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For Immediate Release, January 1, 2009

Contact: Edie Dillon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 277-9155

Watershed Wednesday Movie, Presentation Celebrate Water 

PRESCOTT, Ariz.— Watershed Wednesday is a monthly celebration of the significance of water to all aspects of life, from the biological to the aesthetic, and the practical to the inspiring. Watershed Wednesday events usually focus on the Verde River, our local desert jewel, and emphasize key aspects of Verde protection, including the importance of river habitat and the harm to the upper Verde that will result from water being pumped out of the Big Chino aquifer without an adequate, scientifically based habitat conservation and mitigation plan.

Members of the Sacred Earth Endurance Coop gather before heading out on the 30-mile Hopi Run for Life, a symbolic recreation of the path that water takes from rain to river.

The program for the first Watershed Wednesday of 2009, on January 14th, takes a step back, putting the threats to the Verde in context through a two-part event illustrating water’s importance to all of life.

At 6 p.m., “RiverWebs,” a documentary about life, death, science, and streams, will be shown at the Crossroads Center at Prescott College. The hour-long film takes a close look at an international group of river ecologists who share a story of tragedy, growth, and recovery across Eastern and Western cultures. This unlikely circle of friends shows us a very human side of science, while demonstrating how the process of discovery works. The inspiring lives and experiences of these scientists build a rich story of hope and interconnectedness, while providing a personal window through which to view rivers, ecology, and conservation. Donations will be accepted for the filmmakers’ nonprofit organization.

At 7:30, the action moves to the Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St., Prescott, where members of the Sacred Earth Endurance Coop will present a visual and musical account of the annual Hopi water run. The run, recently opened to non-Hopi people, follows the path that water takes from rain on the mesas to the springs below. Runners will map the route and share personal journal entries and musical interpretations of what it is like to run up to 30 miles without stopping in this ancient re-enactment of the reality that water is life.

The Center for Biological Diversity coordinates Watershed Wednesday events to publicize threats to the Verde River that include off-road vehicle damage, pollution from sludge dumping, global warming and the harm to the upper Verde that will result from unsustainable pumping of water out of the Big Chino Subbasin. Scientists generally agree that the Big Chino Subbasin supplies more than 80 percent of the base flow for the upper Verde River, which depends almost entirely on that water during the dry seasons. Audience members will have a chance to sign petitions urging decision-makers to enact an adequate, science-based plan to protect the river before pipeline construction begins.

For more information about Watershed Wednesday or Verde River issues, call Edie Dillon at (928) 277-9155.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with 200,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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