WALKING TO THE HEADWATERS
By Julia Maryanska
5 years ago, water protector, high school teacher and former Walking Water collaborator, Nina Gordon-Kirsch received a vision that she was meant to walk her waters – from the end use of her home in Oakland to the Headwaters. This Summer, she has made that a reality! Currently, she is halfway through her 240 miles walk tracing her waterways and moving along the Mokelumne River, with a prayer to raise awareness for the East Bay youth and residents where their water comes from, all while wearing a t-shirt and walking with a flag that asks the question, “Do you know where your water comes from?” Following her are two filmmakers, including Walking Water walker Julia Maryanska, and producer Marielle Olentine who are documenting her journey with the aim to make it into a short film that will circulate amongst the Bay Area public school system.
As fellow water protectors, you know that California’s freshwater resources are in danger – climate change, drought, human manufacturing of water systems, pollution due to chemical spraying of crops and more, have caused our aquifers to go dry, our rivers to run low, and our salmon to come close to dying out. We live in a world where we are so disconnected from the source of our water that even though we use it everyday, most people often have no idea which rivers and reservoirs bring it to our taps in the first place. How are we supposed to protect our waters and solve these problems when we are so removed from them?
We need support for the production of this film and humbly ask you to contribute and spread the word. You can find a video about Nina and the project on our campaign page here. You can also follow the journey on the website and follow Nina’s daily posts on Instagram here (@nina.gk). The prayer is that by seeding the public and especially the next generation with awareness about these water issues, they may feel empowered and even inspired to work towards solutions.
The walk has garnered some public attention. CBS news has been following Nina and put out this piece on the 5 o’clock news the day she set out from her home in Oakland. A reporter joined Nina and the filmmakers in the Delta region last week, and will meet Nina at the finish line at Highland Lakes in a few weeks. CBS is working on a 60 minute special about the drought, and they will feature solutions, and include Nina’s watch as it has to do with education. It will air on the 6 o’clock news in August. Stay tuned!