After Ralph Liberto did this interview with Liz Nelson at Lambertville, New Jersey's Shad Festival, he knew he had to "Roll Down The River" with music and education.
Why Rollin' Down The River?
RDTR is staging concerts throughout the region to entertain and educate people about the imminent dangers posed by fracking.
Fracking is the drilling process that includes hydraulic fracturing, tons of chemicals, millions of gallons of fresh water, and usually also horizontal drilling to extract ‘natural gas’ from deep underground. This process often causes severe damage to the environment and the health of humans and animals. Downstream air and water are also impacted.
Another result of fracking is that home values in neighboring communities are severely downgraded (no one wants to live next to one of these wells, compressor stations, or processing plants). This combination adds up to a 1-2-3 punch for all but a small percentage of mineral owners, the gas companies, lobbyists, and investment banks.
The gas industry has been very successful at manipulating popular media so it’s not surprising that most of the people that will be gravely harmed by this industry are unaware of its dangers.
That’s where RDTR comes in. Through a combination of entertainment, education, and community involvement, RDTR seeks to offset the gas industry juggernaut by educating large numbers of people about fracking. RDTR events are being planned for venues of all types – theatres, homes, libraries, parks, coffee houses, fire halls – any place that is interested in helping to spread the message that if we want to protect our homes and keep our environment clean, we have to take a strong, well-informed stance.
The idea for RDTR was the result of a video interview local resident Ralph Liberto gave at the Lambertville, NJ Shad Festival in 2011. Approached by local environmental activist, Elizabeth Nelson, Ralph recalled how an event like the Shad Festival would not have been possible 20 years earlier, that the Delaware River he knew as a boy was basically an open sewer, and Shad had given up their migration.
He pointed out that now, as a performer with The JB Kline Band from Lambertville, he was happy to be part of an event that symbolized the resurgence of the river. He soon realized that music and the river were common threads that could be used to weave a safety net protecting our region from the ravages of gas drilling.
Since its inception in 2008, the Milanville, PA - based Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (DCS) has been dedicated to protecting citizens from the ravages of shale gas extraction.
DCS employs a variety of strategies to respond to this problem: public education, litigation, advocacy and technical assistance to communities throughout the region. DCS’ public health advocacy relating to gas drilling has had international influence.
DCS is a collaborative effort to preserve and protect clean air, land and water as a civil and basic human right in the face of the threat posed by the shale gas extraction industry. DCS has focused its advocacy and legal efforts to protect the Delaware River Watershed that provides drinking water for some 20 million people but increasingly has extended its efforts across the state of Pennsylvania and the entire Marcellus region.
DCS is incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania as a not-for-profit organization and is recognized by the federal government as a 501 (C-3).
With many thanks to the Puffin Foundation!
The Puffin Foundation seeks to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their social philosophy.
Damascus Citizens - Rollin' Down The River is thrilled and proud to have their support.