As River Stewards, our program’s mission is to “engage in interdisciplinary and experiential learning, civic engagement, and sustainable community development around rivers;” But how do we stay motivated to accomplish this goal? Today, if you were to google how much trash is in our oceans you would see statistics such as “8 million tons of trash is dumped in the world’s oceans and rivers everyday” or “There is a plastic island the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean”. We live in a throwaway culture society where everything is just for now, and it doesn’t matter where it goes. On our last river cleanup, I could not step one foot without seeing a piece of plastic to be picked up. Because of these facts it is difficult to motivate myself to wake up early on a Saturday morning to attend a river cleanup. After all, it’s just going to be as dirty again in a week or in a month, right? Why don’t we just give up?
University of Dayton Rivers Institute, Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, River Stewards, Great Miami River
Michel, Noel, "The Lorax" (2017). Rivers Institute Blog Archive. 311.