Skip to content Skip to navigation

That Whole Climate Apocalypse Thing

Aug 15 2019

Recording streamflow measurements on the Teanaway (photo credit: Chloe Carothers-Liske)

By Anna Greene '21

Hometown: Auburn, Alabama

Major: Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

Streamflow Restoration Policy Intern, Washington Water Trust

Out West Student Blog

Student Blog



This summer, it’s been easy to leave work or a meeting feeling hopeless. Spending every day thinking about water in Washington means I spend every day thinking about the lack of it, and the current climate crisis. I felt this sense of hopelessness a couple of days ago during a tour of project sites for hydrology-related projects in the Snohomish Watershed. Experts and stakeholders – various non-profits, tribal employees and representatives, and county and city staff - had all gathered for this project tour to talk about and envision the ways that the Snohomish Watershed could work together for streamflow restoration.

One of the project sites we viewed was a potential water storage site. This type of project is now necessary because climate change has destroyed, and continues to destroy, the earth’s natural capabilities to regulate late season water flow through snow pack. I’ve spent many hours reading about just how desperately these types of projects are needed because I am compiling a list of all relevant projects happening in the Snohomish Watershed so that funding can be prioritized appropriately. The cost and need of these projects in the context of the structural violence of ongoing capitalistic exploitation of Indigenous Peoples and lands is often difficult for me to comprehend, even as my work and my days are punctuated by the incredible beauty of the rivers and streams I have the privilege to work with.

Earlier on the project site tour, our group visited a flood plain reconnection project on the Lower Tolt River. The complexity of the river without levees is incredible – the gravel beds, side channels, and a burgeoning flood plain all creating a more nuanced beauty than altered rivers. A couple of weeks earlier, I similarly found myself in one of the most incredible places I have ever been while monitoring stream flow far from any roads in the Cascades.

Looking very happy to be measuring the hardness of the river with co-worker Emily Dick (photo credit: Chloe Carothers-Liske)

This summer, I’ve tried to work with intention so that I see the beauty that surrounds me. The urgency of our situation cannot be solved by the feeling of jumping into the freezing Teanaway River after a long day, or the views from the streams where flow has been restored in August due to aquifer recharge. However, the beauty of these moments pushes me to dig deeper into both the small projects and the big picture of facing structural climate crisis.

Checking out aquifer recharge in the Dungeness (photo credit: Emily Dick)

Read more at the Out West Student Blog »



Recent Center News

Jun 21 2021 | ... & the West Blog, ... & the Best | Stories Recommended by the ‘... & the West’ Blog
The tentacles of the West’s megadrought reach across all sort of communities and businesses; enlisting artificial intelligence to get earlier alerts as wildfires break out; the Keystone Pipeline was planned in one world 14 ears ago, but then the world changed around it, eventually leading its promoters to withdraw; Interior Secretary Halaand wants two Utah monuments fully restored, and other environmental news from around the West.
Jun 15 2021
A new CivicPulse survey of local policymakers reveals strong support for roads, water, electricity, and broadband but disagreement on mass transit and clean energy.
Jun 7 2021 | ... & the West Blog
When a historic drought gripped California and the Bay Area, water managers came together to keep drinkable water in the homes of vulnerable areas in Marin and Contra Costa Counties. Two veterans of those efforts describe the dramatic process, and consider lessons it offers for today’s imminent drought.