“Lakes are our salvation in the heartland of America. They refresh the landscape and rejuvenate our lives…. The benefits that flow from them are incalculable.”
Then-Senator Walter Mondale, introducing legislation to fund pilot projects designed to remove or prevent pollution of lakes. 89th Congress, 1966.
“Rivers are not simply channels from source to sea but integral parts of our ecosystem: streams of life filled with powerful mystery.”
Ann Bancroft, Polar explorer and co-leader, Access Water
“When you ask someone where their water comes from, they often say “the faucet.” Find out where your water really comes from, whether from underground or from a lake or river. Then take stewardship of the water source and protect it from pollution, and use it sustainably.”
Deborah Swackhamer, Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, Environmental Health Sciences
“There was a time when someone told me that God is in the water and as an Ojibwe woman this resonates with me because the water is the source of all life. When we carry the water and sing those water songs we are speaking to the spirit of the water. It is my responsibility then to protect life, to protect that which brings life into the world.”
Sharon Day, Executive Director, Indigenous Peoples Task Force
“The majestic Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system in the world. Nearly 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada depend upon them for clean drinking water. Over 350 types of fish and approximately 3500 other animal and plant species live within the Great Lakes ecosystem. Our economic and environmental well-being are dependent on their protection and wise stewardship. It is up to us to protect this national treasure from climate change, invasive species, and other environmental threats—and I am confident that we can work together to meet this critical challenge.”
Tia Nelson, Managing Director for Climate, Outrider Foundation; daughter of Earth Day founder and Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson
“I believe that whatever else the human purpose may be, that part of it is to notice and to love this universe, to notice and respond with heart and mind and soul and all our sense to the beauty and order of all these living and inanimate things.”
Victoria Safford, excerpt from Credo for Now (in) Walking Toward Morning
About the Photographer
Andrew Okey learned to love photography at a young age from his mother, Mary Slocum Okey. Mary was a professional photographer who used photography as a second job to support her family and to express her love of nature.
Andrew bought his first Olympus camera in the early 70s and still shoots with Olympus cameras to this day. He enjoys shooting mostly nature photography in Northern Wisconsin where he lives with his wife and adventure partner, Carrie. He also dabbles in other forms of photography to express his creative side and to feed his forever need to learn. Reach him via Agate’s contact page.