The Yellow Dog River, part of which is designated a National Wild and Scenic River, is located near Lake Superior and is now threatened by the Rio Tinto-Kennecott Eagle Mine, a sulfide mine for nickel and copper. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting this and other streams nearby, monitors water quality and works to educate the public about the dangers of both water and air pollution from this mine. (Keweenaw Now file photo)
MARQUETTE -- Whether or not you remembered to do something for the planet on Earth Day, here's a second chance -- You can help a local group dedicated to protecting precious freshwater resources in the Upper Peninsula, through the Crowdrise Earth Day Challenge, with a contribution to the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve's important work before the deadline of 11:59 p.m. EST, May 15, 2012. Here is why the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve (YDWP) asks for your support:
"The Yellow Dog River flows pure from its origins in a federal wilderness area all the way down to its end in Lake Superior, the largest body of freshwater this nation has.
"Pressures to develop these areas are increasing as mineral exploration and extraction moves into the small rural communities of the Upper Peninsula. This type of mining, known as sulfide mining, has the potential to create Acid Mine Drainage, which can end up in our Great Lakes. Our group continues to work to prevent such a travesty.
"We use scientific methods to collect important information about the ecosystem in order to protect it from pollution. We use this information to educate the community and decision makers about the negative effects that sulfide mining can have on waterways and the communities that depend upon them. And we do it all on a very small budget."
Chuck Brumleve, geologist for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and Emily Whittaker, YDWP executive director, sample stream sediment in the Salmon-Trout River. The ore body sought by the Rio Tinto-Kennecott Eagle Mine is under this river. (Photo courtesy Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. Reprinted with permission.)
Here is how the contest works: The overall goal is to raise as much money as the group can up to the deadline. Whichever of the 30 groups competing has the highest amount raised by the deadline receives $25,000 extra added to their raised amount. Second place gets $15,000 and third gets $10,000 respectively added to their amount. The rest of the groups simply keep the funds they raised.
Click here to read about YDWP's work to protect Lake Superior and its tributaries from Acid Mine Drainage. Be sure to watch the excellent video about their work or click here to view it on YouTube. Then send them a donation -- whatever you can -- here.
Learn more about the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve by visiting their Web site.