Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Haley Reading Group "Down by the River"

[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]

In "Down by the River," Rowan Jacobsen details the struggle in resurrecting the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program to bring access to water to the Quechan reservation. Jacobsen states that the Quechan tribe lost access to the Colorado River and the resources it provided to their lives due to the formation of dams and canals (92).

Jacobsen describes the multiple steps taken to re-invent in the program through the history of its creation and recent local citizens demand for access to the water. The article describes the injustice that construction and lack of access to resources creates.

What does now knowing the history of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program mean to you? That is, what does it inspire you to think about or even do that you might not have prior to reading the article?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Knowing the history of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program made me automatically think about places around the world that do not have access to clean water and resources, like Afghanistan,India,and Ghana. This knowledge spurred me to think about the amount of water that I have wasted in my life and the amounts of water that is wasted in America annually, because we take that luxury of having clean water for granted. This article reminds me to be more mindful of the water I use as I should turn off the faucet if I'm not using the water, and to never take a bottle of water for granted.

Samantha A.

Anonymous said...

Learning about the Ocean to Ocean Bridge program has made me think about how areas in my own community can be restored. We often think that progress is changing things for the better and don't always think about how it may be better to take it back to what it used to be. I often see areas of "Prairie Restoration" and wondered why those have been established. It just looks like a jumbled mess of weeds to me. This article made me realize that restoring the land to its origins may be just what we need to do. I am now able to look at this through a different lens.

Marina T.

Anonymous said...

I thought , “Down by the River” was a great story about having faith that any situation can change. At the beginning of the story, the author talked about how the once flourishing Yuma was overrun by invasive species, but after the hard work of Fred Phillips, he was able to establish connections with various groups such as: the Quechan tribe, Bureau of Reclamation, the Army of Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish Service to restore the area. After ten years, the riverfront that no one dared to venture has become restored with its natural species of plants and animals and is a common area for bikers and birders alike.

Madalynn M.

Alexis Starks said...

Knowing the history of the Ocean-toOcean Bridge program means to me that no matter how big a task seems that you can accomplish it. This program inspired me to think about more eco-friendly things that I could do to help save the environment. For example, it caused to me evaluate how much I recycle and carpool, which I should be doing more of to help the environment. Overall, this article really helped me to think about the environment more and the ways that we can help to save it.

Alexis Starks

Unknown said...

Alexis H.

Knowing the history of the Ocean to Ocean Bridge Program it makes me think of how we often think a change is needed in the community. While some changes are for the better others are to be selfish. We should think of the long term effects of what we’re doing. We may believe we need to do something now but it could hurt us in the end. For example when they built a dam in 1915 and it didn’t last after 1988. This made me think of the different programs and infrastructures in my community that should be reversed for a better community.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the history of the Ocean to Ocean Bridge program makes me believe that a change can happen at anytime. The ruins had been around for so many years without a change and still made way for renovation years after it was started. A lot of the things that humans do now are not thought about in terms of long term effects. Since I read the article, I have a different outlook on the nature aspect of life.


LaTrina Brown

Unknown said...

After reading about the Ocean to Ocean Bridge program I have been made aware of the many ways that I can help restore my community and communities around me. It also brought more light on the places outside of the United States that don't have access to clean water and the amenities that we have grown to take advantage of. While all of these are problems, "Down by the River" also made it a point that it doesn't matter how big the problem is or how many problems there are it can always be accomplished and made better.

Cecelia S.

Caulder Brantley said...

Caulder Brantley
The Ocean to Ocean Bridge program is inspiring to me in that the people behind it went through great lengths to restore the natural ecosystem. I thought it was also very inspiring how the city, the government and the local Quechan came together despite all of their differences to make it possible. This inspires me to want to make a change, even a small one in comparison to revitalizing an entire ecosystem, in my community. I've always taken an interest in nature and I would like to some how make a difference.

Gabrielle H. said...

Previous to reading the Ocean to Ocean bridge program, I didn't realized how damaged our ecosystem is and how this program is reaching out to revert/restore it to its healthier days. It amazed me to see their ability to change an ecosystem especially by just planting "native species" that (cottonwood roots specifically) could an inch a day! After reading how they were able to rehabilitate 225 acres of land, I realized I should take up an interest in thinking of little ways I can help the environment and increase that number.

Anonymous said...


Learning about the ocean to ocean bridge program makes me think about places that do not have access to clean water. The community that immediately came to mind was Flint Michigan because I have a friend in that area who tells me about the situation.It inspired me to see if there are anyways I can help out in my community.

-Alexis R

Sable M. said...

Knowing the history helps me to understand how much we think is small that we easily take for granted. Things like keeping the water running when we brush our teeth or rinse our dishes. It makes me realize that there are many people who do not actually have the ability for mundane things such as that. It helped me see that there are easy things that can be done to help lessen the problem and gain momentum in assisting it.

Anonymous said...

After reading “Down by the River” and learning about the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program it reminds that even when circumstances change and you lose things that you may need or want that doesn’t mean you can not regain them and that it will not be better than before. Just like how the tribe lost access to the river and people no longer visited it anymore, with some hard work and dedication it was brought back to life and the people were able to enjoy the perks of it again.

-Gianna T.

Jovahna Williams said...

