November 28, 2022

Dismantling Barriers Between Marginalized Communities and River Conservation

Education in Leadership professor Lisa Collins shares what nature and rivers mean to her in Love is King – Let Freedom Roam’s video series highlighting the significance of rivers in BIPOC and systematically marginalized communities.

An announcement posted on shares that the videos also advocate for the passage of the River Democracy Act, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. The legislation would safeguard over 4,000 miles of waterways across the state and was informed by a public process, where Oregonians nominated their favorite rivers for protection. 

The article states that “data from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department shows that African Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives are underrepresented as visitors to state parks relative to their state populations, while whites are overrepresented. And according to a report titled The Nature Gap by Conservation Science Partners and commissioned by Hispanic Access Foundation and the Center for American Progress, systematically marginalized communities, especially families of color, have less access to nearby nature than more privileged communities. In a state like Oregon, this means that they have less access to protected public lands, rivers, and waterways.”

All videos that have been released as part of the Shades of Water series are available here.