Earth Day Water Summit

Date(s) - Saturday 04/26/2014
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Fresh water is the source of life!  Join us in a community skill share focused on protecting our water!   

This informal, grassroots gathering will cover issues from scientific to the political, including DIY Urban Hydrology, media strategies, DIY journalism and civil disobedience.  Do you have a skill share you’d like to offer? Let us know!


1-2:30pm “Sunflower Forest Gardening” Workshopwith Rebekah Rice and friends

3-5:30pm “Protect Our Water” Skill Share

 3pm Introduction, with Professor Yuri Gorby, ElectroMicrobiologist, Rensselear

 3:30pm Session #1

Urban Permaculture track:  “Visit to the Carriage House: Designing and Building Living Ecosystems” with Chris Sculley, Ethan Seeley, Ben Greene, The Farmery and Yuri Gorby.

Public Information Gathering track: Public Herald #fileroom,” with Melissa Troutman and Josh Pribanic, Triple Divide filmmakers

Climate Justice Tactics track:SeaChange Flotilla,” with Matt Hammel, Margination 

4:30pm  Session #2

Urban Permaculture track: “DIY Water Remediation,” with Scott Kellogg, Educational Director, The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center.

Public Information Gathering track: “Witnesses from Ground Zero: Water and Lives Destroyed in West Virginia and Southwest Pennsylvania”

Climate Justice Tactics track: “Practical, Broad-based Strategies to Protect NY Waters,” with Daniel Morrissey, Founder of Water Equality

5:30pm Community meal

7:00pm “Triple Divide” Screeningwith Melissa Troutman and Josh Pribanic 


Intro: Yuri Gorby reflects, “Water unifies us all…those living in the coal fields, the gas patches, near chemical production facilities and industrialized agriculture.  We are losing safe water resources to chemical and nuclear rains, weather modification programs, train, truck and ship accidents.  As a scientist, I strongly support a reassessment of our National Water Quality Assessment program and campaigns to help raise public awareness of the problems that will very soon impact all of us. Water is Life.”  

Yuri Gorby graduated with honors and a BS degree in biology from Bethany College, in his hometown of Bethany, WV in 1983. He began his scientific career in microbial physiology as a PhD student at University of New Hampshire, where he investigated proteins and environmental controls involved in production of single domain magnetite particles by magnetotactic bacteria. uri was awarded a National Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship in 1989 to test his hypothesis that some bacteria could use uranium as an electron acceptor. Yuri first demonstrated that metal-reducing bacteria could reduce soluble U(VI) to the common uranium mineral, uraninite. Yuri’s second Post Doctoral Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, WA developed a more fundamental understanding of microbial uranium reduction and its potential for remediating contaminated ground water and legacy wastes produced during the Cold War. From 1993 to 2006, Yuri served as Senior Research Scientist at PNNL where he explored the biological transformation of a broad range of heavy metals and radionuclides. He was founder/director of Microbial Cell Dynamics Laboratory at PNNL from 2001 until 2006, where he advanced the role of controlled cultivation as an important component of ‘systems biology’. Yuri is a pioneer in the emerging field of “electromicrobiology” and has been heavily cited for his publications on electrically conductive protein filaments called ‘bacterial nanowires’. He established the first Electromicrobiology Group during his 5 years with J. Craig Venter Laboratory in San Diego, CA, and was a founding member of the Electromicrobiology Group with colleagues at the USC. Yuri Gorby is an Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Geomicrobiology expert Yuri Gorby recently joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as the Howard N. Blitman ’50 P.E. Career Development Professor in Engineering. He is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. – See more at:

Public Herald is a nonprofit organization dedicated to investigative journalism in the public interest. Our independent group of journalists and artists work with communities who face challenging conditions to tell their stories through engaging online journalism and multimedia projects. We are focused on accountability where people are silenced by the abuse of power from government, industry, social or environmental circumstances.  The Mission: to support and conduct investigative journalism in the public interest; to educate; to finance; and to provide an outlet for citizen engagement concerning community interest and needs. We strive to work in collaborative public environments, hoping for a new model of investigative journalism that unites the Community, the Artist and the Journalist on a mission to report the truth where injustice threatens the public good. Our long term goals are to provide platforms for citizens to define problems and form solutions while sharing resources and inspiration. We hope to provide funding in the future to communities who need help sharing their stories.

