Waterways Reskilling: Power Point Presentations
- Preserving the Past to Serve the Future – Andrew Willner
- Reconnecting to the River - Hudson Riverkeeper, Paul Gallay
- The Vermont Sail Freight Project- Founder, Erik Andrus
- Boat-friendly Waterfront Revitalization – Ann Loeding, Empire State Maritime Alliance
- Watermills – Bill Sharp, Transition State College, PA
- Watershed Awareness, Planning and Protection – Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Director, Clearwater
|Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay|
Imagine waking up tomorrow in a future, post-carbon, environmentally sustainable and transitioned world. What in your surroundings on the banks of your river or creek has changed as you open your eyes to greet the new morning? What sights, scents and sounds fill your senses upon rising? Take a long, slow breath. Is the texture of the air entering your lungs different? How will you travel, to what type of work environment? What transformations will have occurred in our region’s waterways, and in your relationship to them in a transitioned future?
|Clearwater Environmental Director, Manna Jo Greene|
Once upon a time, commerce, power generation, and the stunning beauty of the rivers, tributaries and estuaries breathed life into our towns. As we put the brakes on environmental degradation, we are called to create new stories and prioritize: slower, lower-tech, smaller-scale, relationship-driven ways of living in harmony with the magnificent waterways that have supported us for generations. What kind of sustainable waterways culture do we want to foster?
Whatever We Can Envision, We Can Manifest
Envisioning a transitioned future is key to its manifestation. Consider what slower, lower-tech, smaller-scale use of waterways would look like and how we might reshuffle our priorities to
Transition State College PA
usher that vision into reality. Rest your mind on a fresh, healthy, simpler, vibrant quality of life lived on pristine waterways teaming with nutritious fish, carrying carbon neutral commercial transport vessels, powering homes and hamlets with renewable energy.
Whatever we can clearly see in our mind’s eye we are empowered to create. A reskilling facilitates visioning by bringing us, “back to the future.” Reskillings turn back the clock to offer hands-on experiential engagement with heirloom skills and technologies that we can reactivate and refine in order to protect the environment in the future.
| Clearwater Captain
The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) Waterways Reskilling on November 23 at SUNY New Paltz showcased the vast renewable energy generation and carbon neutral commercial transport potential of regional waterways and the work of those who safeguard them.
NYS DEC Office of Climate Change
Heirloom Technologies and Modern Know-how Create an Environmentally Sound Future for the Hudson River, her Tributaries and Estuaries
Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) &
SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force
November 23: The Waterways Reskilling features the carbon neutral, Vermont Sail Freight Project, Hydropower, Boat-building and Waterwheel Restoration, Sustainable Fisheries, Hudson River Port and Dock Rehabilitation and Access, Green Colleges Forums: Co-sponsors, The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) in collaboration with the SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force will bring together those concerned with the quality, and carbon-neutral use of the Hudson River and regional waterways at a Waterways Reskilling,10:00 AM–5:00 PM. A Transition Reskilling turns back the clock to reclaim, demonstrate and exhibit skills and “slow” technologies prevalent generations ago, and fuse these with modern know-how to protect the environment in the future. SUNY New Paltz Lecture
Speakers include: Vermont Sail Freight Project Founder Erik Andrus, Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay, Ann Loeding of the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Empire State Maritime Alliance, Clearwater Environmental Director, Manna Jo Green, NY/NJ Baykeeper Founder, Andrew Willner, Radix Center Executive Director Scott Kellog, Mark Lowery, NYS DEC Office of Climate Change, Sarah Bower, Windsor Machinery.
The work of Jim Kricker’s Rondout Woodworking, and small, direct hydropower companies throughout the region will be featured. The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) will showcase the vast energy generation and transportation potential of New York and Mid-Atlantic regional waterways and the work of those who safeguard them.
New York and Mid-Atlantic region waterkeepers, and activists, boat builders, millwrights, students, direct hydropower resource persons, woodworkers, and concerned citizens are invited to: panel discussions, participate in talks, raise public awareness about their work, exhibit their projects. Share their materials and passion for protecting and safely using our majestic waterways with colleagues and the public. Enjoy learning heirloom skills, music, films, engaging conversations and information sessions about micro-hydropower, sail freight, woodworking and boat-building. Educate, advertise, exhibit, participate and consider Transitioning….. to a superb-quality, carbon neutral future among friends.
What is the Transition Town Environmental Movement?
The Transition environmental movement (Transition) is a global, grassroots network of people taking positive action to build community resilience against the backdrop of climate change, resource depletion and economic instability. (See TransitionUS.org, Transitionmidatlantic.org.) Dwindling supplies of cheap non-renewable energy and prevalence of extreme weather signal that society is fundamentally transforming; requiring us to regain bygone skills, especially in production of food, clothing, shelter, and energy.
