After a terrible weekend of more mad tweets from the President, Monday started the week with a wonderfully uplifting action on Lake Erie. All Hands on Deck Dunkirk led by Marcia Westling Johnson, Tina Rausa and Judi Lutz Woods gathered nearly a hundred people to hold hands in support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative along the Lake Erie shore at Wright Beach in Dunkirk. They formed the sister group in coordination with All Hands On Deck Great Lakes (https://allhandsondeckgreatlakes.org).
The event began with a song titled Somos El Barco written by Lorre Wyatt. Barbara Eisenberg Albert sang and played guitar accompanied vocally by Janey Wagner and Cheryl Rich. Afterward we held a moment’s reflection on what the lake and water meant to us.
Also in attendance were Chautauqua County Executive Democratic candidate Mike Ferguson, Democratic candidate for NY23 District Representative, Eddie Sundquist and Dr. Sherri (Sam) Mason, who recently completed swimming the entire length of Lake Chautauqua. County Legislators Bob Bankoski and George Borello were there too and also expressed support.
Among the participates were representatives from many of the major progressive groups in Chautauqua County: Progressives United Chautauqua, Chautauqua County Women’s Action Group and Shift Happens.
Marcia read a short statement about the pressing need to keep the Great Lakes Initiative funded and listed the many dangers and challenges facing the area’s major source of fresh water. She said “Ten percent of the U.S. population gets their water from (the Great Lakes), as well as 30 percent of the Canadian population. There are 30 million people around the lakes. It needs to be protected from runoff, plastics, invasive species — Eighty-four percent of the freshwater in the United States is the Great Lakes, and it’s very important to our society to protect it”.
Once the statement was read we all held hands and turned to face the water. It was a beautiful day, the lake and sky were lovely shades of blue, the sun shined brightly, and a breeze brought waves and the sounds of sea gulls towards us. As we walked away we felt renewed for the task ahead, not only to protect and nuture the lake we stood by but to keep fighting all the actions of short sightedness assailing our environment and society.
Remember to sign the petition and share it far and wide. https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protect-the-great-lakes