My Watermark is the Niagara River, New York.
I work with PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing), we do stormwater management in the city of Buffalo and I’ve been doing this since 2013. We live right outside of Lake Erie, we border that to the south, and we’re next to Niagara River. It’s a very powerful river and it ends up in Niagara Falls and up to Lake Ontario. I moved here in 2005 to help protect the Great Lakes.
I was able to travel all over the world in the military and I got to see how people were suffering for clean drinking water, and from there, I decided to move here when I got out. I’ve been doing river restorations with Waterkeeper here since 2005 and I’ve been planting trees all over Western New York. I also race canoes: I’ve been around Grand Island five times in the past three years, and it’s about a 26 mile Island that takes me about 8 to 9 hours.
I feel more connected to this land and to the water just by doing what I do. It’s helped me heal within from all the issues I have from military and I love doing what I do. I feel like we need to be out there helping protect our water as much as we can. Whether you're canoeing or just walking down by the waterway, just make sure you go out there and enjoy it. It’s just very powerful to be able to talk to the water and actually see the work that I’ve done when I’m canoeing, it’s just amazing. It’s powerful seeing that.