What IS a Transition Reskilling?
A Transition Reskilling turns back the clock to reclaim technologies that have immediate relevance and are key to the carbon neutral future of the Mid-Atlantic region: 1) Sail-freight, which is resurging as people build and rebuild wooden ships for the transport of goods along coastal and inland waters of the Hudson Valley, 2) Small and micro-scale, direct hydropower generation, 3) Port & dock restoration, design and management, 4) Future fisheries, 5) Boat-building and waterwheel restoration. The Waterways Reskilling will feature dynamic speakers, music, demonstrations, a barter board and hands-on reskilling instruction. The Reskilling is also a crosspollination, networking opportunity for community organizations, businesses, academy, and government constituencies who work in related fields.
Admission by donation: $10 suggested.
Students FREE with student ID
Exhibit Space w/table Available: $54
Advertising Packages & Sponsorship Available: Please call or e-mail.
All proceeds go to local Transition Town renewable energy projects in New York and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Contact: Pamela Boyce Simms, (646) 241-8386, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), transitionmidatlantic.org.
Small ~ Micro ~ Mini
Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) &
SUNY New Paltz Environmental Task Force
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Who is invited?: Environmental activists, waterkeepers, boat builders, students, hydropower & fisheries resource persons, woodworkers, and concerned citizens.
What IS a Waterways Reskilling?: A Reskilling showcases skills carbon neutral heirloom technologies that will safeguard the environment in the future.
Where: SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center, New Paltz, NY
- dynamic speakers, films, music, demonstrations, and a barter-board.
- learning about the voyages of the farm goods-carrying sailing barge, the Ceres, of the Vermont Sail Freight Project.
- student-environmentalist activities: Green Colleges Forum, Environmental Art Show, Waterways Literature Contest.
- exploring the energy generation and transportation potential of New York and Mid-Atlantic regional waterways.
- the work of boat builders, crafts persons, and millwrights.
Registration is Open
RSVP, Information Packet: exhibiting/advertising, or demonstrating a traditional waterways-related skill: (646) 241-8386, email@example.com,
Admission Donation: $10/day, Students FREE with Student ID
Vendor/Exhibitor/Demonstrator Space is Available:
- Exhibit Table & Space Suggested Donation: $ 54
NY/NJ Baykeeper Founder Andrew Willner; renowned master-restorer
Jim Kricker, of Rondout Woodworking, “slow tech” innovators, featuring
the Vermont Sail Freight Project, and micro hydropower pioneers working in the trenches.
Exhibit, educate, demonstrate your water-related skills, connect with the public and environmental activist-peers.
……….COMING THIS FALL………..
Powered Down Waterways Reskilling Festival
PRESERVING THE PAST TO SERVE THE FUTURE
Using Pre-fossil Fuel Technology on Powered Down Waterways
Andrew Willner: http://www.andrewwillner.com
Transitioning…. includes reinvigoration of heirloom technologies and traditional skills needed to thrive in a carbon constrained future. Permaculture, which birthed the Transition environmental movement, offers guidance on how to use those skills to design superb quality lives.
High Tech is, “industrial technology and refers to things that are out of your control, as opposed to low technology, which is simple things done in a smart way. Low technology is using the intelligence of nature to accomplish tasks. High technology is buying an apple from the store; low technology is getting an apple from a tree you planted yourself. One of the big differences is in high technology you are disconnected from cause and effect relationships. So if you pollute through high technology, you may not feel the direct result. Low technology is connection because you are involved in the process and you are directly affected by the consequences.” - C. Milton Dixon, interviewed in The (Chicago) Examiner in May 2011http://kinstonecircle.com/faculty/milton-dixon/
Transitioning…… fosters and supports the revitalization of “pre-petro” technological skills. The Transition environmental movement asks us to consider relearning for example, the skills needed to reanimate wind mills, sailing vessels, watermills; and pressing hand tools, levers, block and tackle back into service.
Two low technologies that have immediate relevance in the Mid-Atlantic region are: 1) Short Sea Shipping: i.e. carrying freight under sail that doesn’t cross oceans, which is resurging as more people take the initiative to build and rebuild wooden ships for the transport of goods along coastal waters and the inland waters of the Hudson Valley, and,2) Mill Restoration: Water mills
are being built and rebuilt for grinding grain, pressing cider, as well as producing electricity for individually owned operations and communities. Building, restoring, preserving, and actively using these technologies is a key to preserving the past to serve the future.
