Drying rivers and drought: What we can do in Massachusetts

TUE, JUL 12, 2022

Drought warnings in Massachusetts are a stark reminder that we are part of a global climate system where warming trends are accelerating. Is there something we can learn from adding a global lens to our local and regional mitigation efforts?

Danielle Dolan, Deputy Director of the Mass Rivers Alliance, and Beth Lambert, Director of the Massachusett Division of Ecological Restoration, will join Slovakian hydrologist and Goldman Environmental Prize winner Michal Kravcik in conversations about our connection to the global water crisis. Dr. Kravcik will introduce the new water paradigm, which explains the role of small water cycles and the importance of restoring them in urban, agricultural and forest settings to prevent drought and floods, and to cool the planet.

Resources

United Nations Environment Program: Foresight Brief

Explore your rivers

Drought Fact Sheet

+ BIO: Michal Kravcik

Michal Kravčík is an acclaimed Slovak water scientist, Goldman environmental award recipient, ASHOKA fellow, and co-author of A New Water Paradigm: Water for the Recovery of the Climate, which emphasizes hydrologic cycles in addressing climate change and resilience. He is a recent founder of the Water Holistic Company, Ltd., and chairman of Slovakia’s NGO People and Water awarded the Democracy and Civil Society Development Prize.

His Blue Alternative projects saved several villages destined for dam construction evacuation, demonstrating that ecosystems can produce water several times more efficiently than dams at 20% of the cost. In response to the historic 2010 floods in Slovakia, he spearheaded massive flood and drought prevention efforts to revitalize 488 townships, rehydrating their watersheds. Kravčík coordinated the Green Restoration Program policy for the Košice Region of Slovakia, approved by the regional parliament in 2021. He has attracted media and academic interest in the USA, Japan, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, UK, Sweden, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, France, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, South Korea, India, Iran, Australia, and Poland.

As he points out, integrated watershed, forest, and wetland restoration will benefit both industry and agriculture, all urban and rural regions, global North and South. Even if we reverse greenhouse gas emissions, he notes, this will not stop climate change unless we change how we manage water. In addition to his work implementing better water management in regions around the world, he has authored a Global Action Plan for the Restoration of Natural Water Cycles and Climate. He continues to engage scientists and policymakers to adopt these strategies.

+ BIO: Danielle Dolan

Danielle V. Dolan joined Massachusetts Rivers Alliance as Deputy Director in January 2022. Danielle’s 17 years of experience in the environmental education, engagement, and advocacy sector (the greater half in water policy) span four states in vastly different regions of the country, providing her insight into a broad range of watershed protection and governance contexts Danielle has built programs from the ground up – establishing mission and vision, designing projects, assembling collaborative teams, and effectively implementing initiatives. Examples include indigenous-led train-the-trainer ecosystem restoration projects in Hawai’i, starting the first Earth Force program in Hillsborough County, FL; creating St. Johns Riverkeeper’s first education program; and establishing the Local Government Commission as a critical partner in the California water sector.

She has a track record of effectively mobilizing, connecting, and deepening partnerships to engage on statewide water policy initiatives, advance watershed planning, and implement water resilience projects at the local level. In Florida, she helped achieve a Mayor’s proclamation to prevent runoff into local waterways and halted a state permit for additional water withdrawals. In California, where she served on or facilitated multiple state advisory boards and coalitions, she has broadened access to state funding and technical assistance for tribal and other marginalized communities to support clean water and functioning ecosystems for the future needs of wildlife, people, and a growing economy. She has helped draft state groundwater regulations and legislative bill language for multi-benefit land repurposing, in addition to providing public testimony and comment letters - both support and opposition - on countless legislative initiatives.

Danielle earned her Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Hawai’i Pacific University and her Master’s in Community Development, with an emphasis in Water Policy and Water Management, from University of California, Davis. She is also a certified science teacher and Master Naturalist. Her diverse experience brings a cross-cultural awareness to all her work, and lays the foundation for a deep professional and personal commitment to the interconnected issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental justice. This passion aligns perfectly with Mass Rivers’ vision of clean water for future generations, clean rivers that support a growing economy, and healthy rivers for healthy communities. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Danielle has always been drawn to the water - both rivers and oceans. In her spare time, she loves to surf, camp, and hike; but she enjoys all outdoor activities, including snowboarding and kayaking. Returning after many years away, she is excited to introduce her two daughters to the natural landscapes of her youth, and is eager to dive into protecting and restoring the streams and rivers of her home state.

+ BIO: Beth Lambert

Beth Lambert is the Director of the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), part of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game. She oversees a 30-person agency whose mission is to restore and protect rivers, wetlands, and watersheds for the benefit of people and the environment.
DER staff work in partnership with communities, landowners, non-profit organizations, and state and federal agencies on projects that restore habitat and help people and nature adapt to climate change. Over the last 15 years, the Division has removed 60 dams in partnership with federal, state, municipal, and NGO organizations. Beth has 20 years of experience with river and watershed restoration in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

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