here in the United States and across the globe. The Watershed Institute works to raise awareness about threats to clean water and the steps that we can all take to protect, maintain and restore healthy waterways and ecosystems in New Jersey.
Our activities for World Water Day this year, which take place before and after the official day, involve engaging the public in stream cleanups – both virtual and in-person – exploring vernal pools, planting trees, doing salinity studies, training volunteers in water quality monitoring, and more.
We’ve asked people around our region to tell us how they value water and we’re pleased to share their short videos about water and water quality in their communities, spanning from New Brunswick to Lawrenceville. They are acting on their concerns: from starting a rain garden to creating educational “water stories” to sharing how green infrastructure uses native plants and grasses to filter polluted stormwater runoff and improve water quality, and more.
We applaud the United Nations General Assembly for first designating World Water Day on March 22, 1993. We recognize that our environment, society, and economy all depend on clean water and a healthy watershed. We know it’s vital to protect our land in its natural state in order to keep our water clean.
Please watch these four videos (below) and start a conversation in your community about why water is important in your home, community, livelihood, and well-being. Some of these videos were done by our staff, by students who have completed our Community Watershed Advocacy Program, or by locals active with the Watershed and other New Jersey nonprofits.