The Traditional Knowledge Institute wrote in 2010: “Today, traditional knowledge is in danger and its disappearance would not only cause the loss of people’s capability to keep and pass on the artistic and natural heritage, but also of an extraordinary source of knowledge and cultural diversity from which the appropriate innovation solutions can be derived today and in the future.”
RESEARCH & RESKILLING
Commerce and water transport of farm and manufactured goods flourished for centuries before cheap fossil fuels became readily available. Many of those technologies are still being practiced or recorded in libraries and online.
Sailing cargo vessels for example, are competitive right now for certain cargos. Erik Andrus’ Vermont Sail Freight Project http://www.vermontsailfreightproject.org/ is the most viable in the region. The vessel Ceres, built on a farm near Lake Champlain will carry Vermont farm goods to New York City and ports in between, and return to Burlington with fair trade goods, like cocoa beans that have been delivered by sailing vessel to Brooklyn from the Caribbean.
Mill Restoration & Asset Mapping - Symbiotic relationships, ….e.g. pigs eat organic waste and turn it into manure; mills are located near farms; and towns organically spring up near waterways for power and transportation, …are still valid, and will be more so in the future.
Look for streams in your watershed called, “Mill Creek” and streets in your town called, “Mill Road.” In doing so you might find a mill converted to another use. In Clinton, NJ one mill is an art center and the other is operating as an exhibit. In Thompson PA the old grain mill is operational but abandoned. Many mills are currently used as educational tools by historical societies and operated as restaurants or shops rather than for the purposes for which they were built.
We would do well to identify locations where mills can be built or rebuilt in order to re-skill woodworkers, millwrights, and inform farmers about the advantages of water power for the future. I found at least 15 Mill Creeks in my watershed! We can conduct an inventory, and create a database of mills that are working and that can be rehabilitated. We also need a Bioregional Traditional Knowledge Database that will gather and protect historical knowledge and promote innovative practices based on traditional skills.
The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) of Transition US will support these efforts in the fall of 2013 by bringing together builders, millwrights, woodworkers, crafts persons, and historical societies to participate in a Powered Down Waterways Reskilling. Jim Kricker, preeminent restorer of traditional waterwheels, windmills and sailing vessels will anchor a two-day Reskilling Festival featuring demonstrations, talks, and hands-on instruction. Jim’s website http://www.rondoutwoodworking.com/ is a valuable resource for locating working and restored mills.
The International Traditional Knowledge Institute gathers and protects historical knowledge, promotes and certifies innovative practices based on the modern re-proposal of tradition. Using traditional knowledge does not mean direct reapplication of techniques from the past, but rather seeks to understand the logic of past models of knowledge. It is a dynamic system able to incorporate innovation subjected to the test of the long term and thus achieves local and environmental sustainability.
Lewis Mumford wrote in 1970: “The great feat of medieval technics was that it was able to promote and absorb many important changes without losing the immense carryover of inventions and skill from earlier cultures. In this lies one of it vital point of superiority over the modern mode of monotechnics, which boast of effacing, as fast and as far as possible, the technical achievements of earlier periods.”
There are schools and apprentice shops for learning large scale woodworking skills that are needed for low tech water-driven mills, and wind-driven vessels that will be part of the continuum that supersedes the “blip” of petroleum powered short term thinking and consumption.
There are websites: The following are some links to the resources, skills, and techniques that are needed to Transition our Bioregion to one that is carbon constrained yet resilient, abundant, and equitable. Let the following list be a starting point – an opportunity to contribute your own favorite sites, books, and especially humans with these skills:
- WoodenBoat magazine can be a resource for wooden boat building apprenticeships, http://www.woodenboat.com/
- The Museum of Old Techniques http://www.mot.be/w/1/index.php/MuseumEn/Museum
- Low Tech Magazine http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/ How to make everything ourselves: open modular hardware / The museum of old techniques / Online knotting reference books / Primitive technology handbook / Compendium of Useful Information, http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/10/history-of-industrial-windmills.html
- Museum of Early Trades and Crafts http://metc.org/
- Institute for Traditional Knowledge http://www.intk.org/
- Appropedia http://www.appropedia.org/Welcome_to_Appropedia
- The Whole Earth Catalog (ask your parents or dig it out from under the other stuff on your bookshelf), or http://www.wholeearth.com/index.php
- Ropes, Knots, and Hitches http://www.netknots.com/rope_knots
- Maritime Museums, http://maritimemuseums.net/
- One windmill source http://www.windmills.net/
- A mill source, Mills restored by Rondout Woodworking http://www.rondoutwoodworking.com/Clients.html
- HARVEST http://www.andrewwillner.com/2013/04/harvest/ The Harbor and River Vessel Transport Company