Day to day activities, meetings, tasks, and achievements can sometimes leave us feeling lost in the doldrums. To be perfectly honest, I don’t spend every single day making significant advancements in the protection of our water. I don’t plant a tree every day, I don’t pick up tons of tires from the river every day, and I don’t even get to teach a student the importance of responsible watershed practices every day. I am sure that my coworkers can relate as well. In fact, I am sure most of you can relate to this sentiment. This reality check begs the question, “What good am I doing?” For us folks at the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks we can simply read the headlines to remind ourselves of the importance of our mission. Nearly every day, unfortunately, there are stories of water crisis in our own country where, I will admit, I take for granted the availability and certainty of clean tap water. In fact, just looking at Twitter today, I pulled up a story about the oil spill into the Yellowstone River which has shut down a Montana water supply, an agreement to reduce harmful chemicals in brake pads by auto makers, and even a claim that there may be “GOLD in them there hills”, although not the kind of hills you are probably thinking of.

So, that brings us back to the issue at hand; do I feel like our work is making a difference. The answer is a big Yes! We are all required to toil through some unrewarding tasks from time to time, but the truth remains that we can make a difference. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks may not change the water policies of our region overnight, or single-handedly shut down every potential polluter in a day, but we still remain a presence in the community that speaks for a clean and healthy water supply for fish, for stoneflies, for sycamores, and for our neighbors. If we are not here to stick up for our water, who would? Likewise, if you were not the one standing for what you seek to protect/improve/implement/conserve, who would? Don’t let the grind get you down!

Rob Hunt, Watershed Center Coordinator

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