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Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities - Michael Hancox EPISODE 83
Bottom Up Water Solutions
00:00:00 00:28:33

Bottom Up Water Solutions


Fresh Water, Climate Change, and Community Resilience

In This Episode:

[02:10] Guest Rebecca Wodder is introduced.

[03:19] Rebecca expresses how the first Earth Day impacted her life and career path.

[05:06] Rebecca tells if fresh water has always been the focus of her environmental career.

[05:48] Rebecca talks about how water affects climate change.

[09:18] Rebecca explains the degree to which our fresh-water supply is being threatened.

[11:28] Rebecca describes the Clean Water Rule.

[14:41] Rebecca shares which industries are most impacted by the 2015 Clean Water Rule.

[16:26] Rebecca addresses natural capital and social capital.

[18:33] Rebecca speaks about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

[21:39] Rebecca states where people can learn more about her work (check out the Resources section below!).

[23:10] Rebecca mentions the wisdom she would pass along to her younger self on Earth Day 1970.

[25:52] Rebecca talks about whether she’s more hopeful now than she was in the past.

Guest and Organization:

Rebecca Wodder is a nationally known environmental leader whose conservation career began with the first Earth Day. As president of the national advocacy organization, American Rivers, from 1995 to 2011, she led the development of community-based solutions to freshwater challenges. From 2011 to 2013, she served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior. Previously, Rebecca was Vice President at The Wilderness Society, and Legislative Assistant to Senator Gaylord Nelson. In 2010, she was named a Top 25 Outstanding Conservationists by Outdoor Life Magazine. In 2014, she received the James Compton Award from River Network. In her writing and speaking, Rebecca explores how communities can enhance their resilience to climate impacts via sustainable, equitable approaches to rivers and freshwater resources. She serves on the boards of River Network, the Potomac Conservancy, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Take Away Quotes:

“When the first Earth Day came along…my high school chemistry teacher asked if I would organize this event for the community. We really didn’t know what it was supposed to be about, but we knew it was intended to engage people and help them recognize the environmental issues that were so prominent at the time…The first Earth Day was just a great event in my life because it showed me how I could combine my passion for making a difference with my academic interests in science and biology.”

“Water is the way that we experience weather, and weather is the way we experience climate change in our daily lives.”

“Ultimately, the reason that we have a blue planet, the reason there is life on this planet is because of water. It is the fundamental reason for life.”  

“One of the things that is so important about small streams is that they are the head waters, they are the sources of our drinking water, and something like one-third of all Americans get their drinking water—it starts with these small streams.”


Fight the attempt to kill the Clean Water Rule

The Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval 

Resilience Matters: Forging a Greener, Fairer Future for All (Free e-book!)

River Network

Island Press Urban Resilience Project