Learning about the ocean to ocean bridge program makes me think about all of the places in the world that do not have clean water.This situation reminds me of when I was volunteering at a place that helps kids who are either homeless or are in very low income situations. It just makes me so happy that I can volunteer at places that help bring children clean water, a nice meal and a family environment and that I can actually make a difference. It inspires me to volunteer at places that help bring clean water to people in need.
Jovahna W.

Anonymous said...

After reading this article it just goes to show that even when all looks lost it can still be found again. In particular, this article reminded me off all the natural disasters that the world is faced with and how people from all over come together to help with relief efforts. We as the human race should understand that everyone deserves the basic necessities of life. So in the case of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It is great to see that now people are coming to the aid of this city because they too are people that kept faith that they would once again have a clean water source just like in the article.

Jasmine S.

Anonymous said...

Prior to my knowledge of the Ocean to Ocean Program, I was not aware of how poorly our ecosystem is often treated. People do not realize that simple actions that we do that may seem harmless to us, can actually be detrimental to our society as a whole. Such as littering or what not.
This program has inspired me to take action in how I treat the ecosystem on my part. While we may think that one person doing one action can not make a significant difference, it actually can because the initiation of a certain behavior by one individual, can influence a tribe of individuals. It has also inspired me to help in any way that I can, individuals who may not have as well resources as I.
Kami Douglas

Anonymous said...

Reading about the Ocean to Ocean Bridge program has inspired me to try to reduce my water usage. I realized that I may take my access to clean water for granted. The article made me think about what I would do without that access and about others who are not able to obtain clean water as easily as I am. Moving foward, I will keep this in mind and maybe not take thirty minute showers or leave the water running while I brush my teeth or do my hair. ~Lillien W.

Caleb Abernathy said...

Knowing of the the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge program enlightens me and makes me feel a sense of pride. This being because I now know that there are/were people in the world that truly aspire just to attempt to do great things.

It inspires me in the sense that knowing of this attempt, perhaps one day there will be a time when everyone has access to water and "normal" resources, and it won't be a matter of, "where or when", or "who you are", and "what you stand for." I always love reading about attempts and projects such as these, because not only do they give me a sense of hope, but they light a fire beneath me to do the best I can to be the best person I can be.

Anonymous said...

Learning about the Ocean to Ocean bridge program gives me hope for change in communities that are not as advanced. Learning about this makes me realize that everyone must begin to think about how our actions affect our ecosystem and environments. There are so many people that still live without clean water which I already knew but there are things we can all do to help these people that suffer daily. This makes me feel inspired to help these people somehow throughout my lifetime. There is so much things that will improve for the people without water if they were given the opportunity to live with fresh water in their communities.

-Jasmine D.

Dasmin W. said...

The Ocean to Ocean bridge program reopen my eyes to how some countries are outside of the United States. Sometimes teenagers and people in America tend to forget or take for granted how lucky we are to have clean water and a wealth of food, while there are other communities who don't. After reading this, it has inspired me to recycle and overall be more eco-friendly, while also be more noticeable of how much water I use and not waste as much as I do now. Any little thing could help!

Linda H. said...

Linda H.

The Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program brought my attention to one of the many problems I have with colonization. The lack of rebuilding after tampering with people's way of life was evident throughout this passage. The Hoover Dam that we built influenced the people of Yuma in a negative way through constricting their water supply. I think if your country has a role in damaging another country their should be measures taken to repair what has been done. I think the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge program did this successfully in the article.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the history of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program makes me think about changes that could be made throughout many of the communities that I have been. There are so many things that can be done to restore the ecosystem that we could easily contribute to. It was brought to my attention the places outside of the United States that are still struggling for basic amenities that we have access to in the United States. Lots of things that we are fortunate to have are taking for granted and are not appreciated. Lots of individuals behave in a manner in which the consequences are not considered before hand. This inspires me to start doing things that are for the better of our ecosystem, even if it is small.

Nadira E.

Unknown said...

Knowing and learning the history about the Ocean to Ocean bridge program worries me because something like this should never be a problem but it also makes me think deeper than I have before. This program has inspired me to help and give more to those in need it makes me think about the flint water situation. This information helps me to get more knowledge on situations like these and do more to contribute to fixing the problems.
-Khalia Kuntu

Anonymous said...

This piece inspires me because I know that people are trying to do great things. It is crazy to think about something we take for granted is something so important yet not widely accessible in other parts of the world. With the growing awareness of going green, I am more driven to be eco-friendly and try to recycle anything I can.

-Fatima Bashir

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to think of all the things we take for granted here in America. Before college I never really thought that access to clean water was a problem for other countries. We also do not think about how our actions affect the ecosystem or even other being that live there.
Breann Walton

Anonymous said...

Now that I know the history of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program, it inspires me to be more mindful of the things that I have access to and to be more grateful for the things that I have. Everyday we take the little things for granted, but everyone doesn't have access to those things. It also inspires me to be more aware of the effects that us humans have on the environment and how they affect plants and animals.

-Alyria Benson

Whitney Kriener said...

Now that I know the history of the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge program, I think of communities that do not have fresh clean water to grow crops or to drink. It inspires me to want to get more involved in programs around the world. Everything we eat or drink usually has water in it and that is only because we have fresh clean water sources. And not everyone has that.