One month after releasing a report on how contamination from Mountaire Farms will degrade the quality of the Indian River over time, environmentalists at the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays wanted to turn their frustrations into positive action.
The result was Thursday’s river rally at Cupola Park in Millsboro — an afternoon of fun and education, teaching Delawareans how to preserve the Indian River. Many environmental organizations tabled, giving people information on how they can help protect the river. There was also an educational fishing game and fishing demonstrations, and Herman Jackson from the Nanticoke Tribe performed a small ceremony blessing the river.
“We spun this as a more positive event — a little less doom and gloom,” said the center’s Outreach and Education Coordinator Amy Barra. “Everyone knows about the issues but we wanted to give them a way to take action.”
Barra says the river is an important resource for many people who like to go boating and for many species of fish.
“The upper reaches of the Indian River are incredibly important habitat for a lot of the iconic Delaware species, such as the summer flounder and juvenile blue crab, just as a nursery habitat,” Barra said.
More than 250 people attended the center’s inaugural river rally.
And Barra says people can make a difference in their own home by conserving water or cutting down their plastic use.
Staff at the center are already thinking about holding another river rally next year.