[#fileroom beta version 1.0] Public Herald created this online open source #fileroom primarily for the public and journalists to access and contribute to. The purpose of this website is to provide accurate up-to-date information about oil and gas files managed by a collective effort of individuals and organizations. Due to the barriers we’ve discovered in reviewing oil and gas files, we’re working to release as many public records as possible and collaborate with the online community to build a comprehensive online file room. Our goals are to complete a final website in the summer of 2014.

The Carriage House is the latest expansion of Collar City Growers, a grassroots demonstration garden and composting project, a program of Media Alliance’s NATURE LAB (North Troy Art, Technology and Urban Research in Ecology). They turned a vacant lot located in brownfields-designated area into an urban garden, drawing  upon resources from the community and Upstate New York region to grow produce and the next gereration of growers. 

The Farmery is an innovative urban market and farm designed to produce and sell locally made food. The Farmery combines a retail grocery, cafe and indoor agricultural systems that raise the value of food by offering the customer an educational and stimulating food shopping experience. At the Farmery, the consumer can witness and participate in the growth and harvest of crops and fish. The Farmery grows a portion of the produce and fish it sells, reducing the complexity and costs of locally sourced food by consolidating the entire food distribution system. Growing food in the store allows the Farmery to provide the freshest possible fare to the consumer.  The Farmery is designed to improve margins on local food to enable small artisan farmers to move from the fringes of our food system and into the center stage of a retailer. The Farmery accomplishes this by giving customers a better understanding of the value of their food by immersing them in an environment where they are surrounded by food growing around them where they can see the food’s growth cycle happening as they make their purchase decisions; better educating them about the true value of the processes used to grow their food and establishing a more intimate connection to their food. When customers walk into The Farmery they will discover that flavor not only resides in food, but also in the environment that surrounds them.

Margination is a group of activists and entrepreneurs confronting the challenges of economic precarity in Troy, NY.  Margination is the set of resources, supports, and relationships that allows people to do it.

SeaChange Flotilla is a workshop publicizing the flotilla and doing a small exercise with either Hudson River route mapping or paper boat building:

Witnesses from Ground Zero: Witnesses from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are impacted by the rapid expansion of the shale gas industry, effecting their human health and everyday life. Realizing that scientific assessments take years to complete—time insufficient to avoid unfolding environmental disaster, geomicrobiologist Yuri Gorby returned to his childhood home to shine light on those struggling to survive amidst toxic gases and contaminated fluids within one mile of well pads, compressor stations, cryogenic separators, crystalline silica mines and transport stations. “Fracking Our Future” frames the vulnerability of citizens who are being sacrificed for profits by a globally destructive industry, where these witnesses speak out in this eloquent call for action.

Scott Kellogg is the co-author of the book “Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide” (South End Press) and the primary teacher of R.U.S.T.- The Radical Urban Sustainbility Training, an intensive weekend workshop in urban ecological survival skills.

The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center is a new organization developed by Scott in Albany, NY. It is a demonstration of environmental techniques and sustainable micro industries applicable in today’s urban envrionment.  He is simultaneously developing a low-impact integrated agroforestry operation in North New York as well. 

Daniel Morrissey is the Director of Water Quality.  He writes, “Power in numbers yields political will. I organize with this mentality utilizing local campaigning, bold narrative, and a holistic view of energy problems. Governor Andrew Cuomo must realize that his political career is on the line, as are the lives of millions of New Yorkers. He must ban fracking in favor of safer, more responsible energy (particularly renewables), to protect our water, air, land, and future. Communities will crumble under the drill, whereas they prosper with wind and solar development.”