Sunday, June 12, 2016

Launch of "Water Is..." Celebrates Our Connection with Water

Nancy Rowe blesses Mimico Creek (photo K. September)
On June 12th, Councillor Jim Tovey, Mississauga Nation Knowledge Keeper Nancy Rowe, and others helped Nina Munteanu celebrate the launch of her long-awaited book "Water Is..." with a water blessing of Mimico Creek and various water-engaging activities.

The environmental event "celebrated water and our connection with it" at Islington Golf Course in Etobicoke. The 75 people who attended also included the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ecologos (WaterDocs), Rethink Sustainability Initiatives, poets, writers and artists.

In her powerful and compelling blessing, Nancy Rose said, "Water is life, water is healing, we owe
Water blessing (photo Kevin September)
everything to water." Despite the celebration, Mimico Creek's ironic reality was reflected in the ceremony: "You used to be able to drink this water," Rowe lamented as she used tap water for the water blessing ceremony.

Vince D'Elia of TRCA gave Mimico Creek a failed report card and spoke about the need to educate the public on water and watersheds. Given that Mimico Creek flows some 33 km within a 77 square km watershed that encompasses three jurisdictions (Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto); harmonizing efforts is no easy task.

Councillor Tovey stressed connection of individuals, communities, and jurisdictions to create awareness and action in re-wilding our watersheds and to foster beauty. He highlighted Mississauga's extensive planning and investment into these initiatives, saying that they are setting the precedent for all Canadian cities for sustainability planning.

Jim Tovey, Yasmin Glanville, Travis Belanger, Michelle Stone
(photo Kevin September)
Claire Lawson of LOWaterkeeper proclaimed that, "We are Lake Ontario," referring to us being 70% water and the constant circulation of water on the planet. She gave us the 6 steps to water leadership: 1) know your watermark; 2) orient yourself; 3) get out there; 4) know the rules; 5) participate; and 6) dedicate yourself. She told everyone why sharing your personal watermark was so important and urged participants to share their watermark--a personal story that connects you with a particular waterbody and event--to help promote meaning and protection of waterbodies around the world.

Ro Omrow, with Ecologos (WaterDocs) invited participants to sign a petition to make Toronto a Blue
Community. Initiated by the Council of Canadians, a Blue Community is one that:

  1. recognizes water as a human right
  2. bans the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events
  3. promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services

Local poets and artists read and showed their water-inspired poetry and art, among them Merridy Cox, John Ambury, Liana Di Marco and Tasnim Jivaji. 

A Water Action Station, where Nina's book was for sale, also featured a charity board (Pixl Press has agreed to donate a portion of book sales toward several water charities); and a pledge to Jacques Cousteau's Bill of Rights for Future Generations.

Nina with "Water Is..."
According to Councillor Tovey, Nina's book "Water Is..." bridges the gap from awareness to appreciation, connection and final action. "This book came from a lifetime's dedication to water, humanity and our environment since I was a little girl and felt the planet," Munteanu confided during a press conference in Etobocoke.

For more about the book and Nina Munteanu's writing process, go to "Water Is..." can be purchased at most Amazon stores and good quality bookstores near you.


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