Since day one, Dow has recognized the importance of rivers to the livelihood of surrounding communities.
Water is one of the most valuable resources we have.
At Dow, we’re committed to improving and scaling conservation and sustainability efforts over time, including prioritizing initiatives to protect one of the world’s most valuable resources. A range of strategic partnerships and innovations help Dow participate in the protection and restoration of both marine and freshwater ecosystems around the globe through the Valuing Nature Goal.
The goal is to enable sustainability at scale. A recent example of how Dow achieves that is the collaboration with Ralph Lauren to create the world’s first scalable zero wastewater cotton dyeing system. The fashion giant incorporated Dow’s ECOFAST™ Pure technology, a sustainable fabric treatment that uses 50% less water than other methods, to create its 2020 Team USA collection for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Another is the upscaling of beach cleanup and ocean restoration programs, along with the #PullingOurWeight campaign and this year’s Global Serve-a-thon.
This World Rivers Day, I’d like to turn the attention toward a cause that Dow considers part of its very DNA. Since day one, Dow has recognized the importance of rivers to the livelihood of surrounding communities, including the ones Dow is a part of. This understanding drives the company’s work to advance water stewardship and enhance water management through a number of projects: at Loch Leven, Dow is working to restore the 4,500 acres of bottomland hardwood-forested wetlands upriver from Dow’s Plaquemine site in Louisiana. And with our partners at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), we’re working to restore the Atchafalaya Basin Preserve through long-term conservation and education by establishing the Atchafalaya Conservation Center to further community outreach and research.
This understanding led Dow to become a founding member of Rivers Are Life, a platform fostering human connection with rivers across the globe.
To drive meaningful change, the effort to protect our rivers must be collaborative. The primary role Dow serves in Rivers Are Life is that of a connector, bringing together new and innovative collaborations with NGOs, academic institutions and businesses to innovate and find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Dow’s primary means of making an impact on rivers now is to support the Rivers Are Life mission of assisting 1,000 projects to positively impact river ecosystems.
River Heroes are an essential element to ensuring success in these projects. These Heroes are the individuals who educate, empower, engage with and mobilize people and communities to act.
Clint Willson, one of Rivers Are Life’s River Heroes and the Director of Louisiana State University (LSU) Center for River Studies, is leading his team in efforts to better understand how sand moves through the Mississippi River and what effect that has on coastal restoration. The Center for River Studies teamed up with Fran Trautmann, another River Hero, to collaborate on research that could impact coastal resiliency.
“We are excited to be working with Glass Half Full and Tulane University on better understanding the properties of the glass sand. Before glass sand can be used in coastal restoration projects, the geotechnical and transport properties need to be better understood and quantified. Thanks to the Rivers Are Life project, we met up with Fran and her colleagues at Tulane to discuss ways that the Center can contribute.”
– Clint Willson, River Hero and Director of LSU Center for River Studies
By bringing organizations like Glass Half Full together with the Center for River Studies at LSU to collaborate on research, Rivers Are Life is leveraging collaboration for good.
Rivers Are Life is founded on the idea that conserving our rivers and accelerating positive impact in their surrounding communities will take a collective and collaborative effort. By educating the world about the important role rivers play in our ecosystem and highlighting critical ways individuals can take action, Rivers Are Life is creating tangible action towards a cleaner planet.
The time for collective action in river conservation and restoration is now. Rivers Are Life brings visibility to everyday heroes doing extraordinary work. Are you involved with a company, brand, organization, or River Hero who is interested in Rivers Are Life? To get involved and learn more, visit the new Rivers Are Life digital platform and join the movement.
France Guertin, Dow Global Technical Leader for Nature-based Solutions