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Meander – Making Room for Rivers

It's time to "make room for rivers," and protect our planet's circulatory system for future generations

If you’ve ever pondered the geological and geographical life of a stream of flowing water, or any body of water for that matter, then we’ve got the book for you.

Written by Margaret Wooster – watershed planner, teacher, and activist – Meander is a cautionary tale, while at the same time it is a story of hope. The book recounts all of the ways that we have failed to protect our natural resources, which were once sacred in the eyes of indigenous peoples that lived in this region. In particular, I’m speaking of Buffalo Creek (Buffalo River) and the Great Lakes. Only in recent years, have we begun to consider the ramifications of our actions, while attempting to clean up the mess that was left behind by callous industry.

It didn’t take long for us to disrupt what took Mother Nature centuries to create. And now, we’re left holding the bag, trying to figure out how to right the wrongs.

Fortunately, these imperilled waters are resilient, if we give them the time and resources to heal.

“The book includes a chapter on the Outer Harbor in the context of a vision for a ‘Great Lakes commons’ –restored and protected waterfronts and tributaries surrounding the lakes and supporting their planetary value as the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world.” – Wooster

“Making room for rivers—and for a lot of other things we’ve tried to improve and accelerate and modernize—is a good rallying cry for our beleaguered planet; this book will cheer you, and spur you on!” — Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

Meander is written in captivating personal prose by a mature activist, river scientist, and storyteller. Margaret Wooster stretches a diversity of disciplines ranging from planetary geology to hydromorphology, from federal and state policymaking to town hall deliberations, from the macroeconomics of water to the irreplaceable financial value of local open space and melds them all together into her irrefutable vision that rivers are a key pillar of community. The scope of her narrative centers in the value of the living river’s vitality to our own quality of life, health, and spirit. It is a scientific and historic love story. All who have worked on behalf of water will become immersed in Wooster’s dialogue with her own creeks, rivers, and lakes and find there validation for their own efforts. It is a thorough chronicle of Great Lakes activism, policy, and issues (solved, festering, and emerging). It is a portal into the future of river protection and a welcoming must read for anyone who wishes to join the fray.” — Elaine Marsh, Cofounder of Friends of the Crooked River (the Cuyahoga)

Meander is both interesting and important. Wooster is uniquely qualified to write authoritatively about the historical land management of watersheds within Western New York; she has the requisite knowledge of history, policy, water quality, geomorphic processes, and the integrity of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. She also weaves anecdotal stories and experiences from her life in these environments that adds a personal and meaningful dimension to the narrative.” — Sean J. Bennett. University at Buffalo

Meander is launching it at Silo City’s amazing outdoor/indoor space, Duende, on September 22, 4-6 PM.  Jean Dickson’s Nickel City String Band will be there, Carl Dennis will read a poem,  and Wooster will say some words. Talking Leaves will be selling the book and a good time will be had by all. Here is the link to register (no charge–just for a head count):

Order Meander: SUNY Press

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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