The People Restoring Our Waterways
by Pete Hill
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Pub Date 02 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 10 Jul 2024
Centuries of mismanagement and destructive development have gravely harmed American waterways, with significant consequences for the ecosystems and communities built around them. But a range of passionate and committed people have stepped up to restore streams and rivers around the United States. A husband-and-wife scientist team in Pennsylvania lead projects to unclog the sediment left by early colonists’ dams. Members of the Tulalip Tribes in western Washington State bring beavers back to headwater streams. A public servant in Milwaukee drives the sewer department to remove concrete channels and reduce flood risk. Community activists in Atlanta push for environmental justice in river restoration.
Telling these stories and many more, Pete Hill—a twenty-year veteran of the field of watershed restoration—provides a deep dive into the world of river and stream conservation. He profiles the practitioners, scientists, and activists from all walks of life who take part in restoration efforts, exploring their differing, sometimes controversial approaches. Through their stories, Hill illustrates the challenges and rewards of river restoration and the evolving scientific understanding in the field. Underscoring the need for a variety of strategies adapted to different local contexts, he shows that new ideas have come from a wide range of people—from those operating the machinery to those researching stream ecology—and that Indigenous knowledge offers vital resources. At once personal and learned, insightful and inspiring, this book shines a light on the people working to heal our streams and rivers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pete Hill is the principal and owner of Great Lakes Watershed Opportunities, a consultancy in the Milwaukee area. He previously worked in watershed planning and stream and wetland restoration for the Washington, DC, Department of Energy and the Environment. Hill holds a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.